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The Media Strive to Control Us Completely | Chronicles

Posted by M. C. on July 22, 2021

Today the media no longer boasts of being a counterforce to the military and secret service. Instead they are an integral part of the same power structure. There is no distance between these wielders of power; all of them are closely allied to the Democratic Party and woke politics.

By Paul Gottfried

Decades before the electronic media giants rose to their dizzying heights of power and began canceling those whom they decided to bully, a man named Leopold Tyrmand, the future founder of Chronicles magazine, exposed the false self-image of the media as they claimed to defend our freedoms, when they were really aiming for absolute social control. Today, Tyrmand’s remarks in his widely noted American Scholar essay, “The Media Shangri-la: Where Everyone is Free, but some are Freer,” stand out as masterful satirical commentary conveying self-evident criticisms.

Taking his title from the Himalayan utopia depicted in James Hilton’s bestselling novel Lost Horizon, the name for this imaginary place eventually came to denote a secure and serene environment, which, according to Tyrmand, is what the media oligarchs presently enjoy.

Leopold Tyrmand was a renowned satirist, novelist, and outspoken anti-Communist in Poland until he emigrated to the U.S. in 1966. Settling in this country, he continued to write and publish in the Polish language, his works a valued form of underground literature in Communist Poland. “The Media Shangri-la,” in which Tyrmand unloads on the mendacity and hypocrisy of the American media of 1975, shows that he was able to write just as arrestingly in English as in his native tongue.

Although familiar with his subject, Tyrmand’s essay on the media deliberately gives the impression of one who is an outsider looking in on a ridiculous spectacle. It is an enterprise, we are told, in which “disruptive triviality became natural or social process, gawky permissiveness became nonconformity, vulgarity became health, faddishness humanism, exploitative smartness revolutionary change.” He further notes:

With a power to create something out of nothing, the media began, not long ago, to forge their own image—that of a weak, harassed entity whose performance of lawful service to the public is endangered by a brutal, omnipresent government. Exactly the opposite is true.

Tyrmand, who listened to the media attentively after arriving on these shores, was particularly struck by how cavalierly but also self-righteously they stretched the truth. He spoke about the “totalitarian gimmick” seemingly perfected by the Nazis and Communists, but which the American media further developed. These masters of deceit repeated lies with such frequency that the public could no longer tell “the true from the untrue.” Worse, the American media did not simply repeat untruths, but they “produce… endless versions” of their invented narratives, while striking the mock “heroic stance taken by those dedicated to fighting for unpopular causes.”

Although Tyrmand’s censures about the American media—which by now have reproduced themselves in almost every Western country—are as valid today as when he wrote them 45 years ago, certain circumstances have changed, and it would be remiss of me not to mention what they are. The lies that aroused Tyrmand’s concern and anger most intensely were those related to the concerted effort by our journalists and TV commentators to whitewash Communist aggressions and atrocities and blame the U.S. for all clashes with the Soviets, Red Chinese, or their proxies. Far-left journalists like Daniel Schorr and Carl Bernstein, some of whom had intergenerational Communist family associations, were lionized by their colleagues as fearless investigative reporters, and anything embarrassing to the American side during the Vietnam War or helpful to our Communist enemies became a news story in the national press, most conspicuously on CBS and in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Tyrmand’s references to the mock heroics of those who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a classified report on the Vietnam War prepared by the Department of Defense under Secretary Robert McNamara in 1967, show us the mindset of the media even then. Tyrmand notes that while those who leaked classified information expected others to pat them on their backs for being brave, what their experiences really taught was “the more powerful the institution, the more hypocrisy.” Daniel Schorr in a rare moment of candor admitted that an FBI investigation to which he may have been subject made him more “saleable.” In any case, noted Schorr, “I had a big corporation behind me,” namely CBS.

Other priorities of the media elite have changed since Tyrmand penned his memorable essay. Today the media no longer boasts of being a counterforce to the military and secret service. Instead they are an integral part of the same power structure. There is no distance between these wielders of power; all of them are closely allied to the Democratic Party and woke politics.

But even here Tyrmand may not be entirely out of step. He argues again and again in his essay that the media have placed themselves “beyond the practical reach of anyone.” Furthermore, “Deciding who stays on the stage and who leaves, while they keep the stage gives them an air of invincibility that seems unpardonable to all those to whom democracy is instinct, intuition and an elusive promise of something better.” Even if onetime political rivals have become their closest allies, the media, whatever the technical form in which they operate, have not given up their efforts to control us completely.

Paul Gottfried

Paul Gottfried is editor in chief of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He is also the Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years, a Guggenheim recipient, and a Yale Ph.D. He is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents.

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The Real Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Will Defy Covid Mandates And Vaccines –

Posted by M. C. on March 13, 2021

5) In March of 2020, head of the NIAID Dr. Anthony Fauci had this to say about mask wearing when being interviewed on 60 Minutes:

Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks….there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is, and often there are unintended consequences – people keep fiddling with the masks and they’re touching their face.”

6) On Twitter in February of 2020, the US Surgeon General had this to say about mask wearing:

Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

Both the Surgeon General and Fauci later reversed their stance on mask wearing when it no longer suited the control narrative, and are now fervent supporters of enforcing mask mandates. Scientific data continues to show that mask wearing does nothing to stop the spread of Covid.

By Brandon Smith

I suspect a large portion of the public is at least partially aware when they are being pushed or lured into a specific way of thinking. We have certainly had enough experience with institutions trying to manage our thoughts over the years.  Governments and mainstream media outlets in particular have made the manufacture of public consent their top priority. This is what they spend most of their time, money and energy on. All other issues are secondary.

The media does not objectively report facts and evidence, it spins information to plant an engineered narrative in the minds of its viewers. But the public is not as stupid as they seem to think. This is probably why trust in the media has plunged by 46% in the past ten years, hitting an all time low this year of 27%.

Except for pre-election season spikes, mainstream outlets from CNN to Fox to CBS to MSNBC are facing dismal audience numbers, with only around 2 million to 3 million prime time viewers. There are numerous YouTube commentators with bigger audiences than this. And, if you sift through the debris of MSM videos on YouTube, you’ll find low hits and a majority of people that are visiting their channels just to make fun of them.

The MSM is now scrambling to explain their crumbling empire, as well as debating on ways to save it from oblivion. The power of the “Fourth Estate” is a facade, an illusion given form by smoke and mirrors. Bottom line: Nobody (except perhaps extreme leftists) likes the corporate media or activist journalists and propagandists.

One would think that media moguls and journos would have realized this by now. I mean, if they accepted this reality, they would not be struggling so much with the notion that no one is listening to them when it comes to pandemic mandates and the covid vaccines. Yet, journalists complain about it incessantly lately.

