Harold Hutchison / February 16, 2021

The ‘Mainstream’ Media Attacks Freedom of the Press

Big Media wants to quash competition, even at the expense of First Amendment freedoms.

During President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, one of his attorneys claimed that the proceeding was an attempt to limit freedom of speech as something available only to the Left — calling it the “Raskin Doctrine” after Representative Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager. While it’s good that there’s increased awareness of the Left’s desire to silence opposition, we shouldn’t let it be limited to just Raskin. Sadly, it’s not limited to politicians, either.

Despite what was claimed by anti-Trump conservatives, the First Amendment was on the ballot in not just the 2020 election, it was at stake in 2016 as well. Raskin wasn’t the first politician to target those who used the First Amendment to oppose the Left: The Cuomo-James regime in New York was targeting the NRA for destruction as a “terrorist organization” for the “crime” of defending Americans from losing their Second Amendment rights as an unjust punishment for crimes they didn’t commit. Raskin wasn’t even the first in Congress — we warned, for example, of the totalitarian efforts of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

So, where is the media in all of this? The bad news is that Big Media is siding with the would-be totalitarians. In The New York Times, Nicolas Kristof called for cable companies to drop Fox News from basic packages. CNN and MSNBC, which are de facto public-relations agencies for the DNC, would be allowed to stay. But Kristof isn’t the only one. The Washington Post has hosted calls for cable providers to deplatform conservative media outlets.

Even on the 24-hour cable networks, the totalitarian impulse is heeded and not resisted. CNN’s Oliver Darcy, in particular, has an ugly track record of using his platform to seek the deplatforming of competitors, ranging from Alex Jones to OANN and Newsmax. He’s often joined by Brian Stelter, CNN’s living version of Mr. Potato Head but without the wit and charm.

Many of these outlets were really silent when it came to the IRS targeting the Tea Party, the “John Doe” investigations in Wisconsin, and a host of other abuses, ranging from the attacks on Prop 8 supporters in California to the doxing of Trump supporters by a sitting congressman, to the deplatforming of “free speech” competitors to Facebook and Twitter. Media outlets didn’t just stay silent in the face of those actions, they cheered the actions and sought even more. Is the word “totalitarian” too harsh for this pattern of behavior? We don’t think so, given that we’ve seen a track record stretching over a decade.

That said, these media outlets are under the delusion that if only those pesky “free speech”/conservative alternatives are made to go away, they will be trusted once again. That’s not going to happen — instead, the media will have only convinced grassroots Patriots that the more paranoid among them are actually the most rational. That cannot end well.

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