Commentary by Patrick Maines originally published by RealClearPolitics and RealClearWire
We may never know for sure why FOX News sidelined Tucker Carlson, their most popular anchor, but the reason this matter takes on greater importance is because of the growing realization that the U.S. media beyond FOX no longer practice journalism worth the name.
Of course, it’s been widely known for a while now that propaganda and misinformation are the lifeblood of an outfit like CNN. But the truly horrifying thing is that it’s not just CNN. It’s virtually all of the MSM. Readers of RealClearPolitics, the NY Post, Wall Street Journal, and a handful of other mostly online outlets are aware of the cascading evidence of massive corruption by President Biden and his family, aided and abetted by the FBI and the Justice Department.
But if you get your news from ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, the Washington Post, or the New York Times, you have quite possibly not been aware of it. The worst aspect of this isn’t just the occasional betrayal of the country and every virtue in journalism. The worst is that these and other legacy media have been acting as a kind of journalistic cabal from 2016 until the present moment.
The list of truthful stories they have ignored or dismissed is as long as one’s arm. It includes the evidence that “Russiagate” was a fraud; that Hunter Biden’s laptop was, in fact, his and was deeply incriminating; that Joe Biden interjected himself in the affairs of the Ukrainian company, Burisma, to protect Hunter’s relationship with and astounding compensation from that company; that using his dad’s name, Hunter coerced millions of dollars out of a Chinese company (Harvest Fund Management) and then shared some of that booty with other Biden family members; and that in all of these things, the media actively sought to protect Joe Biden and to keep the American people in the dark.
One could add to this list the MSM’s lack of curiosity about the origin of COVID and the Wuhan Lab, and the ongoing scandal of the storming of our southern border.
If even one or two of the national news media had seriously delved into these matters – an ABC or CBS, a Times or Post – one could still have some degree of confidence in the independence and integrity of the media. But when none of them have done so, we are confronted with the chilling realization that the legacy media, for reasons only they and their therapists know, have become an existential threat to our country. Simply put, you cannot have a functioning democratic system when the citizens are kept in the dark and misled by our national news organizations.
As things stand now, a large number (a majority, according to a Gallup poll released in October of last year) of Americans have little or no confidence in the media. How could they? If the MSM ignore or misinform their readers and viewers about the most important issues of the day, how can people know how to act, vote, or think? Put another way, if the media don’t report something, did it happen?
Judging by multiple reports to date, events are going to force an answer to that question in the very near future. Thanks to pieces from online news and opinion outlets, and to FOX, there will be no avoiding the claims now being made about Joe and Hunter Biden, and about Merrick Garland and the Justice Department. And if, in the debate and resolution of these matters, everything the media has said and not said is proven wrongheaded and worse, where then the Fourth Estate?
Commentary by Patrick Maines – This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.
Patrick Maines is the president emeritus of The Media Institute, a Washington-based think tank that in his time aggressively promoted free speech and journalistic excellence. He engineered the creation of an independent national celebration called Free Speech Week, now in its 20th year.