In fact, half the media reports I see these days are not fact based analysis of events, but corporate journalists interviewing OTHER corporate journalists and bitching to each other about how Americans are “too ignorant” or “too conspiratorial” to grasp that journos are the anointed high priests of information.

I actually find this situation fascinating as an observer of oligarchy and being well versed in the mechanics of propaganda. The fundamental narrative of control-culture is that there are “experts” that the establishment chooses, and then there is everyone else. The “experts” are supposed to pontificate and dictate while everyone else is supposed to shut up, listen and obey.

Media elitists see themselves in the role of “the experts” and the public as devout acolytes; a faithful flock of sheep. But what happens when everyone starts ignoring the sheep herders?

The other day I came across this revealing interview on CBS news about a poll of Americans showing at least 30% will refuse to take the covid vaccine outright. The interview is, for some reason, with another journalist from The Atlantic with no apparent medical credentials and no insight into the data surrounding covid.

One thing to note right away is that the discussion itself never addresses any actual facts about the virus, the pandemic, the lockdowns, the mandates, or the vaccines. The establishment keeps telling us to “listen to the science”, but then they dismiss the science when it doesn’t agree with their agenda. When is the the mainstream going to finally acknowledge facts like these:

1) According to multiple official studies, including a study from American College of Physicians, the Infection Fatality Ratio (or death rate) of Covid-19 is only 0.26% for anyone outside of a nursing home. This means that 99.7% of people not in nursing homes will survive the virus if they contract it.

2) Nursing home patients account for over 40% of all Covid deaths across the US. These are mostly people who were already sick with multiple preexisting conditions when they contracted covid.

3) The Federal Government’s own hospital data from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that capacity for hospital beds is ample in the US and that this has been the case for the past year. Covid patients at their peak only took up around 13% of inpatient beds nationally. The stories in the media of hospitals at overcapacity due to covid are therefore inaccurate or they are outright lies.

See the rest here

You can contact Brandon Smith at:

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Democrats and Media Abandon Democracy –

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2020

Matthew Brann, a federal district judge appointed by Obama, refused to accept Giuliani’s lawsuit against the Pennsylvania election fraud.  The judge was not content to deny the case a hearing.  He used the occasion for a propaganda attack, demonizing the lawsuit, based on affidavits from witnesses who signed under penalty of perjury, as “speculative accusations unsupported by evidence.”  The judge knows full well that affidavits are always evidence.

Paul Craig Roberts

Michigan State Attorney General Dana Nessel has attributes of a Nazi.  She, like Washington Post columnist Randall D. Eliason, wants to falsely prosecute attorneys who represent those making challenges to the election. She also wants to prosecute election officials who refuse to certify until irregularities are properly dealt with, and she wants to prosecute Pennsylvania Republican state officials who met with Trump at the White House. In other words, Dana Nessel has proved herself unfit for any public office by her effort to weaponize law for her political agenda.

George Washington Law School professor Jonathan Turley discusses Dana Nessel’s attempt to coerce Republicans by threatening them with indictments. 

Matthew Brann, a federal district judge appointed by Obama, refused to accept Giuliani’s lawsuit against the Pennsylvania election fraud.  The judge was not content to deny the case a hearing.  He used the occasion for a propaganda attack, demonizing the lawsuit, based on affidavits from witnesses who signed under penalty of perjury, as “speculative accusations unsupported by evidence.”  The judge knows full well that affidavits are always evidence.  So we now have an Obama federal judge who for political purpose pretends to be thoroughly ignorant of law and not know that affidavits signed under penalty of perjury are always evidence.

 The presstitutes are not interested in Brann’s extraordinary pretense of utter ignorance, which if true would disqualify him as a judge.  Instead they are using his ignorant pronouncement as “proof” that the legal team has no evidence. 

Democrats, who share Dana Nessel’s determination to weaponize law and destroy democracy, are pushing Biden, if he becomes president, to prosecute Trump and his supporters.  Rep. Bill Pascrell, Democrat from New Jersey, declared that “Donald Trump along with his worst enablers must be tried for their crimes against our nation and Constitution.”  If this sounds like a South American banana republic, that is what the Democrats are turning us into. 

Attempting to prosecute Trump, of course, is what the Democrats have been doing for four years with Russiagate and Impeachgate without any evidence.  Clearly, the Democrats envison a one-party state under them in which the abuse of law for political purpose to which they are giving birth cannot, in turn, be used against them.  The Democrats are greasing the skids for America to become the most corrupt country on earth. 

The New York Times has scaled new heights in Reality Denial. 

For several years the World Economic Forum, an elite organization, has been hyping the need for the “Great Reset” —  The Great Reset requires tremendous authoritarian power.  

The elite organization has hosted meetings, the purpose of which is to make the Reset seem inevitable, and has a book published on the Great Reset.  The appearance of Covid was used as added reason for the Reset.  

But no sooner than Klaus Schwab, a leading exponent of the Great Reset, explained it to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs— –than the New York Times denied the very existance of such a thing, calling it a “far-right conspiracy theory” — 

Perhaps the NY Times’ faux journalists—they don’t have any real ones—got confused, thinking that the word was getting out on an elite plot and moved to squash knowledge of the plot, not realizing that the WEF is hyping the Reset as part of the sell.  

Alternatively, we can conclude that the NY Times’ journalists and editors are so ignorant that they are unaware of the WEF’s big agenda item.  These are the same journalists and editors who are telling us that there is no evidence of election fraud and that America was racist at birth.

Americans are faced with a so-called Democrat political party that has abandoned America’s democratic ways. Democrats have made a power grab for ideological purposes that are hostile to principles such as election integrity which is essential for democracy.  Americans are also faced with the absence of a media that serves as watchdog and reports objectively.  Without objective reporting, Americans are denied the information that democracy requires to function. Instead, the media controls explanations for the Democrats that support the Democrats’ power grab.  The picture is clear that both Democrats and media have abandoned democracy because democracy is a check on their agenda. They value their agenda more than they value democracy, and they are going to force their agenda down our throats whether we want it or not.

According to polls, a majority of Americans believe the November 3 election was stolen by the Democrats— 

If the Democrats succeed with their theft, whatever is left of public confidence in American institutions will evaporate.  After Clinton’s lies, 9/11, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assayd’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, Russian invasions, Russiagate, Impeachgate, Covid, and now a stolen presidential election, confidence in government must be close to nonexistent.  When there is no confidence raw power takes over.  If Democrats get away with their theft of the election, we will have crossed the Rubicon.  

Some say there has always been voter fraud in American elections and ask what is new this time. What is new this time is election fraud on a national level with the appearance of a plot to create a one-party state.  What is new this time is the entirety of the media in support of the party that committed the election fraud.  What is new this time is the calls for prosecution of members of the defrauded party.  What we are witnessing is not only the suppression of evidence but also the prosecution of those who present it.

