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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Media's War on the First Amendment

The media took a brief break from its campaign against the Sinclair Media Group to go after the National Enquirer. The two don’t have anything in common except the perception of being pro-Trump.

In the good old days, going after rival media outlets meant writing nasty things about them. But these days the media doesn’t write nasty things for the sake of writing them. It writes nasty things to get someone fired, investigated or imprisoned. And that’s what its Sinclair and Enquirer stories are about.

CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times had wasted barrels of ink and pixels, to warn that Trump’s criticism of their media outlets represented a grave threat to the First Amendment.

And what better way to protect the First Amendment than by destroying it?

In its story about the FBI raid on Trump’s lawyer, the Times managed to suggest that the Enquirer’s support for the President of the United States might strip it of its First Amendment protection.

The Times tells its readers that the "federal inquiry" poses "thorny questions about A.M.I.’s First Amendment protections, and whether its record in supporting Mr. Trump somehow opens the door to scrutiny usually reserved for political organizations.”

That’s a thorny question alright. And there’s plenty more thorns where that one came from.

In ’08, the New York Times published an op-ed by Obama, but rejected McCain’s response. It just published an editorial titled, "Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto is Coming" which appears to have no purpose other than to help Beto O'Rourke raise money from New York Times readers.

The Times has a sharp thorn. So sharp it could punch a hole in it and the entire mainstream media.

“In one instance, The Enquirer bought but did not publish a story about an alleged extramarital relationship years earlier with the presidential candidate,” the Times sniffs. It’s not unprecedented for a paper to have damaging material about a politician without publishing it. Just ask the Los Angeles Times about the vault they’re keeping Obama’s Khalidi tape in. Or ask the Washington Post about its embargo of the photo of Obama posing with Nation of Islam hate group leader Louis Farrakhan at a CBC event.

Try and suggest that behavior like that should strip them of their First Amendment rights and a howling mob of pudgy pundits would descend on the green rooms of CNN and MSNBC like hornets out of hell.

On the Sinclair front, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and eight other Senate Democrats sent a letter to the FCC demanding that it take away its licenses because Sinclair condemned media bias.

No, really.

As “strong defenders of the First Amendment”, Bernie, Liz and Cory want to silence Sinclair because its anchors warned about "the dangers of 'one-sided news stories plaguing our country.'" And what better way to disprove such nonsense than by using government power to silence the news on the other side?

The Senate Stalinists accused Sinclair of a "systematic news distortion operation that seeks to undermine freedom of the press." But most people know that as the mainstream media.

Freedom of the press requires us to accept the idea that a handful of major lefty corporations control the country’s new distortion operation because it also allows conservatives to have their own media.

But the media left doesn’t accept that compromise. It isn’t willing to settle for the first spot in a two-man race. Like Tonya Harding, it wants to take a club to the knee of its political opponents.

In the media’s utopia, just like in a Soviet election or a movie tagline, there can be only one.

The press is perversely waging its war on the First Amendment in the name of freedom of the press. Its definition of the First Amendment is an exclusive club. And the only way to protect the club from Republican riffraff is to strip away their First Amendment rights. All for the sake of the First Amendment.

Like all leftists, the media doesn’t believe in freedom of the press. It believes in its own freedom. It identifies the First Amendment with itself and declares any threat to it to be a threat to the First.

That’s how the media can call for censoring rival media outlets in the name of the First Amendment.

After Trump’s victory, the media tore apart this country to boost its circulation and ratings (the New York Times and the Washington Post are so outraged that they can’t count the cash fast enough) and manufacture a crisis that would justify consolidating its control over the internet and print media.

Facebook was the biggest threat to the media’s bottom line. That’s why Mark Zuckerberg was testifying in Congress over data privacy issues that weren’t an issue when Obama Inc. had “ingested the entire social graph.” It was one of a series of fake news stories blaming Facebook for Trump’s victory.

Even the average leftist couldn’t care less about Facebook’s impact on the media’s business model. So the media instead rallied its mobs by accusing Facebook of collaborating with Trump and the Russians.

And the howls, imprecations and regulations began.

The media’s endgame was neutering Facebook and turning it into a profitable safe space for its content. The post-election accusations about “fake news” and the later conspiracy theories about “Russian bots” blamed Facebook’s “unregulated” spaces for powering Trump’s seemingly improbable election victory.

The solution to an unregulated space is regulation.

Facebook was blackmailed into letting the media’s fact checkers decide which stories should be allowed. Then algorithm tinkering wiped out the traffic of many conservative sites, leading several to shut down.

Google, Twitter and other social media companies have taken their own steps to prioritize lefty media views and silence conservative ones. The post-Trump environment in search and social has been rigged to be very favorable to the mainstream media and deeply unfriendly to Trump supporters.

The great media dream is a gated internet news operation completely under their control. But the attacks on Sinclair and the Enquirer show that even with the internet, old media is still in the crosshairs.

