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Mass media malpractice — betraying the First Amendment

By Mark Alexander
web posted April 10, 2017

Our Founders intended the First Amendment's assurance of freedom of speech and of the press to be among the most significant checks on centralized government power. But by the late 20th century, the press had become the primary empowering agent of the central government's exponential (and extra-constitutional) growth.

From day one back in 1996, we've eviscerated the Leftmedia's unrelenting prejudice, and its underlying motivation to dumb-down public opinion in order to advance leftist social, cultural and political agendas.

In recent weeks, I've called out "The Faking News Fakers" and the MSM's continuing efforts to delegitimize Donald Trump's election in order to keep his administration off-balance and derail its agenda. Our team has hammered the MSM for its elitist arrogance.

Thirty years ago, Americans somehow survived with about 23 minutes of national news in the evening and whatever could be gleaned from the newspaper the next morning. Today, however, media outlets left and right inundate the airwaves with hyperventilated ad-revenue-driven media shock banners and alerts, ad nauseam, endeavoring to command the public's attention, to secure market share for their 24-hour news cycle redundancy. And print outlets, believing themselves of a much higher caliber because they must be read rather than watched, are not much better.

These include two of the most widely recognized print brands in the world.

The once-noble Washington Post, left of center but much more reliable than The New York Times (which sold its soul to statist socialism a century ago), completed its own sell-out last year when it became the de facto public relations directorate for Hillary Clinton. Indeed, the WashPo abandoned its esteemed standing as our nation's premier political and policy paper and became nothing more than a pathetic and petulant propaganda sheet for Barack Obama's heir apparent.

In 1891, the Times endeavored to recover from its bankrupt status as a yellow journalism rag, when the paper's management adopted a new slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print." It restored some temporary dignity, but in the century-plus that followed, it has returned to its yellow journalism roots, becoming the nation's leading advocate for statism, dressed up with populist entertainment, literary and arts sections.

As for The Washington Post, it was founded in 1877 and, unlike the Times, had a long record of journalistic integrity until it was purchased by limo liberal Jeff Bezos in 2013. Unlike the Times, the Post had managed to survive all these years without a print motto — until now.

In February, asked why he had purchased the failing paper, Bezos responded, "I think a lot of us believe this, that democracy dies in darkness, that certain institutions have a very important role in making sure that there is light." Apparently, Bezos did not include the Post among those institutions.

Also that month, the WashPo announced it was adopting a new motto: "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Fitting indeed. In 2008, the paper began its slide to the dark side with its adoring coverage of Barack Obama — whose election marked the most dramatic turn toward death and darkness since our nation's founding. Since 2013, the Post has become little more than Jeff Bezos' soapbox. Last year, becoming a stump for Clinton, even that platform crumbled.

To be fair, the rest of the MSM took the same desperate Clinton dive last year.

Evidence of the degraded journalistic standards at the Times and Post was on full display last week, with their blatantly biased covered of two news stories — one involving a high-profile Obama administration official caught in yet another lie, and the other involving a low-profile military contractor.

Obama's former national security advisor, Susan Rice, lead propagator of the Benghazi lie cover-up for Obama just ahead of his 2012 re-election bid, was caught in another lie last week. Turns out she may have been the key player in Obama's use of the FBI and CIA to dig up dirt on the Trump team, both before and after the election last year.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy notes this revelation may be more significant than the Watergate cover-up.

However, the Times belittled the story with this headline: "Trump Tries to Deflect Russia Scrutiny, Citing 'Crooked Scheme' by Obama." The Post declared, "Susan Rice Isn't a 'Smoking Gun.'"

On the other hand, a former Navy SEAL and controversial military contractor, Erik Prince, a relative of a then-Trump nominee, may have had a meeting with a Russian last year.

For the record, the MSM's fascination with Russian meetings is trumped-up nonsense. That notwithstanding, the Times ran this headline: "Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian Intel Operative." The Post went with "Blackwater Founder Held Secret Seychelles Meeting to Establish Trump-Putin Back Channel."

Both papers, and the rest of the Leftmedia, are burying the Rice story under a heap of Prince headlines, and with it, any vestigial pretense of journalistic integrity. Of course, if you are reading this, you are most likely already skeptical of any MSM headlines.

What these once-revered publishing operations lack is the high standard of impartiality our Founder's had hoped would be adopted in defense of Liberty. Instead, most of the print media and other mainstream outlets have become the archenemies of Liberty.

Benjamin Franklin, perhaps our nation's most famous early printer and a sage for all time: "Without Freedom of Thought there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as Public Liberty, without Freedom of Speech. ... If by the liberty of the press were understood merely the liberty of discussing the propriety of public measures and political opinions, let us have as much of it as you please: But if it means the liberty of affronting, calumniating and defaming one another, I, for my part, own myself willing to part with my share of it."

Thomas Jefferson, the inspirational author of our Declaration of Independence: "Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it. ... 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. ... Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light. ... No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will. ... Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe."

James Madison, the visionary author of our Constitution: "The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon ... has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right. ... To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity, over error and opression." ESR

Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.

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