Despite the evidence of election fraud, the Democrats have a good chance to succeed with their theft.  First of all, we all know that the media will not present the case against the Democrats.  The media will continue to deny that hundreds of affidavits are evidence.  Most Americans will never hear the story of the extraordinary audacity that stole a presidential election.

Second, Trump is a populist, and few populists in America have ever succeeded at the national level.  Populists are in the way of the elite who have more money and more influence.  From the media’s perspective, Trump’s majority are “deplorables”–racists and misogynists who must be overthrown.  The fact that Trump is a Republican does not mean that he has the support of the Republican Party.  Republicans have just as many feet in the establishment as Democrats have.  To the establishment Trump is an outsider and, thereby, a potential threat to their interest, just as his intention to normalize relations with Russia was seen by the military/security complex as a threat to their budget and power.

The absence of any Republican Party support for Trump is obvious in the failure of the Barr Justice Department to bring (1) any indictments against the government officials who orchestrated the Russiagate hoax and committed federal felonies, (2) any indictments against Biden and his son for the corruption evidenced in Hunter Biden’s laptop in the hands of the FBI, and (3) the lack of any Justice Department interest in obvious election fraud backed up by hundreds of affidavits.

The Republican Establishment has hung Trump out to dry and is urging him to concede.

A minority of Republican voters themselves, although they regard the election as stolen, nevertheless believe that Trump should concede and thereby preserve the undeserved reputation of “American Democracy.”  These feeble-minded people think that it is not democracy itself that is at risk, but America’s reputation.

Over the course of my life I have watched the politicization of the federal judiciary.  Judges are no longer appointed because they are competent to interpret law according to the intent of Congress and the Constitution. They are appointed according to whether they do or do not support abortion, racial and gender quotas, homosexual marriage, open borders, amnesty for immigrant-invaders, the globalist agenda, and so forth.  The American judiciary is chosen according to which party’s agendas are ascendant.  This is the way countries are destroyed.

Consider:  if federal district judge Matthew Braun truly believed that Trump’s legal team’s Pennsylvania lawsuit is invalid, the partisan judge would accept the case and let its falsity be proven in court. What better way to dispose of the charge?  That he closed the court to the case despite majority opinion of the public that the election was stolen is proof that he knows the lawsuit is grounded in evidence.  So he suppresses the case instead of trying it.

When it is not only the Democrat Party and media who don’t respect evidence but also federal courts, the basis for evidence -based law no longer exists. Instead, law is based on power.  Who has power has the law.

The country that the Democrats and media are birthing will not know justice.

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Americans Didn’t Vote Against Trump, They Voted Against More Media Psychological Abuse – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on November 12, 2020

Instead, they were psychologically terrorized. Made frightened, sick and traumatized by mass media pundits who only care about ratings and clicks, as was made clear when CBS chief Les Moonves famously said that Trump is bad for America but great for CBS.

author: Caitlin Johnstone

The word “coup” is being thrown about in American liberal media today, not because US liberals suddenly became uncomfortable with the fact that their nation constantly stages coups and topples governments around the world as a matter of routine policy, but because they are all talking about (you guessed it) Donald Trump.

To be clear, none of the high-powered influencers who have been promoting the use of this word actually believe there is any possibility that Donald Trump will somehow remain in office after January of next year when he loses his legal appeals against the official results of the election, which would be the thing that a coup is. There is no means or institutional support through which the sitting president could accomplish such a thing. This is not a coup, it’s a glorified temper tantrum. Trump will leave office at the appointed time.

The establishment narrative managers are not terrifying their audiences with this word because they believe there is any danger of a coup actually happening. They are doing it because it’s their last chance to use Trump to psychologically abuse their audiences for clicks.

The analytical mistake coup-panic Twitter makes is focusing on Trump’s motives and desires–he wants a coup! he’s trying for a coup!– which are irrelevant.

All that’s relevant are his capabilities. Can he change reverse the election and stay in office? The answer is no.

— Alice 🍃🐿️ 🪓🌹 (@AliceFromQueens) November 11, 2020

Last year the Pacific Standard published a report on “Trump Anxiety Disorder” or “Trump Hypersensitive Unexplained Disorder,” which it describes as follows:

As the possibility of a Hillary Clinton victory began to slip away—and the possibility of a Donald Trump presidency became more and more certain—the contours of the new age of American anxiety began to take shape. In a 2017 column, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank described this phenomenon as “Trump Hypertensive Unexplained Disorder”: Overeating. Headaches. Fainting. Irregular heartbeat. Chronic neck pain. Depression. Irritable bowel syndrome. Tightness in the chest. Shortness of breath. Teeth grinding. Stomach ulcer. Indigestion. Shingles. Eye twitching. Nausea. Irritability. High blood sugar. Tinnitus. Reduced immunity. Racing pulse. Shaking limbs. Hair loss. Acid reflux. Deteriorating vision. Stroke. Heart attack. It was a veritable organ recital.

Two years later, the physiological effects of the Trump administration aren’t going away. A growing body of research has tracked the detrimental impacts of Trump-related stress on broad segments of the American population, from young adults to women, to racial and LGBT communities.

The results aren’t good.

“Trump Anxiety Disorder” has continued to feature in mass media stories to this day, right up until shortly before the election. The narrative has been that Trump is so horrible that he is somehow causing liberals to have psychological breakdowns with his awfulness.

What gets overlooked in these analyses, as is so often the case with human perception in general, is the means by which people are taking in the information that is making them so anxious–in this case the news media.

It is not Trump himself who’s been making people feel terrified of a tyrannical Russian agent ending democracy in America and ruling with an iron fist, it is years of shrieking, hysterical coverage about Trump from the mass media.

Without all the deranged and persistent fearmongering, driven by a disdain for Trump’s unrefined narrative management style and an insatiable hunger for ratings and clicks, it would never have occurred to Americans that they should be more terrified of this president than of any other shitty Reaganite Republican. The Russian collusion narrative which dominated most of Trump’s presidency turned out to be essentially nothing. The concentration camps, millions of deportations and armed militias driving non-whites out of the country that we were promised never came; he never even came anywhere close to Obama’s deportation numbers and his support from minorities actually went up. He hasn’t been any more warlike than his predecessors overall, and by some measures arguably less so. Most Americans actually reported that their lives had improved over Trump’s term before the pandemic hit.

If people had just been given raw information about Trump’s presidency, they would have seen a lot of bad things, but things that are bad in the same way all the horrible aspects of the most destructive government on earth are bad. They wouldn’t have known to be horrified and anxious and have headaches and irritable bowel syndrome. They would have handled themselves in about the same way they always handled themselves during the administration of a president they didn’t like.

