During the George W. Bush administration, I noticed a sharp turn by the media. Since the late 1970s, as conservative journalists started aging out and the new breed of eager progressive journalists took their spots, the media has been shifting left. Their bias was present but often held in check. However, the rise of the internet as a source of news in the Bush years made many journalists turn more aggressive in promoting their liberal agendas.
Slowly but steadily, the bias became more apparent. The major news networks started doing less reporting and more commentary. Shows like “O’Reilly Factor” made opinions more relevant than news reports. People loved these shows, turning them into the norm. Instead of unbiased reports accounting for the majority of television news, everything now has to come with commentary by the anchors.
We saw this evolution unfold with Dan Rather. Once a proud and trusted reporter, he adapted and started inserting his narratives into the stories he told. We all know how that ended.
The 2016 election saw a huge spike in bias. It’s as if the cat was let out of the bag that the media favors the left, so they reacted by embracing their own bias. Since Donald Trump’s victory, they’ve gone all out. Today, they unabashedly oppose the new President. Rather than talking about protests, they’ve become the protesters. Instead of giving opinions about those who are speaking out against him, they are joining in on the propaganda.
In short, we’ve reached “peak media bias.”
It’s important to note that I’m not a Trump apologist. I’ve never been a supporter, and while I was glad that Hillary Clinton lost the election, I wasn’t necessarily happy that Trump won. I think he poses a different sort of threat to America, but he’s our President so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt. When he does the right things, I’ll cheer. When he does the wrong things, I’ll oppose. It’s a shame that I’m forced lately to come to his defense by calling out the atrocities being perpetrated by those on the left who seem willing to burn down America rather than live in it under a Trump administration.
There have been dozens of examples of topics over the past few weeks where the media spun the stories to paint Trump in the worst possible light. Their mastery of headline propaganda in an age of drive-by media consumption allows them to push their agenda while technically still reporting on the facts. This isn’t new, but it’s much more effective today with the always-connected nature of society. We can see a good example of this with the most recent “controversy” surrounding Trump’s feud with Congressman John Lewis.
Here’s how Google News is pushing the agenda through headlines:
Let’s be clear. The real story here is that a sitting United States Congressman has called the sanctity of the system into question. He’s referenced reports from a potentially-biased intelligence community that states it’s unclear whether or not the Russian attempts to influence the election were successful. Moreover, the hacks released by WikiLeaks have never been questioned for their content. In other words, Democrats aren’t arguing that Hillary Clinton didn’t do anything wrong or deserved to win the election. They’re claiming that the Russians exposed truths that the Democrats feel should not have been made public. They are upset because they allegedly lost the election due to being exposed as corrupt and dishonest.
Trump responded to John Lewis’s initial attack because Trump always responds. Whether or not he responded to attacks nicely shouldn’t be the bigger story here. This will be modus operandi for the left going forward: punch Trump, then report on the counter-punch. It would be nice of Trump could rise above it all and act like the leader of the free world, but they know that he thrives in the gutter, so they’re going to do everything they can to keep him there.
The media is beyond pretense. They no longer have to hide their progressive agendas behind facades. They’re going to be aggressive with their attacks and are now even willing to broadcast them for what they are. The good news is that it’s not everyone. There are counterbalances on the right (such as TNA). More importantly, there are those on the left who are willing to call out the hypocrisy sometimes when it’s blatant.
How should Americans react to this development? We could call them out for it:
— Hasai (@hasai) January 15, 2017
We could laugh at the reports by “the biased ones” and hope they eventually get the hint (they won’t, but it’s fun):
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 16, 2017
We could pick out the best sources for our news and ignore all the others:
Most others are #FakeNews.
— Dora Brooks (@dorabrooks) January 16, 2017
We could help everyone we know see the truth:
Hemingway: "When they see Trump fight back against the media, it makes them feel like he's fighting back for THEM" https://t.co/lzesK7W827
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) January 16, 2017
What’s the right answer to the media bias problem? Fight back. Spread real news. Correct those who fall for the bias. Scorn those who report with bias. A free press is there to keep Americans informed, not indoctrinated. It’s time to make the media realize their agenda is not our agenda.
Image source: Odyssey