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Judge Claims Leftist Media Is a Threat to Democracy

On March 19, 2021, Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman called on his fellow judges to overturn a Supreme Court landmark decision protecting the press on the grounds that one-party domination of the media is a threat to American democracy.

The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions. Our court was once concerned about the institutional consolidation of the press leading to a “bland and homogenous” marketplace of ideas. It turns out that ideological consolidation of the press (helped along by economic consolidation) is the far greater threat.
Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman
Laurence Silberman
Senior Circuit Judge

We’ve known this problem for too long. Back in the paranoid 1970s, Three Days of the Condor ends with its hero reprimanding  Government functionary Higgins for the deceit of unilateral political agencies, with “What is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?”

Then he says he gave the condemning evidence of to the NY Times, believing that the truth getting out will punish the arrogant king-makers who destroy innocent lives for their benefit.

Higgins’ response is perfect: “How do you know they’ll print it?”

And that is the point we have faced today. The unilateral king-makers and purveyors of “fake news” don’t fear the press because they already own it.

They want to stomp out Fox News and cancel independent bloggers on the internet for the same reason.

Judge Silberman says that today’s Leftists are simply hiding behind New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964), was a landmark SCOTUS decision  restricting the ability of American public officials to sue for defamation. In order to win a defamation lawsuit, plaintiffs who are public officials or running for office must not only prove the normal elements of defamation—publication of a false defamatory statement to a third party—but must also prove that the statement was made with “actual malice,”meaning that the defendant either knew the statement was false or recklessly disregarded whether or not it was true.

That’s the reason why CNN spent four years saying things like, “If true, these [blatantly false] allegations [opinions by leftist operatives] would be the end of the Trump administration.” When they’re proven wrong, however, their retraction or “coverage correction” is not splashed across page one, or the lead story, as the original smear.

And THAT is how so many still believe Trump was a Russian asset, was peed on by Russian prostitutes, claimed white supremacists are good people, and so on.  They think that not getting sued is the same thing as telling the truth.

"Although the bias against the Republican Party—not just controversial individuals—is rather shocking today, this is not new; it is a long-term, secular trend going back at least to the ’70s... Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets. And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction. The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe).

Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along. As has become apparent, Silicon Valley also has an enormous influence over the distribution of news. And it similarly filters news delivery in ways favorable to the Democratic Party. It is well-accepted that viewpoint discrimination “raises the specter that the Government may effectively drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace.” But ideological homogeneity in the media—or in the channels of information distribution—risks repressing certain ideas from the public consciousness just as surely as if access were restricted by the government.
Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman
Laurence Silberman
Senior Circuit Judge

What Can We Do?

I get it. We’re already chanting “CNN sucks” and kicking dirt at Jim Acosta. As we advised in Resources, we cut cable, chosen different social media, and get our news from OANN instead of the legacy media and even Fox (because except for a few voices, Fox News has lost its will to fight the Leftist juggernaut).

We also need to get wise to the Leftist narrative and recognize that we can’t retreat from the fight.  We need combat it every way we can.

Judge Silberman recommended Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, by Tim Groseclose because the book proves that media manipulation sways public perception of Democrat candidates by 8–10% in the typical election.

Now, a decade later, that percentage is larger. The press and media do not even pretend to be neutral news services. They’ve joined big tech to actively suppress Conservative voices.

Yes, it does make us wonder: what is it about the belief in limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility that is such a threat?  It’s obvious: they’re struggling for power. It’s always been about power. For elite socialists. Globalists.

Strong citizens are harder to manipulate. And without manipulation, propaganda and gaslighting, why would anyone vote for a Democrat?

And we have to demand answers. We still haven’t heard a credible story about the Los Vegas shooting. Not one person has been brought to justice surrounding the Jeffrey Epstein affair.  Not one person has been charged for abetting the 2020 rioters with pallets of bricks and vans full of picket signs. Not one person has gone to jail for election fraud… Yet.

“What is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?”

Some emphasize these companies are private and therefore not subject to the First Amendment. Yet—even if correct—it is not an adequate excuse for big tech’s bias. The First Amendment is more than just a legal provision: It embodies the most important value of American Democracy. Repression of political speech by large institutions with market power therefore is—I say this advisedly—fundamentally un-American. As one who lived through the McCarthy era, it is hard to fathom how honorable men and women can support such actions.
Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman
Laurence Silberman
Senior Circuit Judge

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