Instead, they were psychologically terrorized. Made frightened, sick and traumatized by mass media pundits who only care about ratings and clicks, as was made clear when CBS chief Les Moonves famously said that Trump is bad for America but great for CBS. Dragged through years of Russia hysteria and Trump hysteria with any excuse to spin Trump’s presidency as a remarkable departure from norms, when in reality it was anything but. It was a fairly conventional Republican presidency.

The MSM is brutalizing the American psyche day in and day out with its relentless shrieking coverage of Trump, and it’s killing them. Republicans call it “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, Dems call it “Trump Anxiety Disorder”, but it’s not. It’s psychological abuse via mass media.

— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) January 15, 2019

In reality, though most of them probably did not realize it, this is what Americans were actually voting against when they turned out in record numbers to cast their votes. Not against Trump, but against this continued psychological abuse they’ve been suffering both directly and indirectly from the mass media. Against being bashed in the face by shrieking, hysterical bullshit that hurts their bodies and makes them feel crazy, and against the unpleasantness of having to interact with stressed-out compatriots who haven’t been putting up well with the abuse.

It wasn’t a “Get him out” vote, it was a “Make it stop” vote.

Meanwhile, another pernicious effect of making Trump seem uniquely horrible has been retroactively making his predecessors seem nice by comparison, which is why George W Bush now enjoys majority support among Democrats after years of unpopularity. Their depravity is hidden behind a media-generated wall labeled “NOT TRUMP”. And when Biden steps into office, his depravity will be hidden from view in the same way, neutering all mainstream opposition to his most deadly and dangerous actions.


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How Decades of Media and Faculty Bias Have Pushed America to the Left | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 24, 2020

A third example comes from the editors at Merriam-Webster(continually updated online). After US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett used the phrase “sexual preference,” she was denounced for using “offensive” language by US senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. This was confusing to many observers, since the term has long been used as a nonpejorative term and has even been used in recent years by both Joe Biden and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ryan McMaken

It’s been clear for decades that national news organizations such as CNN and the New York Times tend to be biased in favor of social democracy (i.e., “progressivism”) and what we would generally call a “left-wing” ideology. Journalists, for instance, identify as Democrats in far higher numbers than any other partisan group. And political donations by members of the media overwhelmingly go to Democratic candidates.

This is why even as far back as the 1940s, libertarian and conservative groups felt the need to found their own news sources, publishing houses, and other outlets for the distribution of information.

Similarly, in recent decades, higher education faculty have been shown to be overwhelmingly in favor of the Democratic Party, both in affiliation and in donations. In addition to providing instruction at colleges and universities, these people are the ones who write textbooks, history books, and the scholarly publications that influence other faculty members, secondary school teachers, and current students.

It would be shocking if the net effect of this clear bias were not to push the public—at least those members of the public who view news media broadcasts, read textbooks, and attend college classes—in the direction of the ideology favored by the journalists and professors.

But the means for manufacturing an ideological bias don’t end there. In recent years we have increasingly been seeing other institutions—outside newsrooms and universities—that are taking an active role in shaping the public’s ideology. These include social media firms, and even online sources of information once considered relatively outside the reach of political controversies.

This is what is to be expected when a single ideological group controls educational institutions and major media outlets over a period of several decades. Under these conditions—and unless other institutions provide an effective alternative—the ideology that is dominant within schools and newsrooms will spread to become the ideology of the larger general public. Thus, we should expect to see more and more doctrinaire ideological activism in the larger society, in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Controlling the Message outside the Media and Academia

We’ve seen a few examples of this over the past week. The first example is Twitter’s concerted and admitted effort to hide the NY Post’s exposé on potentially damaging emails from Joe Biden’s son. Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, first claimed that the company’s efforts to prevent Twitter users from sharing the story were a “mistake” and offered some rather implausible explanations. After the Post and a variety of right-leaning groups expressed outrage over the affair, the company backed down. This is just the latest of many cases of media companies making efforts to edit, curate, and control the information being communicated on their websites.

Another example comes from Wikipedia, where—in spite of the apparent veracity of the Post’s story on Hunter Biden—the claims against Hunter Biden are casually dismissed as “debunked.” No evidence has been presented to support this claim, and the Biden campaign has not denied the claims made in the Post’s story.

A third example comes from the editors at Merriam-Webster(continually updated online). After US Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett used the phrase “sexual preference,” she was denounced for using “offensive” language by US senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. This was confusing to many observers, since the term has long been used as a nonpejorative term and has even been used in recent years by both Joe Biden and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

However, by a startling “coincidence,” editors at Merriam-Webster apparently modified the definition of the phrase “sexual preference,” adding the word “offensive” in reference to use of the term following the spat between Barrett and Hirono. Use of the Wayback Machine shows that two weeks earlier the word “offensive” had not been included in the definition.

These examples likely illustrate a growing role for left-wing ideologues outside official news media in shaping and manipulating public opinion for purposes of promoting one political faction over another.

These examples are certainly not the only evidence that companies that deal in internet-delivered data have very clear political preferences. Studies have shown that political donations coming out of Silicon Valley overwhelmingly favor Democrats. At Twitter, from the company’s founding to 2012, 100 percent of political donations made by company employees were to Democrats. In 2016, 90 percent of political donations coming out of Google went to Democrats.

The Natural Outcome of Years of Educational Bias

None of this should surprise us. For decades, the public’s predominant source of information about the nation’s history and political institutions has been the establishment “mainstream” media, public schools, and America’s higher education system.

This has a sizable effect on the public’s views and ideology. Staffers at tech companies, dictionary editors, and managers at Google are all part of this public.

Moreover, the sorts of people who work at Silicon Valley companies, and who work as editors and website designers, tend to have degrees obtained from colleges and universities. These are the same colleges and universities that today’s journalists and pundits attended. They’re the same colleges and universities that public school teachers attended, and which today’s attorneys, corporate CEOs, and high-level managers attended.

Moreover, over time, the share of the public attending these colleges and universities has grown. Fifty years ago, only around 10 percent of Americans completed college. Today, the total is around one-third.

Also not surprising: more schooling apparently tends to translate into more left-wing political views. Data from a wide variety of sources has shown that Americans with more schooling tend to self-identify as “liberal” more often. According to the Pew Research Center, from 1994 to 2015, the percentage of college graduates who were “mostly liberal” or “consistently liberal” increased from 25 percent to 44 percent. At the same time, those who were “mostly conservative” or “consistently conservative” remained almost unmoved, from 30 percent to 29 percent. In other words, the number of college graduates with ”mixed” views has shifted overwhelmingly to the left. This trend is even stronger among Americans who have attended graduate school.

