"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
The Biased News Media
Column by Scott Lazarowitz.
Exclusive to STR
Recently on the NPR show On the Media, Brooke Gladstone updated their overview on the question, “Does NPR Have a Liberal Bias?” Generally, many people believe that NPR and much of the mainstream news media are biased to the left. Among the findings from some of Gladstone’s analysts were that in some cases NPR was actually biased toward the conservative side. Go figure.
But it actually doesn’t matter whether NPR and other mainstream news sources such as PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, etc. are biased toward the left or the right, liberal or conservative. It seems to me that most of these news outlets actually are biased – toward the State and the statist point of view.
For example, whenever I tune in to Diane Rehm’s show on NPR, if she’s discussing the Obama Administration’s economic policies or the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy, she might have a “conservative” on to “balance” out the left-leaning or socialist panelists. But modern-day conservatives who use “free-market” and “tax-cutting” rhetoric are just as socialist and deferential toward the State as the left-wing economists, pundits and analysts.
As Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger pointed out, “Ever since the New Deal, Republicans have engaged in a charade in which they have portrayed themselves to American voters as fundamentally different from Democrats . . . . The problem is that it’s all a big fraud. After the New Deal, Republicans realized that the American people were being swept up in the statist tide that FDR had ushered in.”
So, like so many other program hosts, Rehm’s choice of “conservative” guest is really a statist conservative and certainly not a real free-market conservative.
Like ABC, Fox News and The New York Times, NPR is biased – toward the State. Many of these mainstreamers, in my view, direct their discussions and analyses under the assumption that the State is there to control the economy, “create jobs,” etc. The State’s existence is a given, and one’s attempt to challenge those assumptions seems to increasingly be an affront to the news media’s State-approved fiefdoms, it seems to me.
Now, if Rehm and other similar hosts of news and public affairs programs believe that I am wrong about that, they can very well have someone to interview or participate in a panel discussion, someone who holds a view that is not part of the mainstream deference to the State.
Yes, some of these mainstream outlets have had Congressman Ron Paul on their shows – begrudgingly – that is, those who weren’t outright ignoring him during the 2012 election season, or falsely reporting his delegate counts, or those who weren’t loath to report on the cheating that was going on against Dr. Paul.
But you see, to someone who has gone through 12-16 years of government-controlled schooling on behalf of the State, anyone who openly and directly questions the “statist quo,” as economist Warren T. Brookes called it many years ago, that is a threat to the statists’ false security and comfort provided by Big Brother government.
Pushing the anti-authority, anti-Establishment “crank” away is easier than considering his contrarian ideas or facing the truths he points out.
“Oh, there goes that crazy uncle again, giving a lot of common sense and telling facts of history again – we better lock him in the attic, because he’s going against our inculcated flat-Earth-like myths and assumptions which guide us through life, etc.”
Well, maybe I’m being a bit harsh here, but I’m sure many readers know what I’m talking about.
So, when discussing economics or monetary policy, Diane Rehm (or Christiane Amanpour, Bill O’Reilly, The New York Times as well) might consider inviting or interviewing people such as economic historians Tom Woods or Robert Higgs, and economists Robert Murphy, Robert Wenzel, or Joseph Salerno and Douglas French of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Tom Woods’s book on the 2008 economic crisis, Meltdown, by the way, was on The New York Times Best Seller list for ten weeks. But have Diane Rehm of Terry Gross interviewed him? I don’t think so.
They might also consider including investment broker and financial analyst Peter Schiff. Schiff was one of the few people who predicted the housing bubble burst and subsequent 2007-2008 meltdown. In this June, 2012 appearance before a House subcommittee, Schiff tries to get across the common sense view that people who can’t afford to buy a house shouldn’t buy a house, and that, instead of relying on government flood insurance subsidies, people shouldn’t have a home near flood-prone areas or areas near the ocean actually below sea level. Schiff also tries to get across the notion that the free market would actually work and actually serve the consumers, if only government bureaucrats would get out of the way and cease their harmful intrusions.
But the statists on the panel repeatedly returned to their authoritarian, paternalistic mantras of how the poor, needy and the vulnerable must be dependent on the State (regardless of how many people’s lives it has wrecked). It just seems to me that most of the folks in the mainstream media share this same point of view, unfortunately.
