Some of the most disturbing aspects of the times in which we are living include the utter corruption of the mass print and broadcast media and the lack of awareness of this fact by a large portion of the public.
It seems that most Americans operate on the assumption that the media is making a good-faith, if imperfect, effort at objectively informing its audience. That so few are genuinely aware of the outrageous manipulation of public opinion now taking place is the single greatest threat to the republic, to the extent that we can even say that our republic still exists. A glaring example of this would be the treatment of Nixon 42 years ago over Watergate compared with the treatment of Obama today over any one of several far worse scandals.
It was recently reported in the WSJ that Obama used the NSA to spy on Congress during the deliberations related to the Iran nuclear deal. It was reported on at one time, but this story has now disappeared completely from media coverage. Consider the implications.
In the former case, Nixon apparently directed or sat by and knowingly let his immediate subordinates direct a third-rate burglary of the campaign headquarters of an election opponent. In the latter case, Obama authorized one of the most sophisticated intelligence-gathering organizations in the world to spy on American legislators, en masse, in pursuit of the most important – and egregiously flawed – international agreement impacting American national security and world stability – namely, with the chief sponsor of international terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This is a thousand times worse than Watergate! Where is the media? Where are today's equivalents of Woodward and Bernstein? The media doesn't focus on this outrage at all, so to the overwhelming majority of the public, it is as though this never even happened. And this is only one of several comparable scandals we could name.
Another case of the selective focus of our mass media took place in 2009. Barack Hussein Obama said publicly that the U.S. is "not a Christian nation" and that America is "one of the world's foremost Muslim countries."
These statements amount to utter lunacy in a country in which at least 70% self-identify as Christians, where Christian holidays are official national holidays, and where Muslims number, at most, three to four million out of a population of over 330 million. This provoked not even a whimper of incredulity by the mass media. Then, in 2012, during an unintentional "open mic" moment, we overheard Obama making assurances to Russian president Medvedev that once he was able to get past the election, he would have "more flexibility."
Here we have a sitting U.S. president apparently ready to make some huge concession to America's most important major power rival on the world stage, a concession so drastic that it apparently couldn't even be revealed until after the election. And the media did not hound him over this.
Could one imagine a President Nixon, or a President Reagan, making such a statement during arms control negotiations with the USSR and the media simply giving it a pass? But that Donald Trump, he says such "crazy" things...and that Ted Cruz, he's a "religious fanatic." Why! just look at all the terrible things Trump and Cruz say about one another.
The media focus is entirely on setting the major GOP candidates against each other, in order to tarnish their images – letting the candidates themselves do the actual tarnishing, while not giving even a fraction of their coverage to the Democratic contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders or their actual qualifications to be president.
How many journalists in the mass media have focused on the fact that despite having held positions such as senator from New York and secretary of state, Hillary Clinton has not even one major positive accomplishment she can name?
And what about Hillary and Bill Clinton's foundation, which has amounted to little more than a money-laundering, influence-peddling racket aimed at amassing a vast campaign war chest funded by numerous foreign interests? Or that Hillary's amply documented mishandling of highly classified information likely represents the greatest breach of trust by a cabinet-level government official in U.S. history?
Does the disgrace of Benghazi, the brutal loss of a U.S. ambassador, mean anything to anyone in the media? Does it even count for a fraction of the consternation eighteen years ago over a stain on a dress?
How about the qualifications of Bernie Sanders, who did not so much as earn a regular paycheck until he was 40, who ran for Congress while collecting unemployment, who supported himself for a time writing about masturbation and rape fantasies for leftist publications, who has served in Congress for 25 years without having written even one piece of legislation that ever passed?
Who, in the national-level print and broadcast mass media, is giving more than scant attention, if any, to these issues? Instead, we are hearing endlessly about Trump's latest gaffe, or the latest smear against Trump by the Cruz campaign, or sleazy allegations about Cruz's personal life, etc.
As an illustration of the power of today's mass media to shape public opinion, one might consider the first time Obama experienced a major drop in his approval ratings. This was early in his second term, during the rollout of Obamacare, and proved to be such an unmitigated and obvious disaster that the mass media had no choice but to report on it honestly and across the board.
Obama's poll numbers suffered dramatically, and in short order, all over this one debacle. One might imagine how his presidency might be viewed if so many other debacles, often of an even more serious nature, received comparable treatment. But this has not happened.
Thus, in such an environment, is it any wonder that despite presiding over the most anemic economic growth experienced under a two-term president since WW2, the lowest labor force participation rate in over 35 years, a more than doubling of the national debt, and the most catastrophic decline in America's stature and prestige on the world stage under one president in the whole of our history, Obama's approval ratings incredibly still hover around 50%?
Add to that not one, but several major scandals that by themselves would likely have sparked impeachment hearings under any previous president. This is clearly the result of a mass media that is as controlled, literally, as what we saw in the Cold War-era Soviet Union – except that in the old USSR, people knew the media was peddling nonsense, so they took it with a big grain of salt.
Here, people aren't fully aware of the extent of the corruption. In terms of degree, this is a relatively recent phenomenon, so their guard is down. The individual exercise of independent critical thinking, the commonsense skepticism that would be needed to counter this, is largely absent, since there is no perceived need to make this effort, even on the part of people who consider themselves "informed."
For these reasons, the fear and expectation have to be that the American public are now being herded by the media into electing Hillary...or even Bernie.
May God help us all.
April 9, 2016
Obama's Willing Executioners in the Media
By Victor Sharpe and Robert Vincent