BQI Editor’s Note:
The following article was published in May 2010. In the article we attempted to bring attention to how the liberal mainstream media was actively aiding in the destruction of our great Republic. Now, well over a year later, we see perhaps the final touches by the MSM towards this destruction as they completely ignore the real stories behind the Occupy Wall Street movement and the continued upheaval in the Middle East. While all of the MSM share in this destruction one outlet in particular, MSNBC and one commentator in particular, Joe Scarborough, should be viewed by history as perhaps the greatest perpetrators - MSNBC for providing the platform for subversive and misleading reporting and Joe for using his supposed conservative label to add credibility to the constant bashing of conservatism and uplifting of liberalism and progressivism.
The United States Constitution – Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The concept of the media or press as a fourth branch stems from a belief that the news media’s responsibility to inform the populace is essential to the healthy functioning of the democracy.(Wikipedia)
One of our country’s greatest leaders, Thomas Jefferson, had a clear vision for the role of media in America. An ardent believer in the First Amendment, Jefferson understood that for the great experiment, America, to work, it was imperative that citizens be informed. Since this would be a country “… of the people by the people and for the people”, Jefferson supported a free press and looked to this press as a critical factor in keeping the people informed. By keeping the people informed, citizens would be able to make informed judgments about the country’s direction and leadership.
The importance of the media’s role can be best seen in countries with oppressed societies. China, Cuba, North Korea and other oppressive governments control the people by controlling the flow and content of information that is communicated to the people. As a strategic practice, governments that desire to control the people always, in every instance, institute controls over information which means control over the media. Even during armed conflicts, governments control information for propaganda purposes in order to excite, pacify or re-educate the people. In all of these instances the media is overtaken by the government and their role is typically re-defined by the government for purposes of fulfilling the government’s goals and objectives. What happens, then, in a free society when the media voluntarily surrenders their role to government for purposes of the government carrying out its objectives? I believe, with one exception, the media in the U.S. has voluntarily surrendered or at least compromised its role as the “fourth branch” of government.
THOMAS JEFFERSON KNEW BEST
Thomas Jefferson understood the importance of the media or press to our Republic. What Jefferson said is timeless:
“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491
“The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384
“Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.
“No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804. ME 11:33
These are just a few of the writings by Jefferson where he shared his beliefs, concerns and fears regarding freedom of the press. Critical to a free press is the ability to seek truth and once found, communicate it in an honest and unrestricted manner. The search for truth must be from a position not driven by any preconceived notions or the bias ideology of the writer. Rather, the truth seeker must possess an unfettered belief and understanding that high morale values and virtues must be their guide along with a clear understanding of the consequences of their failure to be led by this standard. It can be said, as Jefferson stated, that the literal existence or success of our Republic rests on the truth sought, and without bias, communicated by the free press to the people.
Today, a great deal of our press has surrendered their quest for truth. Instead, they have elected to promote and further their own biases and or those of the government. This is the very act that Jefferson feared and while some might argue that the current state of the press in America is really not markedly different now from what it has always been, I believe that the current media, especially the so called “main stream media,” has in fact surrendered its role and has shockingly failed in its duty to seek and provide truth to the American public. But for the Fox News organization, talk radio and the Internet, America could be at the precipice of a detrimental fundamental change in our society, caused by the Obama administration and the public would be totally clueless of this fact. Instead, because of these media outlets, America has remained informed and is fighting back through the ascendancy of the new conservatism.
What are some of the examples of the media’s malfeasance? There are many, however, I will only point out a couple. During the last presidential campaign much was made, by the mainstream media, of the damage done to America by the Bush administration. After eight (8) years of constant haranguing and vicious attacks, the American public was primed for change. Enter Barack Obama. After what many considered a Dr. Martin Luther King like speech at the prior Democrat National Convention, it seemed the public was ready for what appeared to be an articulate, thoughtful, brilliant politician who would govern as a centrist and who would heal all wounds within the U.S. as well as bridge relations between allies and foes of this country.
Literally from the onset of Obama’s announcement of his intention to run for the presidency, the mainstream media, in unison, launched their blitz of supporting Obama in his quest to become President of the United States. Certainly, the media had displayed their bias towards candidates in the past but no one had ever seen the unbridled pandering, fawning and admiration for a candidate as what was shown toward candidate Obama. Even previous media darlings like Bill and Hillary Clinton felt the media’s protective sting whenever it appeared that Hillary’s campaign might be gaining traction on Obama.
In previous presidential campaigns this outward pathetic demonstration by the mainstream media might have been seen as just a passing thought and dismissed as business as usual. However, for this election, the 2008 election, too much was at stake. Our nation had been at the precipice of financial destruction; our enemies, including Iran and North Korea were rapidly nuclearizing their military; Jihadist terrorist were still planning attacks on our cities; we were involved in two (2) wars overseas and there was significant social divisions within the country. For all of these reasons and more, I believed that America needed a president with a proven record of getting things done. I did not believe that we could afford to “hire” a leader with absolutely no experience and who literally had accomplished nothing in his life other than rising to the rank of President of the Harvard Law Review, which from an academic point of view, was an achievement. I could not understand how so many Americans, egged on by the liberal media, were willing to thrust our national security and welfare in the hands of an unknown, unproven academician like Obama. Moreover, I had done research on Obama and therefore had greater fears of his election and what he might do as president.
