Culture, Science & Faith

The Leftmedia's Broken Monopoly

Americans are increasingly aware of the media's willful dereliction of duty.

Arnold Ahlert · Jun. 9, 2016

Agence France Presse revealed this week that the U.S. newspaper industry lost more than 50% of the jobs it had as recently as the 1990s. Unsurprisingly, AFP attributed the decline to the “massive shift to digital media that has hammered traditional newspapers.” No doubt that is a factor, but the comments section following the article was much more revealing. Overwhelmingly, those who gave up reading newspapers cited two reasons for their decision: liberal bias and the virtual extinction of anything resembling journalistic integrity.

Unfortunately, liberal bias and a lack of journalistic integrity have moved seamlessly into the digital realm. Yet far more important is what was unable to completely survive the shift: the Left’s monopolistic control of news dissemination. Gone are the days when the Big Three TV networks, and a handful of “important” newspapers such as the New York Times and Washington Post, made it seem as if the entire nation were marching in lockstep behind the liberal agenda.

That is not to say they’ve given up trying. “For the two and a quarter centuries of our republic, Americans have expected the fourth estate to tell it raw and straight,” writes columnist John P. Warren. “In the lifetime of Baby Boomers, however, the Progressive Establishment, abetted by most news and information outlets — State Media — and Academia, have distorted our founding truths in much of what we hear and watch, not unlike the Soviet Union’s Pravda and China’s People’s Daily.”

Exaggerated? Warren provides a compelling and disturbing list of the top five media conglomerates and their subsidiaries:

Comcast: NBCUniversal, the NBC network, Telemundo, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Oxygen, CNBC World, 24 TV stations, Comcast Sports, and pieces of the Weather Channel, A&E, The History Channel, Lifetime, FEARnet, PBS Kids Sprout, as well as several online outlets, and Universal Studios in Hollywood.

Disney: ABC television network, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Pixar Animation, and pieces of A&E, Lifetime, Biography, and The History Channel.

Time-Warner: Warner Brothers Television, TBS, TNT, TCM, CNN International, CNN, HLN, HBO, Cinemax, and magazines, such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Life, InStyle, Real Simple, Fortune, Southern Living, and Entertainment Weekly. TW also owns Warner Brothers Pictures, New Line Cinema, Castle Rock, and others.

CBS: CBS Corporation, Showtime, Smithsonian Networks, CBS Sports, CBS Studios, 29 television stations, CBS Radio & 130 radio stations, CNET, Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, Scribner, CBS Films, and others.

News Corp: Fox Broadcasting, 27 television stations, Fox News, Fox Business, Fox Sports, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, TV Guide, Barron’s, Harper Collins Publishing, 20th Century Fox, Searchlight Pictures, and National Geographic U.S.

News Corp might be considered an ideological outlier in some respects, yet it is worth remembering Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch toes the same amnesty line as his progressive colleagues. Moreover, note that this is an incomplete list of information “managers,” omitting leftist social media titans such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Apple who are also dedicated to “shaping” the message Americans receive. Note further that these conglomerates have been more than willing to blur the distinction between news and popular entertainment — popular entertainment that spends considerable time mocking traditional American values, while promoting progressive agendas with regard to such topics as homosexuality, transgenderism, environmentalism and illegal immigration.

While this level of control is formidable, one could make a good case that total control remains elusive. In recent days, leftist hacks have been busted for being the leftist hacks they truly are. Former TV news anchor Katie Couric’s efforts to shape a story on gun control with a manufactured eight seconds of silence was outed by the Washington Free Beacon. A Telemundo cameraman’s attempt to stage anti-Trump protesters in San Diego was reported by NewsBusters. Hot Air’s Larry O'Connor blasted “reporters” covering Hillary Clinton’s first press conference in a month, listing the absurdly banal questions she was asked, every one of which studiously avoided any of the scandals currently dogging the presumptive Democrat presidential candidate.

While these are hopeful signs, liberal bias remains firmly entrenched. Perhaps nothing currently speaks to this reality better than the story about the IRS releasing the list of 426 (overwhelmingly conservative) organizations it targeted for “extra scrutiny.”

Make no mistake: This story is one of the biggest scandals in modern-day history. It dwarfs Watergate by an order of several magnitudes. Yet if one conducts a Google search, not a single media organization that isn’t conservative is listed as having covered it on the first two pages of that search engine’s website.

That’s a major scandal in and of itself.

And the American people are becoming increasingly aware of this willful dereliction of duty. A recent poll reveals that only 6% of the public have a lot of confidence in the media, an abysmal percentage fueled by “perceptions” of inaccuracy and bias. It is a well-earned reputation built upon years of advocacy masquerading as journalism, errors of omission and commission, and the despicable transformation of what ought to be an adversarial relationship between a free, watchdog press and government, into an unholy alliance best described as a progressive-dominated, government-media complex.

One where the narrative, rather than the truth, remains supreme.

One last thing: The opportunity to read this column is due to the dogged determination of The Patriot Post’s Executive Editor and Publisher Mark Alexander. In 1996, he foresaw the opportunity to exploit the imminent decline of newspapers, and launched this beacon of Liberty. We remain one of the oldest conservative publications on the web, and while we celebrate our 20th anniversary, our goal remains what it has always been: to challenge the Leftmedia monopoly.

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