By Victor Davis Hanson
The current “media”—loosely defined as the old major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, the network news channels, MSNBC and CNN, PBS and NPR, the online news aggregators like Google, Apple, and Yahoo, and the social media giants like the old Twitter and Facebook—are corrupt.
They have adopted in their news coverage a utilitarian view that noble progressive ends justify almost any unethical means to obtain them. The media is unapologetically fused with the Democratic Party, the bicoastal liberal elite, and the progressive agenda.
The result is that the public cannot trust that the news it hears or reads is either accurate or true. The news as presented by these outlets has been carefully filtered to suppress narratives deemed inconvenient or antithetical to the political objectives of these entities, while inflating themes deemed useful.
This bias now accompanies increasing (and increasingly obvious) journalistic incompetence. Lax standards reflect weaponized journalism schools and woke ideology that short prior basic requisites of writing and ethical protocols of quoting and sourcing. In sum, a corrupt media that is ignorant, arrogant, and ideological explains why few now trust what it delivers.
Once a story is deemed antithetical to left-wing agendas, there arises a collective effort to smother it. Suppression is achieved both by neglect, and by demonizing others who report an inconvenient truth as racists, conspiracist “right-wingers,” and otherwise irredeemable.
The Hunter Biden laptop story is the locus classicus. Social media branded the authentic laptop as Russian disinformation. That was a lie. But the deception did not stop them from censoring and squashing those who reported the truth.
Instead of carefully examining the contents of the laptop or interrogating Biden-company players such as Tony Bobulinksi, the media hyped the ridiculous disinformation hoax as a mechanism for suppressing the damaging pre-election story altogether.
Joe Biden’s cognitive state was another suppression story. The media simply stifled the truth that 2020 candidate Biden was unable to conduct a normal campaign due to his frailty and non-compos-mentis status. Few fully reported his often cruel and racist outbursts of the “lying-dog-faced-pony-soldier” and “you ain’t black”/“terrorist” sort.
The #MeToo media predictably quashed the Tara Reade disclosure. In fact, journalists turned on her in the manner that they previously had insisted was sexist and defamatory “blame-the-victim” smearing.
Joe Biden has long suffered from a sick tic of creepily intruding into the private space of young women and preteen girls: blowing their hair, talking into their ears, squeezing their necks, hugging in full body embraces—all for far too long. In other words, Biden should have expected the Charlie Rose or the Donald Trump Access Hollywood media treatment. Instead, he was de facto exonerated by collective media silence. To this day, despite staffers’ efforts to corral his wandering hands and head, he occasionally reverts to form with his creepy fixations with younger women.
Ask the media today which administration surveilled journalists and they will likely cry “Trump!” Yet their own sensationalist reporting that the IRS was weaponized by Trump was proven a lie when the inspector general notedTrump never went after either James Comey or Andrew McCabe. And it was an untruth comparable to the smear that “nuclear secrets” and “nuclear codes” were hidden away at Mar-a-Lago or that Donald Trump sought to profit from the trove. Nor does anyone remember that Barack Obama went after the Associated Press reporters and Fox News Channel’s James Rosen. Nor do they care that Biden sought to birth an Orwellian Ministry of Truth censorship bureau.
The media does not just suppress, but concocts. The entire Russian-collusion hoax—Robert Mueller’s vain 22-month and $40 million investigation—was a complete waste of time on the one hand, but on the other an effective effort to destroy the effectiveness of an elected president.
How many print and television celebrity journalists declared that Trump would shortly resign, be jailed, or impeached over the pee-pee tape or Christopher Steele’s other mishmash of lies? The problem for the media in promoting the fallacious dossier was not just that it was untrue, but that it was so awfully written, so obviously poorly sourced, and so Drudge Report-like amateurishly sensational that it could not be appear factual to any sane person—other than an agenda-driven and addled journalist who found it useful.
Do we remember the Hillary Clinton-approved Alfa Bank/Trump Tower fable that is now resurfacing for a second try?