This would seem to be only natural. After all, the faculty has shifted to the left in recent decades. In 1990, according to survey data by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at UCLA, 42 percent of professors identified as ”liberal” or ”far-left.” By 2014, that number had jumped to 60 percent. Journalists have moved in the same direction.

So if it seems to you that corporate employees, college grads, and the media-consuming public is moving to the left, you’re probably not imagining things.

Why It’s So Important to Build Institutions That Offer an Alternative

More astute observers of the current scene have long recognized that ”politics is downstream from culture.” In other words, if we want to change politics, we have to change the worldviews of political actors first. For example, if we want a world which reflects a Christian worldview, we need a large portion of the population to actually believe in that worldview. If we want a world where voters and legislators support private property rights, we need a world where a sizable portion of the population was raised and educated to believe private property is a good thing. There are no shortcuts around this.

Unfortunately, the activists who often get the most traction are those who take exactly the opposite position. They offer a ”solution” that involves nothing more than closing the barn door long after the horse has escaped. Yet this position is nonetheless often popular because it offers a quick fix. This position takes this basic form: ”If we can get the right people into political office for the next couple of elections, then everything will be fixed.” Never mind the fact that the ”wrong” people got into office precisely because the voting public had been educated in such a way that they find those politicians’ ideas and positions attractive.

Perhaps the most recent purveyor of this futile and shortsighted view is one-time Trump advisor Steve Bannon. Bannon embraced the idea that ”culture is downstream from politics,” insisting he could deliver a ”permanent majority” in political institutions in opposition to the Left-controlled zeitgeist. All that was necessary, we were told, was to vote for Bannon’s favorite politicians for a few years. Then the public would magically start adopting Bannon’s preferred conservative views. Bannon, however, never offered a strategy any more sophisticated than buying off voters with even bigger welfare programs and crushing government debt. Bannon apparently missed the fact that the votes he needed for this vision had to come from millions of Americans who have already imbibed decades’ worth of major media content and left-wing faculty lectures.

It’s easy to see how Bannon might have thought the message could resonate. After all, we live in a country where millions of self-described ”conservatives” willingly send their children to sixteen years of public schooling and then are mystified when little Johnny comes home and announces he’s a Marxist. Apparently these people are very slow learners.

But Bannon’s more insightful colleague Andrew Breitbart knew better. As noted in a profile of Breitbart for TIME magazine in 2010:

As [Breitbart] sees it, the left exercises its power not via mastery of the issues but through control of the entertainment industry, print and television journalism and government agencies that set social policy. “Politics,” he often says, “is downstream from culture. I want to change the cultural narrative.” Thus the Big sites devote their energy less to trying to influence the legislative process in Washington than to attacking the institutions and people Breitbart believes dictate the American conversation.

Although I often disagreed with Breitbart’s editorial and ideological positions, he was certainly right about how political institutions are changed.

But to accomplish this goal, it is necessary to create organizations and institutions that can offer an alternative to the ”entertainment industry, print and television journalism and government agencies that set social policy.” This requires research, writing, podcasts, and videos. It requires educational institutions (like the Mises Institute’s graduate school) that offer views that go against what is usually taught in universities. It requires revisionist historians and scholars who can write books that counter the views pushed in the endless stream of books and articles churned out by professional academics at state-supported institutions. It requires cultural institutions like churches that provide a compelling intellectual vision that can compete with what’s taught in the colleges.

Until that happens, expect institutions like social media, Wikipedia, the mainstream media, and even corporate America to keep moving left and doing it at an increasingly fast pace. And expect the people who control those institutions to be increasingly hostile to those who disagree with them. Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Media Analysts

Posted by M. C. on October 22, 2020

When I was a teen who knew nothin’ about nothin’ I remember watching the NBC economics editor (NBC’s expert!) talk about the then current situation. Even I could see he wasn’t telling us anything.

The NBC’s economics editor’s inciteful final analysis was “no one really knows what will happen, but it could get worse before it gets better”.

Media analysts have maintained their well deserved stature.

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The Media Is Now Openly Pushing Secession as the Election Nears | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 9, 2020

At this point, there is only one strategy that can prevent a continued slide toward conflict, disunion, and (possibly) violence: decentralization of political power.

Ryan McMaken

It’s becoming increasingly clear to even mainstream media outlets that things are unlikely to return to “normal” after the 2020 election.

No matter who wins, it is likely the losing side will regard the winning side as having obtained its win using dirty tricks, foreign meddling, or through relentless propaganda offered up by a heavily biased and one-sided news media.

And if about half the country regards the winning president as illegitimate, where does one go from there?

The survey data isn’t exactly calming on this issue. As reported by Politico last week, the percentage of Americans who believe it is justified to use violence to “advance political goals” has quadrupled since 2017, for both Republicans and Democrats.

After all, political invective has reached a fever pitch since Hillary Clinton declared that a sizable portion of the United States population constituted a “basket of deplorables.” Perhaps not since the 1870s and 1880s—when Catholics, Southerners, and Irish (all core constituents of the Democratic Party) were denounced by Republicans as spies, traitors, and drunks—has half the country so despised the other half. As early as 2017, when asked of the chances of another civil war in the United States,  about one-third of foreign policy scholars polled said it was likely.

Perhaps, then, it is not shocking that we are now seeing articles even in mainstream publications suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the United States can’t continue in its present form. Moreover, the view is now increasingly being promoted by writers and ideologues outside the usual conservative and libertarian groups that have long advocated in favor of decentralization and local control.

On September 18, for example, Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune asked: “Can the United States survive this election?” For the past century, the answer given by most any mainstream journalist would have been a decisive yes. The usual narrative has long been this: “Of course America will endure for centuries to come! We Americans are masters of compromise. We’ll all soon realize we are all in this together and come together in unity!”

But now Chapman writes:

The concept of splitting off is as American as the Fourth of July. The high point of separation sentiment came after Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860, resulting in the Civil War. But New England states contemplated leaving over the War of 1812….The bonds that hold Americans together have frayed, and what happens on Nov. 3 may do additional damage. No nation lasts forever, and ours won’t be the first. This election won’t be the end of the United States. But it could be the beginning of the end.

Moreover, Chapman notes that while many no doubt will continue to see the United States as strong and likely to endure indefinitely, such assumptions may be unwise given the reality of experience elsewhere:

In 1970, the Russian dissident Andrei Amalrik wrote a book titled, “Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?” At the time, the idea of a giant superpower disintegrating sounded like a fantasy. But it eventually came true. … Countries like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia also have broken apart. Britain is leaving the European Union, and Scotland could push to leave Britain. It would be folly to think the United States is immune to these forces.

Chapman is not alone.