In this talk at the Mises Circle in Manhattan, Schiff describes how with the latest round of Quantitative Easing (QE3), the central planners in Washington are merely repeating the same destructive mistakes that led to the housing and financial crisis/economic meltdown of 2007-08. The lunatic central planners are again encouraging people to buy homes they can’t afford. These sinister bureaucrats are really leading people into more debt slavery. It is yet another example of the moral hazard of central planning and statist interventionism.
In fact, economist Walter Block prepared this article with a long list of other articles and speeches by modern, non-statist and non-authoritarian thinkers who also foresaw the 2007-2008 economic crisis and meltdown. Perhaps NPR and Diane Rehm, or Scott Pelley or Bret Baier for that matter, might consider interviewing Prof. Walter Block, no?
But are the references to actual history, and all that talk of common sense and the idea of personal responsibility, just too troubling or frightening for mainstream media program hosts and newscasters to hear? Is their bias of deference to the State so important to them that alternative, non-authoritarian views must be suppressed?
Another Example: 9/11
Another example is how many in the mainstream media dismiss as “paranoid conspiracy theorists” those who question the official 9/11 narrative. For months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, on just about every media outlet we were bombarded with news item after news item and constant discussions regarding the plane hijackings, al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, the Quran, the terrorists’ religious fanaticism, and the terrorist training camps and hideout caves in Afghanistan.
Then we were bombarded with the tall tales of Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s involvement in 9/11 and his WMD, etc. Only a few people dared to question the assertions of the U.S. government that were obediently repeated by most of the mainstream media.
And only a few people dared to bring up what exactly the U.S. government had been doing on those foreign lands before 9/11 that might have actually been provoking the inhabitants of those lands.
But thanks to the State-biased media that has been acting as the government’s stenographers, to this day many Americans don’t know or remember that the U.S. government started a war against Iraq in 1991, intentionally destroyed its civilian electrical, water and sewage treatment facilities, and imposed sanctions throughout the ‘90s that included deliberately preventing the Iraqis from rebuilding. Those inhumane actions caused diseases including cancer and cholera to skyrocket, and the deaths of between 500,000 and a million Iraqis by the year 2000.
By 2001 the anti-Americanism of the Middle East was widespread. But did we hear any reminders of this by the mainstream news media after 9/11? Not really.
In fact, Ron Paul predicted during the 1990s that because of what our government was doing overseas, there could very well be terrorist attacks within our shores.
Sadly, many people feel uncomfortable when it comes to exposing wrongdoing, lies, and irresponsible acts when committed by their “authority figures,” like their parents or their government rulers. So, to protect themselves emotionally from those uncomfortable or painful feelings, they choose to censor, stifle and/or ignore those who are uncovering such truths.
And we were told by the Bush Administration that the U.S. had to invade Afghanistan to capture Osama bin Laden and disrupt the al-Qaeda network. The actual truth, however, was that Bush demanded that the Afghanistan Taliban hand over bin Laden, but the Taliban insisted that Bush show evidence that bin Laden was involved in planning or directing the 9/11 attacks. Since Bush had no evidence against bin Laden – and indeed there never was any such evidence and bin Laden, while approving of the attacks after the fact, denied involvement in them – Bush’s planned war was to proceed no matter what.
But did NPR cover any of this? CBS? Did Martha Raddatz ever report these things?
Because of the mainstream news media’s bias and deference to the State, government bureaucrats and their plundering and murderous criminality get swept under the rug.
So, because of the sad state of 21st Century mainstream news media, people who actually want the truth of what’s really going on have to rely on Internet reporting and bloggers such as Washington’s Blog and James Corbett. Even progressive bloggers such as Marcy Wheeler and Glenn Greenwald have done extensive reporting, analyses and criticisms of the Left’s beloved President Barack Obama and his administration.
In this video, Corbett describes many facts regarding 9/11 in just five minutes. The video is also on this page which includes a transcript with many links to back up his assertions (link to Google cache of that, if needed).
Recently, Marine vet Brandon Raub was criminally abducted by government officials and involuntarily detained in a psychiatric ward, merely for a Facebook entry in which he openly questioned the government’s official 9/11 narrative. That link includes a video of various mental health professionals who assert that questioning the official narrative is the healthy thing to do, whereas unquestionably believing and repeating what government bureaucrats say is not particularly healthy.