Or the Jussie Smollett caper that trumped even the Brett Kavanaugh-as-teenage-assaulter and rapist lie? Or the Covington kids fabrications that trumped the Duke lacrosse hoax that trumped the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” myth that trumped the “white Hispanic,” doctored photo/edited 911 call smear about George Zimmerman?
Recall Trump’s supposed “immigration jails” and “kids in cages” at the border—in truth both not cages and in fact birthed by Obama.
Then there was Trump’s supposedly impeachable offense of purportedly canceling military aid to Ukraine so that he could allegedly hound the innocent Biden family—rather than delaying, but not canceling, offensive arms vetoed by the Obama Administration for the prescient worry that the Biden family had left a trail of corruption in Ukraine.
Who ran with the “voter suppression” untruth that Stacey Abrams was the “real” governor of Georgia or the yarn that Donald Trump was illegitimately elected? How exactly did Jeffery Epstein and Harvey Weinstein operate as sexual perverts and high-profile, liberal-benefacting deviants for years without media scrutiny? Who created the cable news myth of now-felon Michael Avenatti as presidential timber?
Why, after the midterms, did we suddenly learn that Donald Trump did not, as in the case of Barack Obama’s Lois Lerner skullduggery, manipulate the IRS for political purposes to go after James Comey and Andrew McCabe? Why suddenly post-election did we read that his presidential papers at Mar-a-Lago really did not contain “nuclear codes” and “nuclear secrets” or stuff intended for sale? Why did we learn after November 8 that a special counsel was suddenly appointed? Why did we discover the Ponzi scheme of Sam Bankman-Fried only after the midterms and why is he treated as an aw-shucks teen in bum drag rather than a calculating and conniving crook?
The answer is the same as why, just days before the 2016 election, we were assured suddenly by the media that the DNC’s planted stories about Christopher Steele’s dossier “proved” that Trump was a Russian stooge.
When did the media finally dribble out that Obama’s memoir Dreams From My Father was chock full of lies and thus was intended all along to be read as “impressionistic” rather than factual?
We only learned belatedly that Hillary Clinton did not brave the front lines in virtual combat in Bosnia. We were assured that she was completely out of the loop on the Uranium One deal and thus knew nothing about the cash that poured into the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton’s honoraria from Russian sources?
Did the media ever fully report that Hillary Clinton: 1) broke the law by using a personal server to communicate while Secretary of State; 2) lied about the missing emails by claiming they were all personal about “yoga” and “weddings” and such; 3) destroyed subpoenaed evidence by smashing her devices; 4) had her husband accidently bump into Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a Phoenix tarmac who was supposedly investigating Clinton at the time; and 5) became our first major election denialist by declaring “Russian collusion” to be true, Donald Trump to be illegitimately elected, and the 2016 balloting to be “rigged”?
Our once lions of network news were long ago revealed to have feet of clay. Dan Rather insisted that “fake but true” memos “proved” George W. Bush got special exemptions from military service. Brian Williams fabricated an entire Walter-Mitty fantasy existence with ease. The Wiki Leaks Podesta trove revealed blue-chip reporters checking in with the Clinton campaign and the DNC to “fact check” and brainstorm their pre-publication puff pieces.
Throughout the Obama years, Ben Rhodes, the failed novelist and deputy national security advisor distorted U.S. foreign policy, as CBS News, overseen by his brother, warped its coverage of him.
Do we remember the commentary on MSNBC of the brilliant Vanderbilt professor and MSNBC “analyst,” presidential historian Jon Meacham? He periodically praised Joe Biden’s eloquence and moving addresses without informing his audience that he contributed to or indeed helped write what he gushed about. No problem. Even after finally being fired, Meacham is still at it, offering his input on Biden’s September 1, Phantom-of-the-Opera “un-American” rant.
As I’ve said all along, whatever the corrupt Democrat party is doing, it wouldn’t be possible without the corrupt liberal media providing them cover. Most of their attacks on the nation wouldn’t even be attempted if exposure was assured and those that went ahead carried out their schemes would be rendered unelectable by honest coverage of their schemes. But, as it is, they can lie, cheat, steal, murder, assault, rape at will without fear of the media shining a light on them. Their only fear is to be deemed a liability by the DNC; then and only then might they suffer losing media protection.