The media has ceased to exist, and the public plods on by assuming as true whatever the media suppresses and as false whatever the media covers. – Victor Davis Hanson, December 4, 2022
Well, at least a growing portion of “the public” anyway. Far too many stubbornly choose to remain comfortable in the superficial calm (i.e., no mean tweets and the façade of calm and good faith Constitutional governance under the Potemkin administration) perpetuated by a fully corrupt major media apparatus. Even in the well-informed and open-eyed circles that I find myself in during most weekly cycles, I come across enough comfortably sheltered in this zone of ignorance and under the spell of the corrupt media to offset the votes of those willing to see. It is hard to fight against such a behemoth…but, having retreated to this lonely outpost to weather the current storm, I am heartened to know there are intellectual giants out there battling on the behalf of intellectual honesty and consistency.
Enter: Victor Davis Hanson. The quote at the top of this post is the subtitle of his recent article titled “How Corrupt Is a Corrupt Media?” [H/T: Instapundit] This one is a must read in its entirety and even worth a hardcopy for the files. I cannot resist taking more liberty than I should here with his full introductory section:
The current “media”—loosely defined as the old major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, the network news channels, MSNBC and CNN, PBS and NPR, the online news aggregators like Google, Apple, and Yahoo, and the social media giants like the old Twitter and Facebook—are corrupt.
They have adopted in their news coverage a utilitarian view that noble progressive ends justify almost any unethical means to obtain them. The media is unapologetically fused with the Democratic Party, the bicoastal liberal elite, and the progressive agenda.
The result is that the public cannot trust that the news it hears or reads is either accurate or true. The news as presented by these outlets has been carefully filtered to suppress narratives deemed inconvenient or antithetical to the political objectives of these entities, while inflating themes deemed useful.
This bias now accompanies increasing (and increasingly obvious) journalistic incompetence. Lax standards reflect weaponized journalism schools and woke ideology that short prior basic requisites of writing and ethical protocols of quoting and sourcing. In sum, a corrupt media that is ignorant, arrogant, and ideological explains why few now trust what it delivers.
I do not overstate the case when I say that, taken as a whole, this 2400 word offering must be one of the key filters through which the eventual history of our times, if it is ever allowed to be written, passes.
After that introduction, Dr. Hanson cycles through what I classify here as the main pages in the corrupt media playbook: Suppression, Fantasy, Chronological Manipulation, Asymmetry, and Unethical Behavior. Each is worth a treatment of its own (and I just may take the time to do so in the coming days) but, since I put a lot of focus here at my lonely outpost on the anti-narratives that the media keeps under the radar of the low-information consumers of their trash, today’s cross-hairs will remain on the first page of that playbook. Again, I take more liberty than I should with Dr. Hanson’s property:
Once a story is deemed antithetical to left-wing agendas, there arises a collective effort to smother it. Suppression is achieved both by neglect, and by demonizing others who report an inconvenient truth as racists, conspiracist “right-wingers,” and otherwise irredeemable.
The Hunter Biden laptop story is the locus classicus. Social media branded the authentic laptop as Russian disinformation. That was a lie. But the deception did not stop them from censoring and squashing those who reported the truth.
Instead of carefully examining the contents of the laptop or interrogating Biden-company players such as Tony Bobulinksi, the media hyped the ridiculous disinformation hoax as a mechanism for suppressing the damaging pre-election story altogether.
Joe Biden’s cognitive state was another suppression story. The media simply stifled the truth that 2020 candidate Biden was unable to conduct a normal campaign due to his frailty and non-compos-mentis status. Few fully reported his often cruel and racist outbursts of the “lying-dog-faced-pony-soldier” and “you ain’t black”/“terrorist” sort.
The #MeToo media predictably quashed the Tara Reade disclosure. In fact, journalists turned on her in the manner that they previously had insisted was sexist and defamatory “blame-the-victim” smearing.
Joe Biden has long suffered from a sick tic of creepily intruding into the private space of young women and preteen girls: blowing their hair, talking into their ears, squeezing their necks, hugging in full body embraces—all for far too long. In other words, Biden should have expected the Charlie Rose or the Donald Trump Access Hollywood media treatment. Instead, he was de facto exonerated by collective media silence. To this day, despite staffers’ efforts to corral his wandering hands and head, he occasionally reverts to form with his creepy fixations with younger women.
Ask the media today which administration surveilled journalists and they will likely cry “Trump!” Yet their own sensationalist reporting that the IRS was weaponized by Trump was proven a lie when the inspector general noted Trump never went after either James Comey or Andrew McCabe. And it was an untruth comparable to the smear that “nuclear secrets” and “nuclear codes” were hidden away at Mar-a-Lago or that Donald Trump sought to profit from the trove. Nor does anyone remember that Barack Obama went after the Associated Press reporters and Fox News Channel’s James Rosen. Nor do they care that Biden sought to birth an Orwellian Ministry of Truth censorship bureau.
A less then comprehensive list to be sure. Let me just point out two obvious cases from the recent, relevant past that continue to linger in the realm of the anti-narrative: (1) the pipe bomb planted at the both party national offices on January 5, 2021 and (2) the source of the SCOTUS leak of the draft Dobbs opinion. A less reliably incurious and/or fully-compliant media apparatus for the left would have long ago maintained a coordinated and cultivated hysteria throughout every twenty four hour news cycle force a disclosure/resolution if either was deemed important to left-wing agendas. Prove me wrong…but if you find yourself in disagreement with that simple fact, please understand that to even argue the point with me at this late date proves a certain (willful) ignorance or intellectual dishonesty regarding the worsening state of the national media over the last half decade or so.
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One thought on “The Anti-Narrative – Page One of the Corrupt Media Playbook”
I fear we are in a period of “decivilization”. Mankind has been there before. It is left to scholars how it came about in past civilizations. We have a front row seat on this decline.
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