While there really were terrorists who hijacked planes and crashed them into buildings, the idea that the buildings could have been pre-wired to be taken down by controlled demolition might sound absurd to those who blindly accept as proven fact information that was given to us by the government and repeated by the news media.
But I wonder if any of the mainstream news reporters have viewed or considered viewing this video by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a group of over a thousand professionals, in which they explain in great detail how the cause of the World Trade Center towers’ collapse could not have been what the government has told the American people, that the news media merely repeated unquestionably.
In fact, even members of the government’s own 9/11 Commission questioned the Commission’s conclusions.
In a case similar to Marine vet Brandon Raub’s but more severe, former CIA asset Susan Lindauer was labeled by government-appointed psychiatrists as “delusional” in perhaps one of the most extreme cases of government slander and smears against a government whistleblower. Lindauer had crucial information prior to 9/11 that she gave to some U.S. government officials in her attempt to prevent 9/11, and to prevent the second Iraq invasion as well.
(Lindauer describes some of her pre-9/11 experiences here, and describes the unidentified vans repeatedly going to the WTC towers parking garage each night in the weeks prior to 9/11 here.)
But instead of taking Lindauer’s information seriously, those government bureaucrats arrested her and, thanks to the evil Patriot Act, detained her for five years without a trial. Lindauer, who insisted on having a trial, was denied a trial based on psychiatrists’ diagnoses of “delusional” behavior. While the psychiatrists’ testimony was based solely on only a few assessments of Lindauer, the judge would not consider testimony of other mental health professionals who had been treating Lindauer extensively throughout those years, and who had stated that she was not delusional.
And who was the judge in that case? Why, it was Judge Michael Mukasey, who was later appointed U.S. Attorney General under George W. Bush.
But Googling Susan Lindauer or her whole case mainly gives us articles from mainstream sources such as that reliable paper of Truth, The New York Times, as well as USA Today and others, and it’s all “delusional, delusional, delusional” regarding Susan Lindauer. It’s difficult to find information that isn’t blindly repeating the government’s conclusions.
So, once the government has labeled as “crazy” a whistleblower who had consistently brought forward reliable, substantiated facts backing up her assertions, those labels nevertheless stick. And this is particularly the case now as we witness the progressive disease and death of mainstream investigative journalism in America. Just look how they have slandered and smeared WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and the persecuted and tortured whistleblower Bradley Manning.
Here is an interview of Susan Lindauer. Now, does she sound “irrational” or “delusional?” Hmmm?
Another 9/11 whistleblower is FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, author of Classified Woman. Edmonds’s 9/11 Commission interview was completely redacted by the Commission.
Edmonds details here how she came upon information regarding informants who told the FBI in April 2001 of plans for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, information which then higher-ups in the FBI and later the 9/11 Commission both ignored.
But have Jim Lehrer, Scott Pelley or David Gregory interviewed Edmonds? No, the mainstream media generally do not want to hear an alternative voice that is not obedient to the U.S. government, it seems to me. (Here is a recent interview of Sibel Edmonds by Lew Rockwell.)
Foreign policy analyst Justin Raimondo responds to the label of “9/11 truther” here. And if you are interested in the possible Israeli government involvement in 9/11, see this, this, and this.
And, as Washington’s Blog reported, many of the post-9/11 unconstitutional intrusions and governmental criminal activities against Americans were planned long before 9/11. But have Chris Wallace, Matt Lauer or Maureen Dowd ever reported on these matters?
So, the mainstream news media really are biased – in deference to the State, and to all its non-productive bureaucrats and their minions and flunkies. People who believe in the truth and that individual liberty and truth supersede the State – particularly those amongst the growing libertarian movement in America – are obviously different from the statist media.
As Jacob Hornberger observed, “The statist version of patriotism entails citizens who rally to their government in time of crisis. When the 9/11 attacks took place, the statist patriot did not hesitate. ‘We have been attacked,’ the statist patriot declared. ‘This is not the time to debate and discuss. We must all rally behind the president and support whatever actions he takes’ . . . . The libertarian version of patriotism is totally different. We say that genuine patriotism entails a critical analysis of government conduct, especially during crises, and a willingness to take a firm stand against the government if it is in the wrong.”