Because there was so much at stake in America it was critically important for the media to vet Obama to determine who he was and how he might perform as president. This became even more of an issue during the campaign when a couple of issues surfaced regarding Obama’s past and his views on governance. For example, Reverend Wright and his relationship with Obama should have been explored. Had this been done then the public would have had a better understanding of what ‘black liberation theology” was all about. Had they investigated Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn then they could have at least raised the issue of whether Obama had radical views. The media could have researched the writings of Saul Alinsky and asked questions of Obama about his teaching Alinsky theories at the University of Chicago. The media could have asked Obama what impact Frank Marshall Davis, a devout communist and mentor for Obama during his formative years, had on his world outlook and his perspective on social issues. The media could have asked Obama if he had any affinity towards communism, Marxism or any other “ism” as a result of his studies at Columbia University. And there was more of this type of information out there and available to the media had they any interest in doing their job of providing truth to the public. Was there any common theme running here regarding Obama’s past?
It appears to me that had the media performed its “constitutional “duty it is reasonable to assume that more people could have seen a common theme running in Obama’s past. This theme likely would have had the public ask more questions about Obama. Even without more information the information just discussed could have raised serious concerns about Obama that likely would have caused more Americans not to vote for him. The fact that this was not done, the fact that no real vetting was done on Obama, enabled Obama to mislead Americans about his true intentions and what he really meant by his campaign statement “…we are five (5) days away from fundamentally transforming America.” Yes, the country was mesmerized and longed for change in America but it is extremely doubtful that people wanted the type of change that we are now seeing taking place.
Other examples of unfair or misleading coverage by the mainstream media:
- Relentless negative coverage of Sarah Palin
- The shameful promotion of all issues Obama including health care, stimulus bill, bail outs and now cap and trade.
- Failure to report on the real questions regarding research data on cap and trade. The fact that it has been shown that there was significant fabrication of scientific data used in support of global warming theories.
- The many instances of potential conflicts, abuses and waste associated with efforts to push cap and trade. (See, Glen Beck’s Crime Inc.)
Consequences of the Media’s Failure to Seek Truth and Report It
The consequences of the mainstream media not doing their job are many and significant. Since failing to do their job we have elected the most radical president in the nation’s history. This has allowed government officials, including President Obama, to place other radicals throughout our government including policy making positions that can create or cause long term structural problems for the government and the nation generally.
We have seen the quadrupling of the nation’s debt in one year which has resulted in the threatened downgrading of our credit rating for the first time in our history. We have seen a significant rise in the division of classes, between the poor, rich and middle class that has resulted in a level of envy, distrust and frustration unanticipated by Americans when we elected Obama. We have seen a government take over of industries unlike anything that has occurred in the past. This includes the automotive industry, banks, education, and health care and now we see efforts directed towards energy. We have seen the demonetization of groups and organizations to further divide Americans in order for the administration to further its goals. Tea Party participants are called radicals, racists, astro turf and bigots simply for demanding that our government operate within the confines of the Constitution. We have seen our president bow and extend a hand of friendship to dictators and enemies of America while shunning and brow beating our allies and friends. We have seen the greatest number of radicals, communist and Marxist placed in high government positions and who now advocate policies and programs that will fit the framework of transforming America into a European styled socialist democracy. By refusing to ask “why” the liberal media is helping to destroy America as we know and love it. They have elected to join with this arrogant administration to dismiss and dismantle an enormously successful, over 200 year-old experiment that created the greatest nation ever and replace it with what they perceive to be a better governing system.
But all is not lost. Because of Obama’s election we now see on full display far left liberalism and progressivism, who they are and how damaging their policies and programs are to the republic. We have seen the ascendency of conservatism through the Tea Party participants and other conservatives who have become politically active and no longer will sit quietly as Washington runs rampant. We have seen that America remains a center right country despite the efforts of the mainstream media and others to say otherwise.
The United States will hold new elections in November 2010. It is not too late for America to undo all of the damage that has been brought about by the Obama Administration. In order to make corrections, however, Americans must get informed with truth. I hope that the mainstream media will correct the course that they have been on and that they begin to truly inform the public. Too much is at stake. If they fail to make this correction, I encourage my fellow citizens to abandon the mainstream media and look to media outlets that will deliver truth.
I would like to express my appreciation to all of the conservative stalwarts in the media who have brought us “truth”, truth that enabled the formation of the Tea Party, the conservative ascendancy and a general taking back of our country. These stalwarts include Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter and Laura Ingraham and many others that could be named.