America No Longer Has A Fourth Estate

AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

 

There was a time when members of the press were concerned with ensuring that the American public was informed on the issues that matter. They spoke truth to power and exposed corruption occurring in our governmental institution. 

People in the profession were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Bias still seeped into their reportage. But they had not yet descended into the depths of political hackery that we have seen over the past four years. 

Now, establishment media outlets have transformed into something that barely resembles journalism. At this point, it does not make sense to refer to them as news outlets. Instead, these entities are now functioning as full-on leftist activist organizations bent on pushing a political agenda instead of ensuring that American society is informed. 

There are plenty of examples demonstrating the media’s pivot towards news activism, but one of the most glaring is their handling of the Hunter Biden story. When The New York Post reported on his shady business dealings with China in October, activist media organizations like CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and others vacillated between ignoring the scandal altogether or trying desperately to discredit it. 

Their motivations were obvious: They wished to prevent their audiences from taking the story seriously because it could have damaged former Vice President Joe Biden’s chances of winning the presidential election. But now Hunter Biden has publicly announced that his financial dealings are being investigated, it appears they have done an about-face on the story since it seems that Biden will become the next president. 

As my colleague Brad Slager wrote:

“That is most astounding in this development is not simply that they clearly steered away from a story for the sake of ensuring an election result, but the manner in which they did so. This was more than just a coordinated whitewash, although it was most assuredly that; the press has now completely undermined its own practices to such a level that they can be regarded as corrupt. This is not hyperbole. The evidence is blatant, and it is very clearly laid out.”

But it’s not just about the Hunter Biden story, is it? 

We have seen so-called news outlets promote blatant falsehoods about President Trump and the conservative movement time and time again, haven’t we? From the Covington Kids fake news story, to the Charlottesville “fine people” hoax, all the way to the Russia collusion farce, we have seen time and time again that these entities are more than willing to lie if it means promoting a left-wing agenda. 

Some have suggested that these mishaps were simple “mistakes” in reporting. However, anyone with a thumbnail’s worth of common sense knows better. If these were errors, then we could expect to see mistaken reporting that works in Trump’s favor sometimes, wouldn’t we? 

But we don’t, and the reason why is apparent. It can no longer be denied that establishment media companies have ceased being interested in actual journalism. Yes, they still claim to be objective observers intent only on reporting the facts, but their true nature has become entirely evident. 

It used to be hyperbole to imply that the media is the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party. At this point, it is no longer an exaggeration; most establishment media outlets are now left-wing activist groups functioning as the marketing team for the progressive elite, and we should treat them as such. 

Sure, there are still members of the press who care about actual journalism, even if their political beliefs lean to the left. Many of these have been forced out of the companies for which they previously worked and are now doing their reporting from their own platforms. Glen Greenwald, who recently left The Intercept, Matt Taibbi, and others have decried those who are perverting their profession. 

These activist organizations that pretend to be news outlets are becoming more and more dangerous because they still have much of the population fooled. Many believe these companies are giving straight reporting, not propaganda. But there is a silver lining. 

Trust in the media has dropped precipitously over the past four years. While many still believe that the press is still reliable, others, regardless of political affiliation, are seeing these organizations for what they are. According to a recent Gallup Poll

“Four in 10 U.S. adults say they have “a great deal” (9%) or “a fair amount” (31%) of trust and confidence in the media to report the news “fully, accurately, and fairly,” while six in 10 have “not very much” trust (27%) or “none at all” (33%).”

Despite the lack of trust in the establishment media, it is important to remember that these entities are still a pernicious force in American society. They still wield tremendous influence over the populace, and they have shown themselves to be unconcerned with reporting the truth. The only way to combat their efforts is to do two things: Continually expose their malfeasance, and presenting the actual truth that they refuse to entertain. Otherwise, these activist groups will only grow in power. 

 

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