The media isn’t just going after websites; it’s also going after channels and print magazines. And it’s targeting them using the blunt tools of government censorship. FBI raids and FCC licenses are an escalation from pressuring Facebook into hiring its fact checkers to censor conservative media.

It’s the difference between monopolistic abuses and totalitarian ones.

The media has been using corporations to do its dirty work. But it’s never going to be satisfied with oligarchy if it can grab the brass ring of tyranny. Crackdowns by Citibank and the Bank of America on the Second Amendment or by Facebook and Google on the First Amendment are effective, but unsatisfying. The left didn’t spend over a century dying and killing just to have the Bank of America do its work for it.

As a dog returns to its vomit, the left returns to government repression.

The media will not accept any monopoly that is a hair short of total. FOX News, Sinclair and even the National Enquirer must be destroyed. Corporations and governments will be used as hand puppets to silence every voice of dissent. And it will be done for freedom of the press and the First Amendment.

The free press is a threat to freedom of the press, read about it in the mainstream media.



Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Liberalism a.k.a. LGBT+ is the train leftists get in until they get total power, then comes Hon. Robert Fuhrer III with the colonoscopy probe. Scary

MikeN said...

If you go back and read the "Port Huron Statement" in 1962 which was issued by the SDS, spearheaded by Tom Hayden, and over lay it on the left today you will see why they will never succeed. It is the classic example of how their ideas and Utopian goals always degenerate into tyranny. This will fade away as their leaders are now dying off, but, they will return in another sixty or seventy years as history really does repeat itself.

Anonymous said...

If one looks at all the ways the freedom to express disparate views is being repressed, then would it be unreasonable to suggest there is more than just a desire among editors for their media to pander to the left-wing readership?
Western societies are gradually being shuffled along with the misnomer of political-correctness when surely there is still a substantial number of readers/viewers who hold conservative views?
I think the agenda to liberalise Western society is driven at a deep level by those who want something akin to socialism for the whole world because their perpetual growth paradigm has stalled - very low bank interest rates are indicative of this. A single world currency is the dream of globalists such as those who run the EU behind the scenes. Britain lost most of its sovereignty under the EU and globalists want a world without borders and control everywhere. I believe that sites such as this one are continuing to report on the symptoms and not the disease itself. No false modesty, but, if someone with my very ordinary level of intelligence can see this, then so can millions of others and we can't all be silenced.

Anonymous said...

I have been blue ever since Thomas Sowell retired, but I have found a new truth teller, and I am HAPPY. Keep up the good work, Daniel Greenfield. You are well named "Daniel."

Anonymous said...

Here's the conspiracy theory that I subscribe to: the globalists are those who meet in secretive groups - bankers, corporations chiefs, etc. and are the powers-that-be behind the EU.

The free enterprise system, which up until recently has been the best for advancing the living standards of many people, has run out of steam. The seas are depleted of fish, populations are still growing exponentially, there is ever less arable land to feed the planet's billions, the globalists know all this.
They want to exercise more control over the planet and bring in depopulation programs (abortion, euthanasia, sterilisation, carbon credits rationing for the plebs). Churches are opposed to most of those things.
What to do about the opposition? You use front men like the old Hungarian with his bags of money to let government, media and industry leaders know what he and his shadowy companions want, e.g. we can give your college a huge donation if you agree to follow our left wing agenda by allowing us to set up "gender studies" departments etc. Youth are thus indoctrinated with the one-world-government ideology in the naive hope that everyone will be looked after.
To governments: "let these culturally incompatible people into your country or we'll tell the UN to ostracise you as racists and we'll hit you with sanctions. Then you mustn't offend your new citizens with truth telling, so free speech must stop, as a matter of fact, we'll call it "hate speech." If you believe in your country's national sovereignty then you're a fascist, they yell. The US Constitution, which I admire, gets disregarded and interpreted in bizarre ways. All because of the golden rule - whoever has the gold (globalists) make the rules with bought influence. As they say "all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Some suggest JFK was assassinated because he wanted to restore US sovereignty over monetary policy, but hey, what would I know? Best regards to you Daniel as I think you're one of the good guys.

Anonymous said...

WATCH THE ZUCKERBERG CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS.......The questions by most Congressmen were designed to "persuade by hint/inference" that FB (and the other platforms) should adopt the wholesale PC attitude to "regulate/permit" speech so that Congress won't have to do it and so be accused of destroying the 1st Amendment. FB (and the other platforms) would become a censor in "proxy-by-action" for the leftist's in Congress. They will, in effect, be the Government approved conscience of the "community", deciding who deserves space on their platforms, all the while watching how the left reacts. Don't believe it? Read the Supreme Court decisions "Miller v. California" and "Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton" where the Government decides using "community standards" and "quality of life" as the goal post. And remember that the continuing existence of the FCC threat is there to help remind them as to what to decide. Not enough? Well, look at how FB and the other platforms caved-in to the Communist Party in China when all the Party did is "voice" disapproval. With all this, am I or you to still believe that FB and the other platforms will be acting as only a private party running a private business?

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