Dating back to medieval times, society was divided into three estates or classes: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners; these groups were considered the primary sources of influence on a country. By the 19th century, the press was considered to have such an outsized influence, it became known as “the fourth estate.”
There has always been bias in news reporting, but it was purposeful and transparent. There was a healthy competition of ideas and for followers. There were loyalist newspapers versus revolutionary newspapers and succession papers verses preserve the union papers. Ideologies and political parties battled for support and votes on the pages of American newspapers. Newspapers were biased for a particular philosophy, but readers knew what papers picked what side before they started reading. In totalitarian nations, everyone knew the state media would only spew government propaganda. Bias is acceptable or tolerable if you know what it is and keep it in perspective.
Despite the obvious slant of most newspapers, a free and not necessarily fair press became vital to any free society. Some papers attacked and others defended, but the result was a check on government power. Whatever the government or some official was doing, it would be examined and deliberated in the public square; the appropriateness or rightness of any deed or issue would rise or fall on the merits. Illogical or irrational or false arguments would fail and be scorned; common sense and truth were cherished, pursued, and upheld.
Information or any issue was hotly debated, but the people ultimately weighed the arguments presented and decided for themselves. It was often acrimonious and messy, but it worked. However, with the addition of radio and television to the media, the concept of objectivity was foisted on the American sometime in the 20th century. The legacy or mainstream media offered the notion that they were “objective.” They claimed to have no bias and would only present “straight news reporting,” just the facts; and of course, they would tell you when they were giving their opinion.
It sounded noble. The public supposedly could trust whatever mainstream media outlet to be evenhanded and objective. Read, listen, or watch and people thought they were getting the whole story to assess for themselves. The mainstream media fooled the people and themselves that they could report without bias. They can’t and they didn’t.
Bias is not a crime and really brings no shame; it brings honesty. The crime is insisting to the public that you or your media outlet is without bias and therefore the standard for fairness, the arbiter of truth. Such lofty claims insinuate or outright express infallibility. For decades, the mainstream media lulled Americans into trusting them for news. The insult to injury is the media coveted public trust, but they never intended to keep it.
A slight slant in news reporting could be forgivable, but the legacy media has gone way past spinning the news to not only picking a side, but glibly lying about facts and news for the sole benefit of leftist Democrat politicians. Decency and truth is dying in America because the pretenders in the press are hiding that they are the ones killing it while feigning to protect it. But truth is not the only casualty; justice dies with it.
Twisting the truth is not even enough; now the media just makes stuff up and feeds us fake news to further their political narrative. They lie about climate change, the Chinese virus, and rising crime. The media not only lied about the absurd Russia Hoax simply to smear President Trump; they were complicit by shirking their duty as a free press to seek out facts and expose the truth. Heck, they advanced the lies and then blithely covered them up.
It’s now indisputable that whole “Russian Collusion” nonsense was a complete fraud bought and paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign. Everyone knew it, but the media gave cover to a corrupt DOJ by swearing it didn’t exist. After years, the Durham investigation is finally finding some targets with bombshell revelations that the Clinton Campaign PAID others to SPY on the Trump candidacy and the Trump Presidency!
This is espionage and sedition against a sitting president! What’s the primary press’s reaction? No one knows; they refuse to even acknowledge it exists much less report it. It’s crazy to imagine that an ostensibly free press has become the enemy of a free society.
If they won’t do their jobs, then the people must do it. And actually, that’s the way it should work and must work. It’s ok for media outlets to pick a side, just let it be known. Alternative media are popping up everywhere and thriving. Americans are finally abandoning sinking media ships, but our ruling elite and social media titans still cling to the fake news. They can live in their bubble, but be sure your elected official is not residing in there with them.
A free nation needs a free press to root out corruption and expose illicit concentrations of power. We can have that, but Americans must become engaged and leave the mainstream media and social media behind. Turn to other sources, but bring your friends and family along. The people are waking up to the sinister insanity of fake news. If your elected officials are still asleep at the leftist wheel, then vote them out. The Republic will survive when the people exercise their power of the vote.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them” (Proverbs 11:3).
Pete Riehm is the host of Common Sense Radio heard 8 pm every Thursday on FMTalk106.5 or streaming at fmtalk1065.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on MEWE @PeteRiehm or read all his columns at http://www.renewamerica.com/.© Pete Riehm
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.