Media giant Gannett, owner of USA Today, announced last week it was cutting back on newspaper opinion pages within its chain, the largest in the country. Apparently editors decided “readers don’t want us to tell them what to think.” Or, put another way, they don’t need opinion pages when the “news” is doing a fine job of tacitly telling readers what to think.
In the words of a Fox News report, Gannett is “scaling back its opinion pages in an effort to combat a perception of having a political bias” and a political agenda. But that seems more like a cover than a genuine reason. Since when has the leftist corporate media been shy about coloring the events of the day, and worshipping at the altar of their political gods?
In just the years since Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential candidacy, the media, and not just newspapers, used “news” reports to do all they could to first run Trump’s campaign aground, and when that didn’t work, diligently peddle the narrative that Trump was a Russian stooge and had to be removed from office.
For anyone who even lightly scrolled through the media’s output during the Trump term, it was nigh on impossible to avoid claim after claim that the “bombshell” revelation which was going to bring down Trump was in the air on its way to the target. The media were – and still are – obsessed with Trump.
Nowhere can be found a more damning piece of evidence that the press was unified in its effort to destroy Trump than in this compilation of snippets from reporters, anchors and pundits telling the country the walls were “closing in” on Trump, and expressing an unwavering certainty that “a turning point,” “tipping point,” and “the beginning of the end” of his presidency had been reached. The video is a shameful and nauseating montage of media lockstep, and the wearisome usage of tired cliches that any fifth-grade teacher should steer her students away from is a good look into the shallow intellects of much of this country’s media heads.
While savagely crusading against Trump in specific and Republicans in general, the media have routinely ignored events that cast Democrats in a poor light. Such as the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop, which could have changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
More recently, the media have acted as if there’s been no threat to the life of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, even though a man who crossed the country from California to Kavanaugh’s Maryland home with his mind allegedly set on killing the jurist was recently arrested.
Had the target been a Democratic president’s nominee to the Court, we would still be hearing about it today through saturation coverage. Much like the wall-to-wall, all-day-every-day attention given to the obviously unreliable woman who, during his confirmation hearing, accused Kavanaugh of a sexual crime.
We could go on, but the decades of examples are too extensive to fit into even an encyclopedic study, much less a daily editorial.
Gannett, says Fox, is also rolling back “political endorsements by keeping them local.” But again, endorsements are being done quite sufficiently through the “news.”
A study by George Mason University economics professor Tim Groseclose reckons that media bias is worth 8 to 10 percentage points to the Democratic candidates in a typical election. That means the last time a Democrat won a presidential election without the media’s help was maybe 1996, when Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole by 8.5 percentage points – before that, it was Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 win over Barry Goldwater by more than 20 points.
We wish that the media were truly going through an awakening that’s leading to an abandonment of their pro-left bias. But personnel is policy, and the personnel among the press has a strong affinity for Democrats and progressives, and a fuming hatred of Republicans, conservatives, and advocates of liberty and limited government. Nothing will change until the industry breaks with its ideologically incestuous hiring practices.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board