There are two major things that should concern the American people about mainstream media. We’ve seen one of them very blatantly rear its hypocritical head since the start of election season in 2015: major left-wing bias. The other is even more dangerous and if we don’t take hold of the first, we’ll be faced with the second.
Before we get into the more severe threat of mainstream media, let’s focus on the one that’s clear and present. Mainstream media has been “left-leaning” for over four decades. Some may remember a time when the media was actually right-leaning. Those days are obviously behind us; anyone who doesn’t qualify for Social Security benefits has likely never seen right-leaning mainstream media (other than arguably Fox News and WSJ) in their adult life. The major shift that we witnessed in the most recent election cycle is unabashed bias. There was still a semblance of subtly in their bias during the Bush43-era. Today, they’re loud and proud about being leftists.
There are righteous cries by conservatives to do something about this problem. The Democratic Party’s propaganda wing has become so engrossed with their own rhetoric that they’re having a hard time understanding why there’s any opposition to them at all. It’s imperative that conservatives do what they can to simultaneously denounce mainstream media’s bias and to promote independent and conservative media that needs help in being the countermeasure to liberal talking heads.
It must be the people who bring about this change. It cannot be the government. This brings us to the bigger threat that could engulf us: state-run media. Today, it’s practically impossible for anyone to imagine a press that’s controlled by the government. It’s never been the case in America (despite rumored efforts by the “Deep State,” the CIA, and other powerful government entities) for the government to have control over the media, so very few are concerned about it. We should be.
If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that the sentiment of the American people can be shifted very quickly. In the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency, nearly 70% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. Even Californians outlawed it for a time. Today, less than 40% of Americans oppose it. In less than seven years, the sentiment on this topic was changed through liberal indoctrination in colleges, massive propaganda campaigns in the media, and pressure put on those who would oppose the practice.
What we’re seeing happening with the media is not indoctrination from one side. Both liberals and conservatives are starting to see needs for “restraints” on the media. Not to sound too conspiratorial, but the rise of the “fake news” narrative is designed to get us to not trust ANY media. There has always been fake news. In fact, it’s not any worse today than it was a decade ago. The difference is that we’ve put more of an emphasis on it through social media. We’ve given it a tangible name and defined it as a bogeyman to be feared.
Tearing down the 1st Amendment freedom of the press concept won’t start off as state-run media. It will start as “limits” to what can be reported. It has already started with calls by powerful people in government to rein in their reports by forcing verification before news can be published. This comes in the form of strengthening libel laws that yield consequences if reporters get a story wrong. All of this is being packaged in a way that the people can get behind without realizing that they’re supporting restraints that harm the Constitution itself.
The problems of fake news and liberal bias are real. The battle must be waged by the people, not the government. If we call for the government to take action, the only way they can solve the problem is by taking us several steps closer to the bigger problem of state-run media. Instead, we have the power as Americans to fight it through our voices and our dollars. I would love to help lead this effort, but there’s already too much on my plate. Someone needs to do it. Someone needs to step up and start directing the grassroots to fight the liberal bias and fake news problem without the government getting involved.
Mainstream media outlets must be made aware that if they’re going to be biased, they won’t get our money nor our page-views in the form of clicks. That’s not to say that there’s not room for commentary or op-eds, but those must be clearly delineated. Smaller media sites, particularly those who adhere to neutrality, need our support. As for conservative media, we’re currently outnumbered and outgunned. We need help to be the commentary that opposes our liberal counterparts.
All of this sounds hard. It will be. The alternative is for the government to step in and take action. That is not a valid solution. Once they start, history tells us they cannot help themselves. They’ll take it further and further until the media is a shell of what it once was. To those who say that this would be a good thing, remember that if they’re just a shell, someone will be pulling the strings. I’ll take a left-wing mainstream media over a government-controlled media any day of week. At least bias can be countered through discernment and spreading the word. Once the government gets involved, it quickly turns into oppression. If that’s allowed, it will be almost impossible to reverse.
The only righteous way to tackle the problems we’re seeing in the media is for the people to address it from the grassroots. Calls for media oversight from DC will not end well for Americans. We need a free press to stay free. We need free Americans to change the media’s ways with our voices and our dollars. We do not need anything that will harm the 1st Amendment regardless of how appealing that may seem to some today.