. . .and they haven’t started now. And by the way, neither have the GOP or the media themselves.
In the past few days media outlets, in particular CNN and the alphabet networks ABC, CBS, and NBC have all started jiving up a claim that there is a government war on the free media led by President Donald Trump. Are they correct? Well, technically Trump has gone on the offensive by directly criticizing media outlets like CNN and the BBC. However,what they were wrong about is that these hostile STATEMENTS are nothing new; previous presidents have attacked the media. In fact, many of these media outlets started a new trend during the 2016 election of attacking other outlets that they’ve called “fake news”. While they may be correct in some cases, the statement has opened them up to a backlash over their own fat fingered coverage of a number of stories. One of the most recent examples was the recent “Trump dossier” which has been revealed to have been based on a work of fan fiction.
But if we examine this topic honestly, the Democrats have not been the party of a free and independent press. In fact, quite the contrary. . .
1. Obama spends a minute during a speech on Sept. 26, 2013 attacking Fox News for its criticism of Obamacare and its web page. He later dodged responsibility when it turned out to be a catastrophe.
2. Claims that Fox News controls the GOP: Obama in an interview with New Republic conditions the success of his second term on Fox News not attacking John Boehner and the moderate GOP when they are willing to compromise with the Congressional Dems. He clarifies why the liberal media is different here:
“The same dynamic happens on the Democratic side. I think the difference is just that the more left-leaning media outlets recognize that compromise is not a dirty word. And I think at least leaders like myself—and I include Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in this—are willing to buck the more absolutist-wing elements in our party to try to get stuff done.”
So if that’s the case Mr. Obama, does that mean that you can more easily dupe your progressive voters into supporting policies that actually betray them as well, such as the Affordable Care Act and TARP?
3. DOJ Spies on FNC and AP: In 2013 it was exposed by the Washington Post, the same paper so hostile to Donald Trump now, that Fox News Reporter James Rosen was spied on in 2010 by the Obama Justice Dept, on the mere premise that he was a flight risk. The FBI seized his phone records, and also did the same for reporters at the Associated Press. The rationale for this was never explained, and AP Pres. Gary Pruitt later discovered that Verizon willingly gave the phone records to the FBI.
4. Obama also continued the Bush Administration prosecution of NY Times journalist James Risen, who had been subpoenaed due to the Justice Department wanting his sources for pieces he had done on CIA disruption of the Iran nuclear weapons programme.
One of the main avenues that liberals have always claimed where there needs to be MORE control over broadcasting on TV and the radio, and even among recording artists (see below). One of the more traditional controls that they once had was called the “Fairness doctrine”, and it was removed in 1987 by the Reagan Administration’s FCC. This opened the floodgates for a new genre of radio news and entertainment: right wing call-in shows like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage. Although not all conservatives are fans of these hosts, they present a formidable phalanx of commentators with a dedicated and loyal listening audience. Liberal journalists have pined since then for a return of the Fairness Doctrine, even though ratings show that these hosts have a very dependable audience in many markets both large and small. These calls all follow the same pattern, which will be clear soon.
1. Huffington Post, Feb 13, 2014. In this article Nancy Graham Holm pines for the old days before “American society lost accountability for one-sided opinions spread over the airwaves.” She immediately reveals though that even though the content before 1987 was “moderated” it certainly wasn’t balanced:
“Some of us went to Washington DC once a year to meet with our elected officials and consequently, many ideas for our programming topics came from Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee’s predecessor, Ron Dellums. Many of the issues needed clarification because they ended up as California ballot propositions.“
All of these people are well-known members of the Democratic left-wing (apart from Pelosi, who is part of the Democratic whatever). So much for fairness . . .
Launched in 2004, Air America (3) tried to use liberal star power
to rebut conservative talk radio, but it was a flop in many major
markets, including Detroit. (Getty Images)
2. At the grassroots and non-governmental level, there have been attempts to counteract conservative talk radio by taking action like in the case of Citizen Action Wisconsin to “take back Milwaukee’s airwaves from the corporatist right wing”. The same article however notes that progressives have plenty of progressive alternatives including Devil’s Advocate Radio and even Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR). Among the articles on WPR is this one that already pans Donald Trump’s private media survey. So where is the balance there?
