It has become more than a trend this year that journalists work towards an agenda.
While we have become accustomed to journalists who act up and take action on behalf of pet causes, there is no reason why we need to accept this. The moment is approaching where it appears the general public needs to begin pushing back. The veneer of objectivity and non-partisan journalism is wearing off, as media increasingly takes on the role of narrative-pushing, something we see moving down to a granular level.
Currently, the most glaring evidence of this activity is on coverage of the January 6 Commission — but this is far from the lone example. We are constantly being told how the J-6C will bring forth a solid case, only to see the abject lack of hard proof. This has been a pure case of insistence over revelation. As I mentioned in the recent Lie-Able Sources podcast, it is less of a hearing and entirely more of a “telling.”
But to step away from that kangaroo court, we see the journalism sector filled with cases of the press doing less reporting and more undertaking. This behavior ramped up in Florida when the proposed Parental Rights in Education bill was crafted. Opposition groups relabeled the legislation the ‘Don’t Say Gay Bill’ inaccurately, and soon, this agitprop was regurgitated entirely by the press.
As the concept of a state banning gays became accepted, the press went to work. An early example was from The Hollywood Reporter, where left-lurching columnist Kim Masters targeted the Disney Corporation as an entity that was not doing enough to battle this legislation.
When the Florida bill passed and was signed into law, the press did not learn a lesson. Collectively, they only felt more emboldened, for some reason. So, when the infamous leaked Alito draft memo crept out of SCOTUS, the leftist media went into overdrive. Examples of journalists taking to the streets (or more accurately, to the phones and social media) were seen across the media landscape.
We are not being served examples of reporters responding to a corporate letter; journalists are working to provoke these press releases. At CNBC, they contacted several companies to compel reactions and statements of opposition to the abortion law alteration. Soon after, the Washington Post specifically went after video game companies in a similar manner, and the lack of social outrage angered video game columnist/activist Nathan Grayson.
This silence is especially conspicuous following the industry’s near-uniliteral support of causes like Black Lives Matter in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and anti-Asian hate as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. In both of those cases, many big companies released statements, donated to charitable causes, updated internal policies and added in-game features to allow players to express their support.
Note the tone that this is almost compulsory for these companies. Not only are they expected to make public announcements, but those are fully expected to be in line with the position taken by these once-claimed unbiased reporters.
In a similar fashion, the entrepreneurial periodical Fast Company went to work engaging in a similar pressure campaign. Joseph Wolfsohn obtained the email that the magazine sent to companies, asking for abortion positions and pledging to report on those companies who refused to comply.
In an email to one of the companies seen by Fox News, Fast Company says it is working on an “editorial package” about “how corporate silence on abortion impacts employees” and “what responsibility of businesses should be when it comes to abortion care and access.”
It’s revealing that so many of these companies refused to play along, and the activist intent of these journalists gets exposed. What reporters have become accustomed to is companies taking a stand on these social topics, thus allowing them to then report freely on the issues they favor, maintaining that facade of objectivity as a business acts as their avatar. We are not pushing this agenda, is the delivered subtext, we are simply reporting on what companies are saying in public.
But as corporations have eventually come to a reckoning – that issuing a position on controversial topics means they alienate a core of their customer base – more are choosing to abstain from commenting. This eliminates the PR dodge for the journalists, so they turn to an activist role to coerce the needed corporate messaging.
This week brought more examples, on more of a local level. New York Times sports writer Billy Witz wanted the NCAA to take action on behalf of his position on abortion. The College Softball World Series is held every year in Oklahoma City, a state with restrictive abortion laws. With Roe looming, Witz hoped to see pressure from the governing body. To get the NCAA to apply force and threaten to pull the annual event, he offers up a deeply slanted piece.
Oklahoma’s Abortion Law Raises Questions About N.C.A.A.’s Softball World Series goes the headline, but it is rather apparent that the only one raising these questions is Witz himself. He lays out his plan to exert financial pressure on the accursed state.
Moving the softball championships would be painful. The stakes over a softball showdown would be significant, both for Oklahoma City, which estimates that the Division I tournament pumps more than $20 million into the city’s economy, and for the N.C.A.A.
However, as he asks numerous people to weigh in on what is clearly his proposal, Witz had few takers. The NCAA would give no comment. He asked all eight head coaches at the finals, and the only one to respond stated she was not equipped to answer him. At a press conference, the abortion question was asked of one player, and the coach shut down the attempt, explaining they were there to discuss the sport.
Next, in Pennsylvania, the Washington Post has its food critic Tim Carman work on behalf of the Democrats. Tim saw a need to enter the political fray – over bread. It was learned the namesake of the Martin’s Potato Bread company, James Martin, did something unacceptable. The man gave a personal political donation to the campaign of the gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. This was considered cause enough to rally restaurants to rise up and suspend business with the bread maker.
Carman suggests we now see Martin’s Bread will face a boycott over this – with all of two businesses that will stop buying from the company. Yet when contacted, one of those would not confirm they were stopping the purchases. Another food critic said area businesses were also seeking alternatives – in San Francisco, for some reason
In the now-expected form, Carman attempted to get other businesses to join in on his supposed boycott. He had no takers. “The Post tried reaching several chefs, pit masters and publicists for chains that, according to Martin’s site, buy from the wholesaler.” All were reluctant to talk about it.
The most blatant example of his wrong-headed attempt comes from the Democratic nominee in the election. Attorney General Josh Shapiro is opposing Mastriano, and he takes a sober position on the matter.
“Personally, I think Martin’s makes a damn good potato roll and I’m not for boycotting a Pennsylvania business that supports hundreds of Pennsylvania jobs,” Shapiro said in a statement to The Post. “The Martin family runs a private company and has the right to support and employ whomever they want.”
So, here is the political opponent stating how it is wrong to target a business and people like this over political issues. There may be no better example of the kind of imbalanced thinking on display in our media these days. As they engage in partisan and personal hits, attempting to force companies into the culture wars, they do so at an extreme beyond that seen in the mudslinging of campaigns.
Companies have been gradually coming to the realization that taking these kinds of positions is bad for business. The exception – those companies that own and operate these news outlets.