This did not happen by fate or happenstance—it has been building since the 1960’s, a period of great unrest in the USA caused by the deep divide between those who supported America’s participation in the Vietnam War and those who did not. This is when radicalism was born. Young people were urged to stand up and fight their own government and look at the world differently. To hell with patriotism and the American way of life. Young people did not understand the Cold War or the military strategy designed to stop the spread of communism throughout the world. They were called hippies—young men and women who chucked the social mores that had governed their parents. It was time of free love without responsibility, weed smoking, acid-dropping, psychedelic music, and gurus who promised enlightenment. (Of course, many of these self-appointed gurus were more interested in their flock turning over their wealth to the ashrams and providing free labor.) It was a time of believing that a harmonious world could be achieved through bucking conventions and good intentions.
I think it is fair to say that such naïve thinking stuck with a lot of that generation and they grew up continuing their efforts to shape a new world with media providing an outlet for and mirroring their message. News items were no longer reported in strictly factual terms but took on societal implications as well. Abortion was no longer about killing unwanted children but about a “woman’s right to choose” and women’s rights in general. War was no longer viewed as a viable tool of defense but as the last resort after we had exhausted our ability to love or understand or accept our enemies. And the youth no longer felt America—the glorious idea of America—was worth putting their lives on the line.
Then, during Richard Nixon’s presidency, a two-bit burglary of the Democratic National Headquarters located in the Watergate Hotel suddenly became big news. Using a source given the code name “Deep Throat,” investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered a cover-up instigated by the Oval Office, the relentless reporting of which would eventually lead to the resignation of President Nixon. It was an heady time in journalism where reporters could, and did, change the fate of a nation. Suddenly, journalism wasn't solely about selling your liberal agenda.
A few decades later, the 95% of the national media has sold its soul to liberalism and still pines for the days when a reporter or two could topple a presidency. But not just any president, only a Republican. For eight years we watched the media swoon over the first African-American president and turn a blind eye when Mr. Obama ran roughshod over the Constitution. We waited, outraged, while they never investigated Operation Fast and Furious or where Mr. Obama was during the attack on Benghazi or who sanctioned the IRS targeting conservatives. No matter what scandal Obama had his hand in, the media gave him a pass. Most recently, we learned that Obama likely had Trump and Trump’s campaign team spied upon and unmasked. This, as President Trump pointed out in a tweet, is a huge story, but already the media is paying it no mind.
The consequences of such biased reporting have finally come home to roost. The American public puts less trust in the media than it does Congress, and that’s not saying much. Mind you, the Left did not need to “buy” the media as one might think. No, they simply took advantage of all the young minds that were there looking to advance issues of social justice, equality, and fairness and told them only the Left cares about those things; our shared beliefs are sufficient motive to override reporting objectivity. Who said the end justifies the means?
Today the cable news networks and the major newspapers are scrambling to hold onto their viewers and credibility with the American public. At the same time, we are seeing more “fake news” than ever before, which only further enlarges the journalistic swamp of pollution. At one time, the “free press” was seen as the conscience of America, a tool that our founding fathers saw as a means of keeping our politicians and government honest and working for the people. Those days are gone, I am afraid. The “free press” and all we hoped it would be has been sold down the river, traded, like so many things, for political gain and power.
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