Last month in the Philadelphia Inquirer Chuck Bonfig suspected that maybe the end is near:

The country has gone through many periods of strife in my time here: assassinations, recessions, desegregation, inflation, gas crisis, Watergate, hanging chads, the AIDS crisis, 9/11. Maybe it’s the 24-hour news cycle or the immediacy of social media that makes the landscape seem so bleak, but I don’t recall us ever being so divided.

No one in our country seems happy today. The right is angry. The left is despondent. Our nation reminds me of those married couples who try to stay together for “the children” but end up making everyone around them miserable.

Maybe it’s time for a breakup….Just think about it, America. I know breaking up is hard to do. We used to be good together. But what is the point of having the “greatest country in the world” if none of us actually like it?

The debate over separation and secession has been additionally pushed into the national debate by Richard Kreitner and his book Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union. Kreitner, who writes for the leftist magazine The Nation, suggests that the United States has never been as unified as many suggest and also concludes that secession and division may be a necessary tactic in bringing about the left-wing reforms he’d like to see. In an interview with The Nation, Kreitner discussed how he began to think about secession as a serious solution:

What if the United States broke apart? Would that be such a bad thing? Is it possible that the progressive policies and programs that I wanted to see put into place might be easier to enact in a smaller entity than the United States, with its 330 million people and the need to always convince people with very different attitudes and interests? So with that question, I was curious if anybody else in American history had favored secession for noble or progressive reasons—not to perpetuate slavery but even to oppose it.

The answer, I quickly found, is yes: There were disunion abolitionists who were fiercely against slavery and who wanted the northern states to secede from the union in the 1840s and 1850s as a way not only to protest slavery but to undermine it. Taking in their arguments and their rhetoric was really, really interesting.

Kreitner goes on to note that secession has long been at the forefront of American political ideology. This, of course, goes back to the secession of the American Revolution and can also be found in the secession movement favored by abolitionists and in New England’s efforts to secede during the War of 1812.

Kreitner is right.

Secession has long been entertained by many Americans, and not just defenders of the old Confederacy. In the early days of Southern secession, many Americans—including those who didn’t like the South or slavery—were fine with the Confederacy’s departure. New Yorker George Templeton Strong, for instance, declared in 1861, “the self-amputated members [the Southern states] were diseased beyond immediate cure, and their virus will infect our system no longer.” That same year, other New Yorkers seriously discussed leaving the Union and becoming a city-state devoted to free trade. In 1876, the battle over who won the presidential election very nearly produced a national split, with the pro-Democrat governor of New York “promising state resistance” to the Republican usurpers.

Nor were the nation’s founders necessarily opposed to division. Thomas Jefferson expressed prosecessionist views, even when he was a sitting president. In an 1803 letter to John Breckinridge, Jefferson explained that if the future states of the Louisiana Territory sought to secede that was fine with him:

[If] it should become the great interest of those nations to separate from this, if their happiness should depend on it so strongly as to induce them to go through that convulsion, why should the Atlantic states dread it? But especially why should we, their present inhabitants, take a side in such a question?

And in 1804, Jefferson wrote to Joseph Priestly stating:

Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe it not very important to the happiness of either part.

Only Decentralization Can Save the Union

At this point, there is only one strategy that can prevent a continued slide toward conflict, disunion, and (possibly) violence: decentralization of political power.

Thanks to decades of growing centralization of power in Washington, DC, American policy is increasingly made by the national government and not by state and local authorities. This means American life is more and more governed by one-size-fits-all policies hatched by faraway politicians in DC. Thus, with each passing election, the stakes become higher as gun policy, healthcare, poverty relief, abortion, the drug war, education, and much more will be decided by the party that wins in DC, and not in the state capitol or in the city council. In other words, the laws that govern Arizona will be primarily made by politicians and judges from other places entirely. These faraway politicians will be more concerned with the needs and ideology of a national party, rather than with the specific needs of people who live in Arizona. 

It is only natural that as the national government becomes supercharged in this way many Americans might start considering ways to get beyond the central government’s reach.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The United States could follow another path in which domestic policy is created and enforced in a decentralized manner, in which laws for Texans are made in Texas and laws for Californians are made in California. This, of course, is what Thomas Jefferson imagined when he wrote that the states should be self-governing and unified only on matters of foreign policy:

The true theory of our constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only.

In a decentralized political scheme such as this, the stakes in a national election are much lower. It doesn’t matter as much for Ohioans which party is in power in Washington when relatively few laws affecting Ohioans are made at the federal level. 

To adopt this way of doing things, however, would require a sizable departure from the current ideology that reigns in Washington. On the left especially, it seems few can imagine a world where people in Iowa or Indiana are allowed to run their own schools and healthcare systems without meddling from Washington. While conservatives’ efforts to force marijuana prohibition on states like Colorado show that the Right is not immune from this impulse, it is abundantly clear that the Left is quite enthusiastic about the idea of sending federal enforcers to ensure the states enact abortion on demand, adopt Obamacare, and enforce drug prohibitions as dictated by Washington.

But unless Americans have a change of heart and begin to decentralize the political system, expect a growing unwillingness to accept the outcomes of national elections and growing resistance to the federal government in general. What follows is unlikely to be pleasant. Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Rioting: Everyone Has Lost Their Minds – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 2, 2020

Somehow we’ve come to live in a world in which obvious moral truths are now expressions of right-wing extremism.


From the Tom Woods Letter:

Some libertarians tell me: there’s no such thing as left and right; this is a made-up distinction meant to divide us.

Not so, and I can prove it.

I can tell the difference with one question.

“Are rioting and looting wrong?”

One side will say yes. The other will give you a speech. Works every time.

(Michael Malice has a similarly formulated question, unrelated to riots, which inspired mine.)

Remember how we were supposed to be terrified of three dozen right-wing extremists with no funding and no foothold in media, entertainment, or academia? And the left were just “anti-fascist” activists innocently pursuing justice?

Seems pretty dumb today, doesn’t it?

(It seemed pretty dumb then, too.)

The left — and plenty of libertarians, to their profound shame — can’t seem to decide between two ways they want to spin what is currently happening:

(1) Riots are the language of the unheard, and we should try to understand people participating in them even if we (rather tepidly) disapprove.

(2) It’s outside agitators spurring the riots, so we shouldn’t blame the peaceful protestors.

But if riots are basically understandable, why this rush to assure me that they’re being instigated by outsiders? Didn’t you just tell me this is an understandable if unfortunate display by the unheard? Pick one!

I’ve devoted numerous episodes of the Tom Woods Show to the problems with police, and I’ll be linking them all on one page when tomorrow’s episode (#1664) with Eric July comes out.

The police are a monopoly with all the drawbacks we normally admit are the result of monopolies.

