THE INTEGRITY OF THE PRESS

American citizens have unfortunately allowed the press to become far more powerful and influential than originally intended. We have slipped into complacency in recent generations, as political activists in academia and mainstream media have effectively taken over our airwaves. Many of these political activists hold a radical, Marxist ideology and we are witnessing the painful results as an entire nation. I am not merely mentioning political journalists who slip into their biases at times; I am pointing out staunch activists here, extremists who hold a shady agenda to oppress and deceive the general public, and shame their political opponents into humiliation. This type of Janus-Journalism— political activism passed on as objective journalism –is promoted extensively by talking heads found on CNN and MSNBC, particularly by goose-fleshed, sycophants like Brian Stelter, Chuck Todd and Joe Scarborough. These are the strongest adherents to the newfound Janus-Journalism movement. 

Journalism has always faced a struggle with separating bias from fact, report from opinion, and yet the Founders thoroughly came to view the press as a vital organ to a modern, functioning, democratic Republic. More essential, the Founders recognized the imperative of maintaining the institution of the press. As American citizens it is our individual task to inform ourselves — to take in and interpret the news and to hold the press accountable when they misstep.

In a private letter to Dr. James Currie, Thomas Jefferson proclaimed: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” (Thomas Jefferson to Dr. James Currie, January 28, 1786)

If that wasn’t poignant enough, Jefferson wrote a few years later, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” (Thomas Jefferson letter to Richard Price, January 8, 1789)

When considering how far the American press has degenerated since the founding generation, you cannot draw an appropriate sketch without first referring to the Hutchins Commission. The Hutchins Commission, or The Commission on Freedom of the Press, was issued in 1942 by Time and Life publisher Henry Luce in order to examine whether the freedom of the press was in danger and functioning properly as a media in a modern democracy.

The findings of Luce’s commission are borderline prophetic: 

“First, the importance of the press to the people has greatly increased with the development of the press as an instrument of mass communication. At the same time the development of the press as an instrument of mass communication has greatly decreased the proportion of the people who can express their opinions and ideas through the press. Second, the few who are able to use the machinery of the press as an instrument of mass communication have not provided a service adequate to the needs of the society. Third, those who direct the machinery of the press have engaged from time to time in practices which the society condemns and which, if continued, it will inevitably undertake to regulate or control.” (1)*

“The modern press itself is a new phenomenon. Its typical unit is the great agency of mass communication. These agencies can facilitate thought and discussion. They can stifle it. They can advance the progress of civilization or they can thwart it. They can debase and vulgarize mankind. They can endanger the peace of the world; they can do so accidentally, in a fit of absence of mind. They can play up or down the news and its significance, foster and feed emotions, create complacent fictions and blind spots, misuse the great words, and uphold empty slogans. Their scope and power are increasing every day as instruments become available to them. These instruments can spread lies faster and farther than our forefathers dreamed when they enshrined the freedom of the press in the First Amendment to our Constitution.” (2)

. . .”with the means of self-destruction that are now at their disposal, men must live, if they are to live at all, by self-restraint, moderation, and mutual understanding. They get their picture of one another through the press. The press can be inflammatory, sensational, and irresponsible. If it is, it and its freedom will go down in the universal catastrophe. On the other hand, the press can do its duty by a new world that is struggling to be born. It can help create a world community by giving men everywhere knowledge of the world and of one another, by promoting comprehension and appreciation of the goals of a free society that shall embrace all men.” (3)

The findings of the Hutchins Commission were first published in 1942 but they are becoming increasingly relevant in our own era, and may even be seen as a forewarning. If the press has any chance of coming out of this Orwellian tunnel, it is because it chose to return to the fundamental principles of American journalism — principles which were established upon the sagacity of our Founders.

“No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues of truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions. The firmness with which the people have withstood the late abuses of the press, the discernment they have manifested between truth and falsehood, show that they may safely be trusted to hear everything true and false, and to form a correct judgment between them. As little is it necessary to impose on their senses, or dazzle their minds by pomp, splendor, or forms. Instead of this artificial, how much surer is that real respect, which results from the use of their reason, and the habit of bringing everything to the test of common sense.” –Thomas Jefferson, to Judge John Tyler (Washington, June 28, 1804)

We can only come out of this Orwellian tunnel, if we begin to apply common sense to our national discourse again. That means performing simple tasks like distinguishing between a reporter and a commentator

Generally, there are reporters who report the facts, and then there are commentators which provide commentary, and analysis. Today, we have a plethora of spin-artists and amateur novelists masquerading as objective journalists and the majority of these people orchestrate and dominate the narratives found in mainstream media. The general public places its trust in the media to provide comprehensive information, factual evidence and honest commentary. The media has failed the general public in their duties, in all categories, and the public citizens must now hold the media accountable. It’s really that simple. This is a public call for Americans to hold the media conglomerate accountable. We are all aware of the hypocrisy and double standards that have coexisted throughout the history of American politics and political journalism. We have now reached a new stratosphere in American political hypocrisy, as Democrats lock up Trump’s email, Twitter, Facebook, and shut down conservative social media app Parler, eliminating all major networks of the Republican Party. This type of censorship is unprecedented in American history and should not go unchecked. 

The Democrats have falsely accused Donald Trump of “inciting violence”, and provoking the “siege”, which occurred on Capitol Hill on January 6. The events left five dead in the aftermath, two were Capitol Hill police officers.

The sad matter of the fact is that I remember several police officers being openly murdered like it was a perverse mission being carried out on Fortnight, live-streamed on social media for millions to see. Democrats rioted for an entire season, causing 19 fatalities and between $1 – 2 billion in economic damages. The majority of those deaths were African American citizens and police officers. The worst brunt of the economic damage was brought down on small businesses, many owned by African Americans. This hellscape played-out under a banner which read the words, “Black Lives Matter”, but the wake of their campaign proved otherwise.

The pinnacle of double standards has been reached. Democrats formed and repeated the pernicious narrative of Donald Trump as a fascist dictator, constantly labeling him as a “Hitler” and “Nazi”. Democrats are taking advantage of this prime, present opportunity as a chaotic crowd of “fascist Trump supporters” stormed the Capitol halls on the 6th. Because everyone knows the Democratic Party is obviously the party of Anti-Fascism. . .In fact, the Democrats hate fascism so much, they just opted to leverage the private sector (Silicon Valley, no less) in perfect Stalinist, Maoist fashion — in order to silence their political opponents. This is being done in the name of national security, of course, as we’ve heard exhaustively for five years: “The big, scary, orange man will take us straight into WWIII.”

“Every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”  –“1984”, George Orwell

The Party that once championed diversity of thought and intellectual debate has resorted to tearing down statues and completely censoring its opponents. We are in dire need of any semblance of Jeffersonian wisdom, regarding the times we currently sit in. It is imperative upon us to retrace our steps as Americans, and to recommit ourselves to our Constitution and to those noble aspirations.

freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.” Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801 (Emphasis added)


*Excerpt from “Unfreedom of the Press”, Mark R. Levin, Threshold Editions 2019: p. 7, 8

(1)Hutchins Commission, “A Free and Responsible Press,” 1947, in The Journalist’s Moral Compass, Basic Principles, Steven R. Knowlton and Patrick R. Parsons, eds. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995), 209. 

(2)Ibid., 210

(3)Ibid.

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