On Nov. 13, 1969, then Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew, speaking at a Republican conference in Des Moines, Iowa, roasted the national news outlets — CBS, NBC, ABC —for their liberal bias.
The network news divisions he argued were dominated by "a small group of men, numbering perhaps no more than a dozen anchormen, commentators and executive producers [who] settle upon the 20 minutes of film and commenting that is to reach the public."
Agnew went on to ask, "What do Americans know of the men who wield this power?"
"We do know that, to a man, these commentators and producers live and work in the geographical and intellectual confines of Washington, D.C. or New York City — the latter of which [columnist for The New York Times] James Reston terms 'the most unrepresented community in the entire United States.'
"We can deduce that these men read the same newspapers, and draw their political and social views from the same sources.
"Worse, they talk constantly to one another, thereby providing artificial reinforcements to their shared viewpoints."
Since Agnew made his remarks, the left-wing bias has gotten worse — thanks to 24/7 news coverage.
The thin veneer of fairness in reporting that earlier media stars (i.e., Walter Cronkite) embraced has been discarded.
NBC Nightly News anchor, Lester Holt, best summarized the current approach when he said at a 2021 awards dinner, "I think it’s become clear that fairness is overrated."
America’s establishment media corporations are no longer a check on the powerful in the Washington swamp — they are collaborators.
In his new book, "Uncovered: How the Media Got Cozy with Power, Abandoned its Principles and Lost the People," Steve Krakauer exposes mainstream media’s collusion, censorship and high-tech suppression of news.
Krakauer, a noted critic of the media, hosts the "Fourth Watch" podcast, and has worked at CNN, NBC, and FOX.
Here’s a synopsis of his five issues with establishment media:
Geographic Bias. Establishment media is dominated by leftists, who generally vote for Democrats and live in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington D.C.
Within their newsrooms there is little cultural diversity.
Hence, it should not come as a surprise they have little knowledge or compassion for struggling people in Middle America who consume the media.
The lack of coverage of the deadly rail accident in East Palestine, Ohio is an example of their geographical bias.
Laziness. The days of tracking and investigating newsworthy stories are over.
Today, lazy leftist news anchors generally mouth talking points that fit into the preferred storyline.
For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic Dr. Anthony Fauci was canonized, despite his flip-flopping on the origins of the virus, because he was the anti-Trump. "Criticizing him, Krakauer writes," became supporting Trump and vice versa, and good faith criticisms of him were not given any oxygen."
Lack of Introspection. Committing media malpractice — (i.e., suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story) is not uncommon.
And . . . when proven wrong they fail to fess up to their mistakes or to reflect upon them.
Their ideological knee-jerk reaction to breaking news stories, Krakauer notes, "is what helps lead to distrust among the American people for the Press."
Coziness with Power. When Donald Trump married Melania Knauss in 2005, over 400 celebrities attended the reception. Guests included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters, and Jeff Zucker.
Of course, those beautiful people later turned on Trump, but that’s the exception that proves the rule.
One need only read Page 6 of the New York Post to learn about news media luminaries cozying up to the rich and powerful. And they have, from time to time, covered up the transgressions of their high society friends.
A prime example: Harvey Weinstein.
When Ronan Farrow was working at NBC he developed a powerful expose of Weinstein’s history of sexual assault.
But the story was spiked by Network executives who "were communicating with Weinstein directly as they squashed the journalism."
In cases like Weinstein, corporate media moguls don’t disseminate information but hold back. It’s "bias of omission."
Newsroom Purges. At many media organizations the adults are no longer in charge. Young spoiled employees intimidate news and editorial department managers.
For example, when The New York Times published an op-ed in 2020 by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on the George Floyd riots, all hell broke loose at the newspaper’s headquarters in Manhattan.
Junior newsroom employees were outraged by Cotton’s comment objecting to "the revolting moral equivalency of rioters and looters to peaceful law-abiding protesters," and his call for the deployment of troops to deter lawbreakers.
There was the ridiculous claim that Cotton’s column "put Black Times staff in danger."
Sadly, senior management surrendered, announcing the op-ed "did not meet Times standards," and the well-respected opinion editor James Bennet was forced to resign.
Krakauer’s "Uncovered" pinpoints how the mainstream media has moved from "reality to reality show"; how they are "no longer really about reporting the truth."
His expose makes plain why only 36% of the public have a great deal or even a fair amount of trust in the media.
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." Read George J. Marlin's Reports — More Here.
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