I’ve never understood the conservative devotion to the police. They’re for “limited government” and claim to detest 90+% of what the state commands. But the enforcement arm of the state and its commands? Why, that’s awesome and to be saluted!

And in tomorrow’s episode we’re going to list nine specific things that would make a serious dent in police misconduct of all kinds, from the trivial to the gruesome.

But not for a second am I going to look for reasons that terrorizing people and destroying unrelated property is in any way an understandable response to a political grievance, or put a “but” in my statement — as in, “Looting is bad, but….”

I am hearing plenty of this: look, sure, it’s bad that some people are destroying businesses and stealing what other people worked for, but they’re really angry. On some level you have to sympathize with them.

Nope. I don’t.

“I have suffered; therefore, other innocents should suffer” — which of the saints lived by such a monstrous code?

If your child is mistreated and takes his frustration out on my child by randomly beating the hell out of him, I will not gaslight my child by explaining that what happened is sort of understandable on some level.

Screw that.

Somehow we’ve come to live in a world in which obvious moral truths are now expressions of right-wing extremism.

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Why Media Coverage of COVID-19 Has Been So Bad | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on May 15, 2020

For example, when Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in London more than two months ago reported his model that predicted up to 2.2 million coronavirus deaths in the United States, the New York Times accepted the predictions as near reported fact, both in its news and editorial coverage.

I have found that most journalists work according to what one might call narratives. We see them in spades whenever we watch network news. On Fox News, Democrats in power always are weak in national defense. On MSNBC, you will hear that anyone who espouses free markets really wants black people to be thrown back into slavery and poor people to starve to death. Narratives are sets of beliefs that one holds that explain how things work in the world. Journalists forever are shaping their coverage to fit those narratives, and often they turn into just plain caricatures.

In my lifetime, I never have seen anything dominate news coverage like the COVID-19 virus and how federal, state, and local governments have dealt with the death, illness, and uncertainty it has created. That is a lifetime that has included the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War, the moon landing, Watergate, and the 9/11 attacks.

Suffice it to say that these were big events, yet I cannot say that I have seen anything quite like it, even in this modern media age. But although news coverage clearly has been extensive, I cannot say much for it except that with just a few exceptions, the coverage has been uniformly bad. When I mean bad, I mean that I as a reader, and especially as a reader who also is an academic economist and economic journalist, cannot trust it to be accurate.

For example, when Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in London more than two months ago reported his model that predicted up to 2.2 million coronavirus deaths in the United States, the New York Times accepted the predictions as near reported fact, both in its news and editorial coverage. Despite the fact that Ferguson has a long record of making wild exaggerations in his death-from-disease models, the media treated his dire predictions as Oracles from the Gods and demanded radical measures to counter this alleged threat.

Those of us who are skeptical of many apocalyptic claims from progressives—from Paul Ehrlich’s false predictions in The Population Bomb to Al Gore’s fabricated claims that sea ice was supposed to disappear from the Arctic fifteen years ago—wondered aloud if we really were to see a reprise of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic and concluded that we were not. However, whenever so-called experts predict doom, members of the press eagerly await the next oracles. What always follows is the demand that government, with its stable of experts, step in and save us.

This is not just the mainstream media such as the New York Times or the network news stations running the gamut from CBS News to CNN to Fox News. This also includes the more ideological publications such as The Nation or the American Conservative. For example, if one were to read both the news and editorial sections of the New York Times on any day, one would find the coverage to be one sided and slanted toward what is a progressive view of society and governance, a viewpoint that is highly critical of the legal and social tradition of limitations upon state power. At the same time, one can read on the pages of TAC that the government should not only regulate consumer prices during the pandemic, but that the government should arrest anyone accused of “price gouging.”

A broad-brush view of progressivism, which today really is the dominant governing philosophy in the United States, is that constitutional limits upon government power are inadequate in a complex society like ours and that we should not be governed by bumbling politicians, but rather by experts. For example, a progressive would tout the difference between Anthony Fauci and Donald Trump; one is a public health expert, and the other is, well, Donald Trump, which goes without saying.

Given that most American journalists, both print and electronic, would proudly call themselves progressives, we should not be surprised when news coverage follows progressive narratives that hold to the view that expansion of state power is also the expansion of civilization itself. When I was in journalism school nearly a half century ago, my professors drilled into all of us that it was the press—the free press—that protected the rights of Americans from predatory government. Of course, the professors also happened to teach that maybe corporations might be more dangerous than government and that, well, you know, progressive government is really a good thing and should be encouraged, since progressive government is not the same as predatory government.

If one wished to probe my professors’ thinking even more, they really believed that the media really should be in the business of promoting “good government,” which was, in their minds, government by “experts.” What they meant by “good government” was not government that operated within strict constitutional limits, but rather progressive government, a government that could do things well, from providing medical care to building homes for the poor and providing food for hungry people. They wanted a competent government, the kind of government that to the generation that gave us the Progressive Era dreamed of occupying Washington, DC, and the rest of the country, the kind of government that they fervently believed that FDR had created with the New Deal.

Although my journalism professors didn’t teach me The Narratives in the classroom, over the years while I worked as a newspaper reporter and in my years as an academic economist, I have found that most journalists work according to what one might call narratives. We see them in spades whenever we watch network news. On Fox News, Democrats in power always are weak in national defense. On MSNBC, you will hear that anyone who espouses free markets really wants black people to be thrown back into slavery and poor people to starve to death. Narratives are sets of beliefs that one holds that explain how things work in the world. Journalists forever are shaping their coverage to fit those narratives, and often they turn into just plain caricatures.

Perhaps the strongest narrative of all is informed by the belief that experts hold everything we need to know and that when there are emergencies we need experts to tell us what to do. As Ryan McMaken recently wrote, so-called progressive governance is what one would call a technocracy, a government by the Competent Ones:

Over the past several decades—and especially since the New Deal—official experts in government have gradually replaced elected representatives as the primary decision-makers in government. Public debate has been abandoned in favor of meetings among small handfuls of unelected technocrats. Politics has been replaced by “science,” whether social science or physical science. These powerful and largely unaccountable decision-makers are today most noticeable in federal courts, in “intelligence” agencies, at the Federal Reserve, and—long ignored until now—in government public health agencies.

One can see the endorsement such a regime clearly by visiting the editorial page of the New York Times, which is not only the standard bearer for progressive America, but also is called “the Newspaper of Record” and a media mecca for most American journalists, print and electronic. What the NYT chooses to put on its editorial and news pages matters, because whatever the paper’s leadership selects ultimately is what is covered by the rest of the mainstream media. Yes, there are independent journalists, and once in a while something from outside progressive political circles that the NYT would rather ignore becomes so public that the paper cannot ignore it. Not surprisingly, it is the NYT and like media outlets that have turned Anthony Fauci’s every word into fulfilled prophecy (even if what he said actually was not true), and if Fauci is cautious about allowing people to reopen their businesses and go back to work, then we should all remain self-quarantined.

