I understand the concern of many in traditional newspaper journalism about the unfair advantage that social media has when earning advertising revenue from free content generated by traditional media which has to pay its journalists. However, the mainstream media needs to look in the mirror to see if perhaps its bias and political and cultural positions are driving away readers, who move to social media precisely because the mainstream media content has become so one-sided. A good example is a recent story by The Canadian Press carried by many Canadian newspapers. Entitled “Domestic terrorism a growing U.S. threat”.
The article is accompanied by a photo showing Trump supporters waiving American flags and suggests that “a dangerous and escalating threat of homegrown violent extremism (is) following last month’s riots on Capitol Hill.”
A counter-terrorism expert is quoted as saying that prior to the January 6th riots, terrorism was largely an international threat and afterword it became a domestic one. Elizabeth Neumann says she believes “that we will be fighting domestic terrorism that has its roots and inspiration points from January 6 for the next 10 to 20 years.” However, it is quite preposterous to argue that a riot by about one hundred people of so far unknown affiliation dwarfs the largely peaceful rally by hundreds of thousands of peaceful citizens, expressing their concerns about the fairness of election proceedings. We need to discuss what is “domestic terrorism” and what is the danger in including in the concept only right wing riots, when all summer long, Americans were subject to horrific Black Lives Matter and Antifa destruction of the downtowns of large American cities, destroying small businesses. In Seattle the BLM and Antifa terrorists even set up what they called a sovereign territory. Such terrorism, including an attack and burning of a police station was largely tolerated by authorities, who were too fearful to adequately police these vast riots. The article referred to above does not even mention these summer riots when it comes to discussing domestic terrorism Why is that? And is there something wrong with the reporting of mainstream media?
In large part this is because media has a bias in favour of left wing terrorists and is all too willing to exaggerate the threats from right-wing terrorists. Compare the numbers, the violent tactics, and the influence of the BLM and Antifa rioters with any right-wing organization. I would suggest that there is no moral or political equivalency between Qanon and the Proud Boys on one side and BLM and Antifa on the other. Kamala Harris cheered on BLM as did other Democrats. The Democrats feature 4 younger politicians who call themselves the “Squad”. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have made anti-Semitic anti-Israel statements and Ayanna Pressley has backed violent protests. Omar, quite soon after her election as a congresswoman, refused to retract anti-Semitic comments and Nancy Pelosi, Majority House Leader, despite pressure to discipline her, refused to take any action and Omar continues on the Foreign Affairs Committee. There are other Democrats who also can be categorized as far Left-wing, such as Bernie Sanders and Raphael Warnock, but the mainstream media obsess unduly on the marginalized right-wing groups, even though they are tiny.
Such right-wing groups of course owe whatever allegiance they have to media and Democratic party political attacks on moderate Conservatives, calling them “deplorables” who cling to their Bibles and guns. That is because such allegations seek to disenfranchise the moderate heartland. The result is that many are driven to extremist language as a consequence.
So, while many Democrats support far left personalities, few if any Republicans endorse far-right activists. The only exception might be Marjory Taylor Green, who was by bi-partisan efforts removed from her committee duties due to unacceptable comments made prior to running from office. Yet the Democrats refused to disassociate themselves in any way from the said Ms. Omar.
Conservatives who read mainstream media are faced with articles that are less news than opinion. Conservative readers were aware that election laws were changed to benefit the Democrats by allowing mail-in voting and during the election day itself Republican monitors were prevented from getting close to the ballots they were supposed to observe. Republicans, were not happy when news stories assumed, without due factual proof, that Republican complaints were “unsubstantiated.” And then, with the exception of the New York Post and Fox News, all mainstream media refused to cover the Joe and Hunter Biden story, despite documentary evidence of their conflict of interest between their business interests in China and Ukraine and Joe’s duty as Vice-President and now President. The media kept quiet about documentary and video evidence provided by former business partner Tony Bobolinsky, a most reputable gentleman.
The mainstream media became fond of calling President Trump and some of his right-wing supporters “authoritarian” However, under the guise of fighting the Coronavirus, it is the mainstream that supports lockdown, quarantines and potentially the need to show official documents before traveling from one state or province to another, where lockdowns and quarantines will take us somewhere truly authoritarian. More right-wingers are libertarian and prefer limited government powers, but we should note that the mainstream media is on the side of big and powerful Government with power to restrict free speech, and grant entry to undocumented aliens with criminal pasts.
Conservatives feel the game is stacked against them when big tech Oligarchs like the owners of Facebook, Twitter, and Google censor their comments. Abusing their privilege as a supposed non-journalistic “platform” to control the public’s ability to get unbiased information, is another way that the collusion between big tech and media and big corporations leaves conservatives feeling shunned and censored, driving them ever farther rightward – when such matters as the unsuccessful Russian collusion Special Investigation, the hopeless impeachment proceeding and the apparent criminality of false FISA applications, obstruction of justice in the destruction of cellphones and computers, showed it is the Democrats who are threats to the Rule of Law, and not so much President Trump. Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Gerry Nadler can be seen to have been too successful in their manipulations, for their own good.
Just this week, Fox fired longtime conservative television host Lou Dobbs and this further moves Fox away from alternative conservative media and towards “mainstream media.”
The mainstream stream has dried up, another result of cultural relativism, political correctness and cancel culture; “mainstream” is defined as “the ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts.” I do not regard this relativism, cancel culture, anti-Israel antisemitism and hatred of anything conservative to be “normal.” It is abnormal. Accordingly, the mainstream is dead, so those who try to ride the “dominant” views and have shunned me or my authors at Mantua Books can have their mainstream. Nearly half of all Americans voted for President Trump who is hated by most of the mainstream media. Such voters know that the mainstream media represents mainly the views of the Swamp, the Deep State, anti-liberal academics and bureaucrats and socialist NGOs.
Cambridge Dictionary defines “mainstream media” as those “forms of the media especially traditional forms such as newspapers, television and radio, rather than the internet, that influence large numbers of people and are likely to represent generally accepted beliefs and opinion.
If the mainstream media is supposed to represent “generally accepted beliefs”, today’s mainstream is deficient for rejecting such traditional beliefs as:
- freedom of expression
- the constitutional right to bear arms
- not taking the life of a baby during pregnancy when such is a viable life.
- limited government
- support for the right of Israeli Jews not to be murdered by terroristic neighbours whose education system brainwashes children to murder
- Iran is a terrorist supporting regime that admits it wants to use a nuclear bomb on Israel and foments war in Syria, Iraq and Yemen
- China is not a friendly country and so breaches fundamental human rights that trading with China should be understood as supporting an evil regime.
- self-sufficiency in energy is important for the U.S. and alternate producers of energy create as much if not more pollution than oil pipelines.
- critical race theory is counter-productive to Blacks and is itself racist
- biological men should not compete in women’s sports
- all cultures are not equal, as cultures based on freedom and liberty are superior to cultures of hate, misogyny and abuse, which are inferior
- Judeo-Christian ethics
And so, as mainstream media pleads its case for special compensation from internet platforms taking its content, we should use the opportunity to confront mainstream media. We should demand that mainstream media stick to its mission of fair journalism, emphasizing “normal” and “conventional” ideas, and “generally accepted beliefs and opinion”. If the mainstream is a poisoned stream, it will be detrimental to our liberal democracy.
©Howard Rothberg. All rights reserved.