3. More famously, in the 2000s liberal celebrities including Janeane Garofalo, Randi Rhodes, Al Franken (now a US Senator) and Rachel Maddow got together and formed Air America (AAR). Intended to be the liberal counter to the conservative radio airwaves, AAR was jeopardized by a financing scandal almost torpedoed it from the get-go involving the use of money from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club which happened to be led at the time by AAR chief Evan Cohen, who would later be indicted for a separate crime. It was later sold to a family of private investors ;ed bu Stephen L. Green, a real estate billionaire. This brought lie to the notion that this was not “corporate” media. Then Franken won his senate seat in 2006. For the rest of the 2000s AAR limped through poor ratings and a simple lack of stability in its lineup before folding in January 2010.
4. In his book Outsider in the White House (p. 287-89) Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a 2016 presidential candidate for the Democrats and now a major face of the party, argued for two FCC regulations: the fairness doctrine elaborated above, and the public service requirement, which would force every radio station, and possibly TV stations as well, to broadcast “a meaningful percentage” of its air time to public service broadcasting. This goes even beyond news, because then non-news themed networks would have to comply as well.
Sanders also advocates breaking up media conglomerates through anti-trust laws. You may argue that this would help end the stranglehold on broadcast media as seen by the ownership of ABC (Disney), NBC (Comcast), CBS (Westinghouse), and CNN/TBS (Time Warner). However, instead of passing more laws, what has broken their stranglehold has been the preponderance of independent web-based media such as podcasts and blogs, which obviously the mass communications mammoths (MCM, also known as main stream media) are already afraid of!
When progressives and their allies don’t like being exposed in the news they sue, and they’re not afraid to sue media figures too, which realistically is a fair tool of theirs. Libel lawsuits are a legitimate way to counteract defamation by the media if it is proven to be malicious.
1. The Clock Boy, or as he is known in real life Ahmed Mohamed, came to fame in 2015 for an incident where he brought a device to his Irving, Texas school claiming it was a homemade clock, that bore a resemblance to a suitcase bomb. When a teacher eventually reported him to police, his family turned around and sued the school district while alerting an over-eager media seeking a cause just like his. They decided eventually to sue journalists that claimed that it was a carefully arranged hoax, including conservative podcast pundit Ben Shapiro. Yet their suspicious behaviour, including moving briefly to Qatar after complaining of “Islamophobia” and then coming back while grandstanding befor the media would end up sinking their case. This month a court tossed out all of their lawsuits against Shapiro, Glenn Beck, and the Irving school district and mayor among others, and even awarded attorney fees to Shapiro.
|Martin Scorcese apparently could write a hell of a
mob flick and didn’t care about getting flack from
Jimmy the Gent Burke, but he didn’t dare double-cross
the Clintons (Thomas Kierok).
2. Hollywood actors love to pretend that they have artistic integrity, and creative control is often a huge issue that floats or sinks films. Apparently nobody cares that Departed and Goodfellas director Martin Scorcese had his documentary for HBO on Bill and Hillary Clinton shelved indefinitely when the ex-president refused to grant him discretion over which questions to use. Where’s the shrill Meryl Streep speech?
3. On the eve of what may be his ultimate act of revenge, it’s important to mention that media figures crowed about the arrest of James O’Keefe III in 2010 for “unlawfully entering federal property”. Never mind that federal buildings are public property, or that he and his cohorts were only charged with the act due to their visiting of Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office in Louisiana. A number of O’Keefe’s prosecutors later resigned after it was revealed that they were posting unflattering remarks on him in comment sections of news articles. O’Keefe continues to have his stories criticized for “selective editing”, even though unlike 60 Minutes or left-wing documentary filmmaker Michael Moore he often releases raw uncut video tape as an adjunct to many stories done by his Project Veritas.