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Commentary: The American Media – Enemies of the People?

Commentary by Patrick Maines originally published by

One of Donald Trump’s most controversial claims is that the media are the enemy of the people. It embarrasses and pains me, after a lengthy career as the head of a Washington think tank financially supported by the media, to say that this is not an unfair description. It’s an overstatement, and it hasn’t always been true, but it’s a fitting characterization of the vast majority of the U.S. media today.

People who are politically astute and fair-minded have long known that the broadcast networks and leading newspapers are liberal and Democrat leaning. But until the last five years or so the media practiced a discernable degree of separation between news and opinion, and eschewed displays of overt bias.

Not so now. Today, most of the so-called elite media openly commingle news and opinion and actively suppress or distort stories that don’t fit their shared narrative.

In this fashion they dismissed the Hunter Biden laptop scandal as “Russian disinformation;” they ignored or demeaned stories and individuals linking the coronavirus to the Wuhan lab; and they enthusiastically spread for years the lie of Trump/Russia collusion despite the overwhelming evidence that the real collusion was committed by Hillary Clinton cronies and sympathetic individuals in the FBI, CIA, and elsewhere.

Indeed, the New York Times and the Washington Post, both of which received Pulitzer Prizes for their “Russiagate” stories, steadfastly refuse even now to return those prizes.

Are examples like these sufficient to warrant the accusation of being enemies of the people? I think they are. Consider the consequences: Because legacy and social media dismissed the Hunter Biden story, millions of Americans never knew the depth of Hunter’s depravity or the suggestion that some of the millions of dollars he earned from clients in China and the Ukraine were meant for the “big guy,” Joe Biden himself.

And even more people were misled into believing that Trump was a kind of Russian agent. Is it possible that these two things alone might have tilted a close election to Biden? The answer is that it’s not only possible, it’s a virtual certainty.

And this isn’t even to try to calculate the damage to the social fabric of this country by the legacy and online media’s embrace of progressivism and the woke culture. How much such damage has the New York Times by itself done by the creation of the 1619 Project, led by the race- baiting crackpot Nikole Hannah-Jones?

It has been the 1619 Project that has provided journalistic cover for cancel culture and the brazen attacks on freedom of speech in academia.

So let’s see. The elite media have directly undermined democracy by attempting (and succeeding) in influencing the popular vote through fraudulent stories in the presidential election of 2020; they have been leading spear carriers in the promotion of noxious and racist woke culture; and they have destroyed the credibility of journalism itself, the essential element in the workings of successful popular democracies here and around the world.

If actions such as these don’t support the charge that the media are enemies of the people, what’s missing?

Going forward, the solution to this fraught state of affairs is to do nothing via government, with the one exception being to eliminate Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. There is no justification for allowing the social media to act as editors of their content while being insulated (unlike broadcasting, cable, and newspapers) from the libel laws.

The other solution is for people to reach out to and support the growing number of superb online media outlets, like Substack and the RealClearInvestigations unit of RealClearPolitics.

The legacy media aren’t going to change because they have neither the wit nor the character to do so. Let them lead themselves into the journalistic equivalent of the La Brea Tar Pits, and forget about them.

Patrick Maines is the president emeritus of The Media Institute. On his watch it became one of the country’s leading First Amendment organizations. He is the founder of Free Speech Week, now in its seventeenth year.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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