The Fifth Column

TO SAY the majority of the American national media operates with a liberal bias would be a major understatement. Having worked in the broadcast industry since 1972, I can tell you that political thinking from any perspective other than the left is neither welcome nor encouraged in most places in this business. I’ve been to TV stations in major markets where everybody…and I mean everybody, from the general manager to the custodian, is an outspoken politically left-wing Democrat. Thankfully, it isn’t that way in talk radio, but in larger markets radio has more than its share of leftists.

Of course, freedom of the press isn’t limited to the commentariat, scribblers and green eyeshade-types, just as freedom of speech doesn’t end for an American elected to public office. President Trump has the backbone and guts to keep on punching back at the Mediacrat party like no other president, in fact, like no other Republican has since Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew. After all, it’s not like they don’t deserve it. On Friday, CNN’s Democrat party spokesman Jim “Accoster” Acosta was confronted* in the Rose Garden after the president’s emergency declaration by a group of Angel Moms. The professional leftist, when debating President Trump, trotted out the same old see-through nonsense about illegal alien crime statistics, like a drunk hugging a lamp-post: for support, not illumination. The president deftly swatted away Acosta’s prevarications, something else America is not used to seeing a president do. Acosta swatted away the Angel Moms, which is exactly what one would expect a leftist to do since they’re much more concerned with the welfare of illegal aliens than the lives of the professionals trying to protect America’s borders from them.  With the stunning breadth of the press’ opposition to commonsense American positions and actions, the president is right: They really are the enemy of the American people.

“How dare he?” is the normal reaction of the left whenever the president disagrees with the Mediacrat party and their iPhone-wielding skirmishers. They detest President Trump in every way, which, of course, is why none of them should be permitted to cover him. They do anyway, proving it’s not just reporters and editors who slant coverage to favor the left, it’s upper management who either approve of the bias or are so personally skewed to the left themselves that they’re not aware it even exists. Otherwise it wouldn’t look, sound or read the way it does. Its subtlety has become an art form, practiced with skill:

  • TV news directors send the tallest videographer they have to cover GOP candidates, making them look short, which diminishes them in viewers’ eyes.
  • Documentary directors use foreboding, dark and minor-key music under GOP subjects so watchers will infer a certain, scary ‘something’ about conservatives or Republicans; lighting and shadows help that along, too.
  • Republican staffers are “handlers”, but their Democrat counterparts are “advisors”.
  • A Republican ‘claims’ or ‘insists’, while a Democrat ‘says’ or ‘states’.
  • Words like ‘but’ and ‘only’ have a definite, subjective effect on the words that follow them, making them strictly editorial in nature, and they’re used in hard news pieces anyway.

When things like these are done well, a typical viewer, reader or listener will never know that they are being done.  But anyone exposed to this for a few decades will have a reference basis that starts from the platform the leftist media has provided and shaped for decades. There’s literally no way around it.

Because the press’ freedom is uniquely guaranteed by our Constitution, Americans ought to be able to reasonably expect the Fourth Estate to inform the public, reliably and without prejudice, of the facts, so the public can make candid, knowledgeable decisions and thoughtful choices. Instead, our press in America today works to influence, not inform, and presents truth, not fact, to their unsuspecting victims. It’s contrary to our democracy’s interests for the majority of the media to function as a filter, quashing stories and concepts they don’t like while letting through and emphasizing the ones they do. They have wide and deeply established rights but determining the definition, limits, terms and purpose of our national conversation isn’t among them.

That media should maintain a virtual strangle-hold on our national culture, and use it to advance a particular political agenda, is contrary to the very concept of a modern democracy. Clearly, media has an agenda and their actions are in aid of that agenda, not in aid of our nation.

*You thought I was going to use ‘accosted’, didn’t you?

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