Wednesday, May 31, 2023

The Only News That’s Fit To Print

At a recent dinner some former newspaper colleagues informed me that conservatives control the media and frame the national conversation.

When I asked, How so?, one of them said the press unquestioningly repeats “Trump’s and [Kevin] McCarthy’s lies.” After I noted that most top news outlets advanced the Democrats’ false claim that Trump had colluded with Putin to steal the 2016 election, they told me I was wrong. That was pretty much what happened.

They were serious. I was gobsmacked. We changed the subject – You have to visit Greece, the ruins are truly amazing.

The conversation stoked my queasy feeling that we’re living in a dystopian George Orwell novel. Our government and leading news operations insistently deceive and mislead, achieving their intended effect on my pals and millions of others. But their ministry of truth is more sieve than iron curtain. Enough honest information leaks through so that some of us can still figure out what’s really going on.

The result is an agonizing form of torture as we try to keep from downing amidst the waves of lies.

Consider the latest news tying Secretary of State Antony Blinken to the fraudulent – yet highly successful – effort to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop revelations in the final days of the 2020 election. Mike Morrell, who served as acting CIA Director under Barack Obama, told Congress that Blinken contacted him three days after the New York Post published its Oct. 14 article detailing the explosive evidence of the Biden family’s foreign influence peddling operations.

Morrell leapt into action, preparing a statement signed by 50 other former intelligence officials and covered by Politico on Oct. 19, which claimed that the laptop story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

Joe Biden used the statement during his Oct. 22 debate with Trump to dismiss the laptop as “a Russian plant.”

The statement’s impact was incalculable. It gave Biden and his cheerleaders in the press cover to ignore the damning evidence in the final days of a close election. We all now know, as Biden and his team certainly knew then, that the laptop was the real McCoy. Yet, Biden has never been held to account for this consequential, bald-faced lie. In an honest world, the revelation that the current secretary of state helped orchestrate this deception would be a blockbuster news story.

Instead, it was essentially a one-day story for most mainstream news outlets – if they covered it at all.  A May 3 search of the websites of the New York Times and Politico turned up no recent mentions of “Mike Morrell.” The Washington Post has published two “news analysis” articles [i.e. opinion masquerading as reporting] on the matter which used verbal gymnastics to defend Blinken.

While Morrell testified that Blinken “triggered” his actions, he used the wiggle-room language favored by those on the hot seat when asked if Blinken directed him to prepare the letter: “My memory is that he did not.”

Nevertheless, Washington Post reporter Phillip Bump transformed this into a blanket refutation: “There’s no evidence that the campaign asked Morell to write any such letter; in fact, he denied during his interview that he had been asked to do so.”

Do I have to tell you that my dinner companions hadn’t heard about any of this? Indeed, even as they shared their fears about “disinformation,” “misinformation,” and “election denial” from the seemingly omnipotent “Fox News,” they had no idea how our government has worked to undermine our democracy because their trusted news sources have never told them.

The Blinken revelation is just one of many examples of how those empowered to shape America’s foreign policy have corrupted our foreign policy. The current national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, spent much of the 2016 campaign spreading the lies of the Steele dossier for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In one of his final acts in office, Obama’s CIA chief John Brennan created an influential ICA report which was used to justify the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. James Clapper, director of national intelligence, was a chief cheerleader of the collusion farce after leaving office.

These threads suggest a scandal of incalculable scope – the folks whose agencies have long sown discord abroad are doing it at home – but they have been shrugged off by mainstream outlets.

At the very least, one might have hoped for a bit of skepticism from the press when they saw that Brennan and Clapper were among the signatories of Morrell’s laptop letter. We are way past that.

Nowadays, America’s most prestigious news outlets define “all the news that’s fit to print” as that which helps Democrats. It is that simple. What’s more alarming is the willingness of seemingly engaged readers to accept this propaganda as truth. They don’t know and they don’t care. Is it any wonder that everyone is so angry?

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.