By John Ruberry
I was raised by parents who kept a close eye on what my brothers and sisters and I watched on television. As we only had two TV sets, that was a very easy task for them as my folks didn’t socialize outside our home much. Until the early 1970s it was especially easy for them as television fare for the medium’s first 25 years was mostly G-rated fare. Otis Campbell’s drunkeness on the Andy Griffith Show was as bad as it got in the 1960s, although interestingly, the character was rarely shown consuming alcohol.
So in 1972 when Bea Arthur’s eponymous character in Maude, in a two-episode storyline became pregnant–she pondered an abortion and then went through with it–my parents made sure that our televisions were tuned to a different station those nights.
Abortion was not only very controversial in 1972, it was illegal in most states, although Arthur’s character lived in New York, where it was not. At that time I didn’t even know what abortion was.
Nearly five decades later, Big Tech and Big Media are trying to control what I see on my computer and portable devices. And because broadcast and cable news often takes its lead from what they view as “elite” media, their decisions effect what I see on my TV.
Our “betters” in the media, working for CNN, MSNBC, as well as onetime somewhat fair but left-leaning print outlets such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, are attempting to limit what information we consume. And in control of the metaphoric off switch is Big Tech, led by Twitter and Facebook.
Stories that are harmful to the reputation to President Donald Trump blare across the media, such as reports on Trump’s tax returns. The New York Times did not publish those returns, but it reported on them. The Old Gray Lady won’t say how it got them, but assuming reports on the returns are accurate, who ever gained access to them and gave them to the Times broke the law. The stories on Trump’s tax returns, where it was reported that he paid as little as $750 in federal taxes, were reported pretty much everywhere by the media, and posted, reposted, Tweeted, and re-Tweeted on Facebook and Twitter.
“Kids, kids, come to the living room! You need to see this news story on TV!”
Contrast Trump’s taxes to reports from the New York Post about the emails it accessed from a laptop that once belonged to Joe Biden’s troublesome son, Hunter. Because Hunter dropped of the computer at a repair shop and never bothered to pick it up, that computer became property of the shop’s owner. Emails found on that computer confirm accusations that Hunter used that Biden name to for influence peddling. Illegal? Maybe not. Sleazy? For sure. And the shop owner did not break the law.
And the media, with the exception of Fox News and other conservative news sources such as Breitbart, ignored or minimized coverage of Hunter Biden’s emails. Last week a Democratic Party shill masquerading as an ABC journalist, former Bill Clinton staffer George Stephanopoulos, didn’t ask Biden about the New York Post revelations. Yeah, I get it, the format was a town hall, but ABC chose the participants and it knew what questions they would ask. Contrast Biden’s friendly treatment to the grilling Trump received from Savannah Guthrie at the NBC town hall the same night. Guthrie is married to Michael Feldman, the traveling chief of staff for Al Gore in the 2000 election. Guthrie brought up Trump’s tax returns, among other things.
That’s bad but what is worse is that Twitter and Facebook for a while blocked the posting and sharing of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email revelations. And it wasn’t yokels like me who suffered the indignity. Trump’s press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, saw her Twitter account briefly suspended for Tweeting the Post’s Hunter story. The twisted explanation from Big Tech is that the Hunter Biden’s emails were hacked–they weren’t–and that the story was unverified. Remember, the NY Times never actually published Trump’s federal tax returns, which may have been hacked. But the Post did show images of some of Hunter’s emails. Even the New York Post’s Twitter account was suspended for a short time on the day it published the Hunter story.
“Kids…turn off that TV and go to your room!”
Of course these media and tech big shots are our “betters.” Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN analyst and New Yorker writer, a product of Harvard University, is one of them. But yesterday Toobin was suspended by CNN and the New Yorker after exposing himself and more–click here for the X-rated details–during a Zoom call simulating election night scenarios. Toobin is a scumbag. He had an extramarital affair with Casey Greenfield, the daughter of journalist Jeff Greenfield. Okay, I know, Trump has been unfaithful while married too. But Greenfield bore his child, which Toobin only acknowledged after a DNA test, and only then began paying child support. And while pregnant Toobin offered to pay for her abortion.
American media can do much better than Toobin and his fellow “betters.” I will write another entry on the sad state of the media after the election.
But right now we’re headed to Chinese government-style control of the media by the left.
A free press and free association are two things that French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw as two key safeguards in his landmark 19th-century work, Democracy in America.
But Big Tech and Big Media, as well as the increasingly far-left Democratic Party, are trying to minimize both.
We live in a perilous time.
UPDATE 7:30pm EDT: Correction, the New York Post Twitter account was “not suspended for a short time” as I wrote earlier. There are no new Twitter entries from @nypost since October 14. If the account has been suspended it clearly has been locked out. This is censorship.
The @nypost, the oldest and one of the largest news outlets in America, has been frozen out of Twitter for 6 days.— Emma-Jo Morris (@EmmaJoNYC) October 20, 2020