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Thomas Gallatin / July 29, 2020

Yesteryear’s Propagandist Is Today’s ‘Journalist’

Anti-journalist activists have largely replaced genuine journalists in today’s mainstream media.

The Left has long glorified and lionized journalists as the nation’s cultural truth-tellers. Starting with the muckrakers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, however, came the rise of the activist journalist. This type of person sees the role of journalist as not merely that of accurately informing the public of news, but also that of cultural reformer. To be fair, the journalists of yesteryear believed in the power of the truth to bring about reform and a more justice society, but they had nothing on today’s activists.

Somewhere along the way, these activist journalists lost faith in the power of truth to evoke the kind of progressive reforms to society they believed in. Therefore, they increasingly aim to direct and limit what information is reported.

Fast forward to today’s news media and it becomes patently clear that this activist journalism has produced anti-journalism.

As National Review’s Jim Geraghty observes, “Major institutions of American journalism have decided that certain viewpoints must not be expressed within their pages, and certain factions and narratives must not be questioned, challenged, or opposed. Certain arguments must not be heard, certain supporting evidence must not be examined; certain ideas are simply too dangerous or malevolent to be brought to a wider audience. We are instructed that the very expression of them in any form makes certain staffers ‘feel unsafe’ and thus must be treated as akin to a physical assault.”

Geraghty continues, “This is not the pursuit of knowledge; this is the avoidance of knowledge. This is not curiosity; this is an ironclad certainty that everything that is needed to be known about any given subject is already known. This is not informing the audience about what is going on in the world; this is making sure they don’t hear what is going on in the world, because it might run counter to a preferred narrative.”

So committed are today’s mainstream journalists to seeing society transformed into their idealized leftist utopia that they will ignore or downplay any news that fails to support their biased political and cultural views.

David Burge joked a few years back, “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” Today’s “journalism” also means weaving false narratives that advance the leftist agenda. Again, that’s not journalism; it’s anti-journalism.

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