But why Fauci? For that matter, why would the “Newspaper of Record” take Neil Ferguson seriously when none of his vaunted models have been even near-accurate? Why do mainstream journalists still believe that Paul Ehrlich is an authority on population?

There are two reasons. First—and this is standard for any news outlet—bad news and especially sensational bad news always will get the headlines as long as it fits within the narratives of that particular outlet’s leaders. For example, the NYT and mainstream media reported every sensational accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court then nominee Brett Kavanagh, because it fit the liberal left’s narrative that Republicans don’t care about women being sexually assaulted.

Likewise, when Tara Reade recently said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993, Fox News reported it in part because its reporters live by the narrative that Democrats are hypocrites. (True to form, the NYT refused to report on the accusations for nearly three weeks, giving fuel to the conservatives’ beliefs about that paper.)

Second, although bad news sells, how journalists define bad news is even more important. Most journalists fall into the category of being progressives and have worldviews in line with such an ideology. As noted earlier, progressives are far more likely to defer to so-called experts, and experts have found that people are far more likely to listen to them when they predict doom than when they say all is (nearly) well. For most of their formal education, journalists have been taught that we are running out of resources, that overpopulation of the planet is a dire threat, and that environmental catastrophe (this time with climate change) is always around the corner. Most journalists I know have not even developed the intellectual capacity to believe otherwise, even when time and again the dire predictions that they have come to religiously believe don’t actually occur. Thus, in 1989, the New York Times editorialized that acid rain was destroying the forests of New York State even when extensive scientific research at that same time demonstrated otherwise. The editors had come to believe that the environmentalist narrative was true and were not about to be confused by facts, even if legitimate scientific inquiry pointed in another direction.

Something like the COVID-19 saga fits into nearly every narrative from progressive journalists that one can imagine.

First, it is easy to blame Donald Trump given that it seems that journalists employed by the NYT, CNN, and other media outlets have made it their collective mission in life to have him ousted from the White House—and Trump’s “leadership style” in something like a pandemic makes him an easy target.

Second, given that progressives are more likely to believe in all things apocalyptic when it comes to the environment and health issues, they are less likely to be skeptical when the Neil Fergusons of the scientific world predict millions of deaths.

Third, because of their reflexive belief that experts have all of the answers, they are more likely to frame the story as one of the experts versus the uneducated (who want to go back to work or open their shuttered businesses). Anyone who contradicts such wisdom is treated as an ignorant pariah, even if that person is a scientist with an elite background in higher education.

Last, journalists can clearly see that politicians are much more likely to act on what seems to be certain catastrophe, and in return journalists heap praise on those politicians that take the most extreme measures. Take Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, for example. Despite the fact that Cuomo ordered nursing homes to admit COVID-19 patients—despite the vulnerability of elderly people to the coronavirus—with his directive leading to numerous deaths, the media coverage is largely positive precisely because he is seen as “doing something.”

Conversely, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem has received scathing national news coverage, because she refused to force businesses and individuals to lock down and “shelter in place.” Much of the coverage insinuated that the death toll there was likely to skyrocket as a result, yet at this date South Dakota has suffered thirty-four COVID-19 deaths, hardly a hot spot.

It would be nice if we could count on the mainstream news outlets to give reliable news on the coronavirus, but that will remain unlikely. Most journalists are wedded to the progressive narratives, and even if for a moment they are swatted by a reasonable interpretation of the facts at hand, they quickly recover and go on preaching doom and more doom.

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A Sick Media | The American Spectator

Posted by M. C. on April 4, 2020

This has resulted in an open dogmatism in which the media spends most of its time shutting down debates rather than holding them.

The other day Chris Hayes of MSNBC was pouting about the media’s coverage of Donald Trump’s press briefings. He called the airing of them “crazy.” He particularly didn’t like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell using one of them to talk about “reading the Bible.”

Hayes’ pouting captures the arrogance and secularist prejudice of the media perfectly. The media sees its role not as a reporter of news but as a propagandistic arbiter — a Big Brother that will tell the public what it can and cannot take seriously.

The media every day conforms more perfectly to Trump’s description of it as an “opposition party.” Its pulling away from presidential briefings during a national crisis vividly illustrates its status as an opposition party, engaged in a propaganda battle with a president whom it hates.

The more propagandistic the media becomes, the more it insists that its coverage is “factual.” But no one takes that seriously. As Trump once told the media, “You guys have a real problem. No one believes you anymore.”

The media has become all opinion, all the time. All the journalistic rigors of yesteryear have disappeared. Most hosts don’t even bother to fake up a just-the-facts mien. They now act like what they are: anti-Trump pundits who look high and low for new angles from which to attack him.

At the beginning of Trump’s presidency, Christiane Amanpour foreshadowed all of this when she declared openly that she believes in “being truthful, not neutral.” With that declaration, she was giving journalists permission to shed any semblance of journalistic detachment and become Trump bashers. She was pushing down the wobbly wall that once separated news hosts from pundits.

There was a time when the high priests of journalism would have condemned the idea of not covering a presidential briefing during a time of national crisis. They would have considered that a violation of the media’s vocation. But those days have ended. Now they applaud anchors for substituting their judgment for their audience’s.

Like the Democrats, for whom they serve as stenographers, the media sees itself as having a monopoly on “health and science.” This has resulted in an open dogmatism in which the media spends most of its time shutting down debates rather than holding them. Recall Chuck Todd’s arrogant disclaimer before a Meet the Press episode devoted to climate change:

Just as important as what we are going to do is what we’re not going to do. We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled even if political opinion is not.

During the coronavirus crisis, it has issued many similar decrees. The media will let us know what is and what is not permissibly debatable, who is and who is not wearing the white hats, etc. Is it any wonder why audiences have tuned the media out? It has become obvious that the media is not in the business of informing audiences but manipulating them.

Chris Hayes and company exist to turn public opinion against Trump. What they label news is simply political warfare by other means. Most of the “anchors” who tell us that, unlike the president, they are “factual” come from Democratic Party politics. CNN overflows with them, from Chris Cuomo to Jim Sciutto to Jake Tapper.

MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski once let the cat out of the bag by saying that it is “our job,” not Trump’s, to “control exactly what people think.” That’s why they are pressuring their bosses into ignoring Trump’s press briefings. He is beating them at their own game.

Whether or not the public wants to watch those briefings is a matter of indifference to them. The media feels entitled to determine what people should want to watch. To Chris Hayes, it is “crazy” that anyone would want to hear about the Bible during a national crisis. But what’s far crazier is anyone placing faith in an utterly fraudulent media.

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