Thursday, January 2, 2020

Death of the Free Press in the United States

From Breitbart:
If the hysteria over Russian influence in the 2016 election had any useful lesson, it was that we ought to be curious about where information comes from, and why. Yet the media have not only ignored the “whistleblower’s” name, but they have also actively suppressed it. That includes the conservative media. Earlier this year, I appeared on a morning show in Los Angeles to discuss the impeachment inquiry. The moment I mentioned the name of the “whistleblower,” the hosts ended the interview.

The reason is twofold. First, most media outlets share the Democrats’ desire to be rid of Trump, and so joined them in pretending the “whistleblower” was protected by law. Federal law protects whistleblowers from retaliation, but they can often expect to be identified. The relevant law, the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act, only prevents the ICIG from identifying the whistleblower. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-CA) invented a statutory right to whistleblower anonymity that he later tacitly admitted did not exist.

After insisting that the “whistleblower” be allowed to testify, Schiff and the Democrats reversed themselves — once they were revealed to have lied to the public about their prior contact with him. That ought to have made the media more curious, not less curious, about who the “whistleblower” was, and what his motivations and methods had been. Schiff then made up the idea that making the “whistleblower’s” name known would expose him to mortal danger. The media, who routinely ruin lives by publishing the names of both the guilty and the innocent, bought that line.

Second, the tech companies punished news outlets that dared to publish the name of the so-called “whistleblower.” Though tech giants like Facebook enjoy immunity from libel lawsuits under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, they behaved as if publishing the “whistleblower’s” name would expose them to serious legal risk. Any media outlet that wanted to share its content online — in other words, any media company that wanted to stay in business — had to suppress the name of the so-called “whistleblower” in impeachment coverage.

It was a Catch-22: Facebook et al. would not allow the name until it became more widely published, but it could not become more widely published because Facebook et al. were suppressing it. The tech giants had imposed a code of censorship, and the mainstream media, supposedly so sensitive to any threat to press freedom, (mostly) willingly complied. The most consequential political fact of our lifetimes, sitting in plain view, cannot be mentioned. The press cannot fulfill the purpose for which its freedom exists: namely, to inform the citizens of a democratic republic. (Read more.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

This current phase in media control over information is nothing new. In the past, their false reports have brought down dynasties, caused imprisonments and even death to innocent people. It is true when they say the 'pen is mightier than the sword'.