by WorldTribune Staff, July 18, 2019
In a 1998 address to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Matt Drudge spoke of a future in which “every citizen can be a reporter, can take on the powers that be.”
Townhall columnist Timothy Meads noted that, “In short, Drudge accurately predicted that the Internet would not kill media, but would make consuming news more popular than ever. The world wide web would make it easy for the average person to become a reporter. It would, however, change where and how Americans consumed their information.”
In 2019, Meads wrote, “it seems that Drudge’s prediction is a reality” — and the legacy media is furious.
An emerging alternative to the legacy media is the news service Free Press International (FPI), which is seen taking a page from Drudge’s vision by “offering unique value to all publishers including citizen journalists.”
A project of Free Press Foundation, “FPI offers publishers an affordable alternative to AP and the opportunity to counter liberal bias with credible editorial content of interest to independents and conservatives in their audience,” said Robert Morton, president of the foundation. FPI also distributes selected content from member publications, including WorldTribune.com.]
On July 15, President Donald Trump hosted a social media summit at which he invited many of the citizen reporters who fit Drudge’s 1998 vision.
“The Net gives as much voice to a 13-year-old computer geek like me as to a CEO or speaker of the House. We all become equal,” Drudge told the National Press Club. “And you would be amazed what the ordinary guy knows.”
Included at Trump’s social media summit on July 15 were Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe, Live Actions News’ Lila Rose, and meme-lord Carpe Donktum. “All of these people are equipped with their iPhone, their ideas, and some fairly basic computer skills,” Meads noted.
Trump said about O’Keefe, “He is not controversial, he just tells the truth.”
But, Meads wrote, “the rulers of legacy media think that they have a monopoly on truth. They believe they should decide who is a journalist and who is not. Citizen journalists are disdained by the legacy media from places like CNN, NBC, and MSNBC. Thus, the legacy media’s response to the summit has been one of smears and ugly insults, even potentially dangerous doxxing.”
The “legacy media now understands that their influence over the American people is all but dead thanks to the Internet,” Meads wrote. “President Donald J. Trump’s election, to colloquially put it, whacked the mainstream media upside the head. Now, they are taking vengeance on anybody who supports him.”
Meads cited what the corporate media “are doing to Carpe Donktum” as an example.
“He is a more or less anonymous private citizen. Unlike O’Keefe and Rose who report what is really going on in leftwing organizations and in the government, all Carpe Donktum does is make funny videos and pictures. But, now, Buzzfeed News may do a full expose and place his family in danger.”
Steven Crowder, host of Louder With Crowder on YouTube, tweeted: “This isn’t isolated. Remember the handling of drunk Pelosi and CNN wrestling memes? Mainstream media are LIVID they don’t have a stranglehold on information & influence. Now they smear, silence & dox ANY private citizens who have online influence. Shameful.”
Crowder said in a follow-up tweet, “MSM’s message is pretty clear: ‘You’re thinking about making a pro-Trump meme? Think twice. Because CNN, DailyBeast, and Buzzfeed may plaster your face all over national media alongside descriptions like ‘alt-right’ etc.”
Meads noted what the mainstream media said of Drudge back in 1998:
“There is such a built-in level of irresponsibility in everything he does,” cried First Amendment protector Floyd Abrams in a page one Wall Street Journal piece. “The notion of a Matt Drudge cyber gossip sitting next to William Safire on Meet the Press would have been unthinkable,” whined Watergate’s Carl Bernstein in an op-ed.
“Whatever the case and whatever the future holds, the legacy media is sending a clear message in order to cling to power — if you partake in Drudge’s dream, we will make your life a nightmare,” Meads wrote.
Meanwhile, The Daily Caller reported on July 16 that Voice of America (VOA) has failed to reign in anti-Trump rants posted on a Facebook page likely run by an editor at the taxpayer-funded news agency.
The Facebook page likely belongs to be Doug Bernard Johnson, who is the editor for VOA’s Press Freedom, the report said. The page contains anti-Trump messages dating back years.
VOA has a social media policy which requires employees to be impartial in public spaces, to “adhere to a high standard of independence and objectivity.”
The report said VOA Director Amanda Bennett and U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) CEO John F. Lansing ignored the warnings about the anti-Trump Facebook postings.
USAGM is a government global media agency that operates above VOA, which is the largest U.S. international broadcaster.
“Professionalism at VOA is dead, because Amanda Bennett and John Lansing killed it,” a VOA employee told the Daily Caller.