How many times have we been shown evidence that the so-called “mainstream press” in America is solidly on the side of the liberals and progressives? Apart from Fox News, talk radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and a few other sources, America’s news media and their reporters overwhelmingly support Democratic Party candidates year in and year out. They slant the news they choose to report so as to protect incumbent liberals, to further their tax-and-spend policies, and to promote government agencies’ relentless growth and regulatory intrusions into our lives and our commerce.
When the liberal journalists are confronted with the evidence of their extreme bias, they either deny it, or change the subject, or attack their questioners.
Or—as a last resort—they invoke the First Amendment’s freedom of the press.
While exposing the mainstream media’s bias is important—here’s to you, Bernie Goldberg—the exposés only reveal the tip of a much bigger iceberg. That’s because the threat posed to us by the mainstream media stems not just from the mere fact that the bias exists, but from the nature of that bias. To understand this threat better, let’s take a fresh look at why freedom of the press is protected as a fundamental right here in the United States.
In the first ten amendments to our Constitution, we, the people, established our Bill of Rights. Its overarching purpose was to safeguard our freedom as individuals to rule over ourselves, as citizens in a bottom-up society.
Critical to making this work was to have a citizenry that was both educated and informed.
As for the education part, we were a bit slow in getting around to embracing universal education, so that all citizens could become educated before they got to cast votes. But we did it. I’ll circle back to the topic of education shortly.
As for the information part, we believed some freedoms to be so important that we included them in the very first amendment to our Constitution, so that we could freely impart and receive knowledge as we saw fit. And so, in addition to religious freedom, we ensured for ourselves freedom of speech and of the press, plus the freedoms to assemble together and to petition our government.
Viewed in context, it’s clear that these freedoms were enacted to protect us not from Republicans or conservatives or libertarians or Tea Partiers, but from an overbearing federal government. If you doubt this, please read the First Amendment for yourself. It clearly prohibits Congress from interfering in those freedoms.
Freedom of speech allowed us to speak out against the government and its incumbent officeholders, and to try to influence how our fellow Americans saw the events of the day. Freedom of assembly empowered us to gather together peaceably, the better to convey our ideas, to forge alliances, and to try to influence or oppose government policy. Freedom to petition the government allowed us to ask our government and its officials to do something, or not to do something; and it allowed us to seek some fair and peaceful resolution of our grievances against our government and against our fellow citizens. Taken together, these freedoms empowered us, as individuals and as voluntary associations of individuals, to convey information and ideas among ourselves, and to speak out against the federal government, without fear that the government would punish us or restrain us.
Freedom of the press was central to this process. The idea was to create an environment in which the press would investigate and report information to help protect us from the federal government—not the other way around.
We did not enshrine freedom of the press as a fundamental freedom so that the press could align itself with incumbent elected officials or their appointees in the bureaucracy. The very notion of reporters taking their “talking points” from the White House is anathema to our freedom—but scarily like the government-controlled media we’ve seen in repressive totalitarian regimes such as Russia and China.
So, how is it that today’s journalists have come to refuse to vet President Obama and his administration the way they vetted Republican presidents and their administrations in the past? How did the mainstream media manage to go so far astray from the First Amendment?
The answer is that the liberals long ago captured public education at the primary and secondary levels, as well as the university professoriate. For decades, education in America has been systematically skewed to churn out graduates who favor bigger government, bigger entitlement programs, higher taxes, and greater regulatory intrusions into our homes and our businesses. Education about the worth of individuals in a bottom-up society has given way to indoctrination about the value of the top-down central state in managing us and our commerce.
Our journalists today, by and large, are products of this indoctrination. They simply do not appreciate the critical importance of personal freedom, personal growth, personal excellence, and personal responsibility for achieving a prosperous and happy society.
If liberals think about morality at all, they do not think of it from the standpoint of persons having a moral duty to grow as individuals to be better able to benefit others by helping them to grow, too. And they do not acknowledge the importance of taking personal responsibility for the decisions we make and the consequences of those decisions.
Instead, the liberals in the media have bought into the notion that the federal government is inherently good and that personal responsibility is passé. To them, the more we get of big, centralized government that makes our decisions for us, the better. To them, the more the federal government taxes and spends, the better. And to them, the more government redistributes wealth from the productive to the nonproductive, the better.
That these ideas don’t work—that they are harming us and our children, stifling economic growth, and killing job opportunities—doesn’t register with them. And even if it does, it doesn’t bother them.
Instead, they tell themselves that they are morally good, while they disparage opposing views as evil or extreme or fascist—a term the media plainly do not understand.
If only our journalists had been taught the truth about communism, classic socialism, fascism, and Nazism, which are strikingly alike, linked in their commitment to rigid top-down central government that stands over the people, treating them as cogs in the wheels of state as it dictates their choices in life.
If only our journalists had learned that all of those “isms” proved to be disasters, cumulatively causing the deaths of a hundred million human beings, and the misery of many times more.
If only our journalists had been brought up to understand that individual freedom and personal responsibility are the true underpinnings of economic growth and prosperity.
And if only they’d come to see that top-down governments squelch freedom of the press as a means to control the people.
But our current crop of reporters, on the whole, has been raised to favor the federal government over us, the people. That’s why the mainstream media have protected the Obama administration. They are protecting it from us.
We need to change this, not only by turning away from the mainstream media in favor of other news sources, but by changing how we educate our children.
Thank you for stopping by this website. I hope you’ll come back soon, and that you’ll give my book, Moralnomics: The Moral Path to Prosperity, a try.