by WorldTribune Staff, October 20, 2020
Any pretense of objectivity from the leftist media is over, historian and columnist Victor Davis Hanson noted.
“What ended liberal dissimulation about slanted reporting is a new pride, or rather an arrogance, about bias itself,” Hanson wrote for American Greatness on Oct. 18. “The new liberated defiance is something like, ‘We are biased. Damn proud of it. And what exactly do you plan on doing about it?’ ”
Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, John Chancellor and Jim Lehrer, leftists all, “at least went through the motions of reporting news that was awkward or even embarrassing to the Left,” Hanson noted.
Amid the fawning coverage of President Barack Obama, there was still, occasionally, actual reporting on the IRS scandal, the surveillance of Associated Press reporters, the various scandals embroiling the Veterans Administration, General Service Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Secret Service.
As Hanson noted: “Jim Rutenberg infamously announced in January 2017 his profession’s proud defiance of now ossified norms in a new age in which reporters would ‘throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century.’ Christiane Amanpour felt she was now released from the old chains of professed ‘objectivity. Much of the media was tying itself in knots trying to differentiate between balance, between objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, the truth,’ she said just a few weeks after the 2016 election. ‘We cannot continue the old paradigm.’ Michel Foucault could not have said it any better.”
As the New York Times’ Jim Roberts in 2016 put the new “Walter Durantyism”: “Yes. The media is biased. Biased against hatred, sexism, racism, incompetence, belligerence, inequality, To [sic] name a few.”
Hanson noted: “In Orwellian terms, Roberts’ media has now come to adore the omnipresent progressive party line: ‘You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.’ ”
Since May 2017, the leftist media’s bias against President Donald Trump “has not merely increased but is now a badge of honor — whether it was the months of ‘walls are closing in’ fake stories of imminent Mueller investigation indictments of the Trump family or the serial ‘Trump is finished’ psychodramas about the Logan Act, the Emoluments Clause, and the 25th Amendment,” Hanson wrote. “No one in the media, to this day, after the Mueller implosion, the findings of Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and the recent releases of Russian intercepts about the Clinton gambit to fabricate a ‘collusion’ election narrative, has ever said ‘We were wrong’ — because they really think they were ‘right’ in pushing even untruth, given their hatred of Trump.”
Big Tech’s censorship
“In the old days of the early 21st century, Silicon Valley and other tech giants went through the motions that they were more interested in providing social media access, online buying, and Internet services than massaging them all to indoctrinate the public,” Hanson noted. “Even during the Obama years, they protested vehemently suggestions that they had given campaign cash inordinately to leftist candidates, or were beginning to massage Internet search results or asymmetrically blocking conservative users.”
“Big Tech has offered no coherent defense of its censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, or even appeared to worry about the hypocrisy that they had gladly let Trump’s illegally obtained and published tax returns fly through the cyberworld, in the manner that Christopher Steele’s leaked and made-up hoax was freely promulgated online during the late critical days of the 2016 campaign,” Hanson wrote.
“Now Twitter, without much worry, just shrugs that it blocks even conservatives in government from posting. White House public health and coronavirus advisor Dr. Scott Atlas routinely is censored and shut down by Twitter for referencing scientific studies that have found in a cost-benefit analysis no arguments for lockdowns and blanket mask-wearing by the public.”
Facebook, Hanson continued, “couldn’t care less that it has been taken to task for its systematic bias in censoring social media content. Their collective attitude toward government insistence that they not censor oppositional views seems to be something like, ‘When we were a multibillion-dollar industry, we feared you. Now that we are a multitrillion-dollar business, we despise you.’ ”
Tainted popular culture
“The new defiance and the glee that comes from open bias have now saturated our culture, as if the liberated Left in today’s globalized market has no need of half the U.S. population — the supposed loser, unwoke half,” Hanson wrote.
“The NBA intensifies both its worship of the Chinese Communist Party and its utter disdain for American democratic culture. When revenues crash from eroding viewership and public criticism of collaboration with a government that institutionalized concentration camps, democracy destruction, and state-sponsored racism and murder, the woke players fire back in defense of China, with ‘So what?’ certainty.”
Liberal writers, Hanson noted, “used to warn us of ‘dark money,’ as in the anti-Trump Koch family donations to libertarian causes. Now there is no such thing as money being ‘dark.’ The Left is proud that most of the Fortune 400’s top-20 multibillionaires are generous progressive-giving leftists, and that George Soros and Michael Bloomberg promise to infuse tens of millions of dollars not just to fortify leftist candidates, but to massage the rules of voting itself by re-examining voter eligibilities and methods of voting to enhance progressive agendas.”
Hanson continued: “In the climate of the new defiance, the Left now believes that even the appearance of fairness and empirical objectivity is proof of weakness or lack of revolutionary bona fides and fervor. So they did their best to smear Amy Coney Barrett as a veritable Medieval Catholic monarchist, an unthinking clone of the late but still very much hated Antonin Scalia, a wacko cultist, a veritable murderer who would bring back-alley abortions and cancel health care to those in the throes of cancer.
“Behind all this unabashed venom lies a reasonable strategy. There is a long history of conservative and Republican-appointed justices who eventually acquiesce, and, with hands over ears, cry that they cannot take such social ostracism any more. In the manner of Harry Blackmun, William Brennan, Lewis Powell, David Souter, John Paul Stevens, Potter Stewart, and Earl Warren, many Republican appointees eventually come to accept, and learn to love, the Left.”
Hanson concluded: “Add the examples of the dishonest, discredited but very much alive ‘1619 Project,’ or the unapologetic admission of discrimination against Asian-American university applicants, and we can sense not so much a brave new defiance, but a more calculated insolence that the Left is at last soon going to dominate and alter politics as they have the major American cultural and social institutions. They see their efforts bending in a preordained historical arc that ends with ultimate progressive justice — and retributions. And in that context there is no longer any need to play by the rules of fairness, or even to say that such rules need to exist or indeed ever existed.
“On Nov. 3, we will see whether they are justifiably arrogant or suicidal.”