Do You Realize How Dangerous Today’s Media Is?
A biased media is a deadly threat to America.
Sound extreme? Alarmist? Sure, the media has its slant, but deadly?
History shows us that it is.
“Fake news” has become a major topic of conversation. But here at the Trumpet, we’ve been talking about the problem for decades. Back in 2002, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry asked, “[D]oes anybody realize how serious the problem of media bias really is?”
“This is not a subject to take lightly,” he wrote. “The survival of our freedom is at stake.”
Is “fake news” really that bad?
Several recent stories show that it is.
There’s a growing trend in American media to hide news—to refuse to carry people or messages they don’t like.
Take Attorney General William Barr’s speech at Notre Dame University on October 11, for example.
It was a powerful message to the American people—a warning that immorality will cause the nation’s downfall. In a clear, logical, almost unarguable way, Mr. Barr laid out the connection between national immorality and national decline.
America’s founders knew that “if you rely on the coercive power of government to impose restraints, this will inevitably lead to a government that is too controlling, and you will end up with no liberty, just tyranny,” said Mr. Barr. “On the other hand, unless you have some effective restraint, you end up with something equally dangerous—licentiousness—the unbridled pursuit of personal appetites at the expense of the common good. This is just another form of tyranny—where the individual is enslaved by his appetites, and the possibility of any healthy community life crumbles.”
Instead, America’s Founding Fathers took a gamble. “They would leave ‘the people’ broad liberty, limit the coercive power of the government, and place their trust in self-discipline and the virtue of the American people,” he continued.
There is a lot more great material in Mr. Barr’s speech; it’s worth a watch or a read. He showed clearly how the nation’s moral decline puts it in danger of tyranny.
His message would do a lot of good if people received it. It reminded me of Abraham Lincoln’s calls to national repentance during America’s Civil War.
But how did the media respond? Did the various news outlets report on the speech, summarizing it for their audience? If they disagreed, did they state the speech’s main points and then outline their arguments against them?
They did neither. Not only did they not accurately report on the speech, but they launched a smear campaign against it—discouraging anyone from reading it.
New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman said Mr. Barr gave a “pogrom-type speech” full of “religious bigotry.” Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson appeared on msnbc to compare Mr. Barr’s speech to the Spanish Inquisition. Law professor Richard Painter said it was “vintage Goebbels.” Even the National Catholic Reporter said “his talk was ridiculously stupid.”
His speech was built around quotes from America’s Founding Fathers. But if you bring those quotes to the public’s attention, the modern media will brand you a Nazi!
Consider another way the media has worked to bury the news in recent weeks.
On October 31, RealClearInvestigations (rci) revealed the name of the “whistleblower” whose accusations against President Donald Trump started the impeachment proceedings.
Get to know Eric Ciaramella and you have a very different picture of this whistleblower than the one presented in the press. This man has been out to get Mr. Trump from day one.
In 2017, conservative journalist Mike Cernovich wrote, “In fall of 2016, as Obama’s director for Ukraine on the nsc [National Security Council], Ciaramella was the main force pushing Trump-Russia conspiracy theories. Some suspect Ciaramella was one of the original leakers who told the media about classified conversations Trump had with Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov.”
Ciaramella played a major role in the inception of the Mueller investigation. He wrote an e-mail accusing Mr. Trump of firing former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation James Comey at the behest of Russia. Content from the e-mail was leaked to the press and helped start the now-defunct investigation.
A former nsc official told RealClearInvestigations that Ciaramella “was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump.”
He was finally kicked out of the White House in the summer of 2017 “amid concerns about negative leaks to the media,” according to rci, and sent back to work at cia headquarters in Langley.
This is not some neutral bystander who happened to spot something that concerned him. This is someone who had already swung at Mr. Trump and missed—a man with a clear vendetta.
This is crucial background to the impeachment investigation. Even if you believe Donald Trump should be impeached, surely in the interests of seeing justice done and the full facts released, as a reporter, you would work to get this information out there.
Instead, the mainstream press have refused to mention Ciaramella’s name, citing concern for the man’s safety. (They showed no similar concern when they published the name of a high school student caught up in a chant in Washington, D.C.) If they’re really concerned about Ciaramella’s safety, they could report all of this background without mentioning him by name. But instead, they reported nothing. Some of the most important facts of the impeachment inquiry are hidden from the public’s view.
My final example is much less significant than these earlier ones, but it still highlights a deadly trend. Earlier this month, the Daily Beast published an article titled “Bill Maher’s Show Has Gone Completely Off the Rails.”
I’m not a Bill Maher fan—he’s pretty far left and his language is obscene. But he is one of the few left-wing hosts who will invite right-wing personalities to his show. He argues with them. And, as host, he has the last word. The audience is generally hostile to anyone on the right. But he lets them on the show and gives them time to talk.
That’s what the Daily Beast had a problem with.
A few weeks ago, Bill Maher hosted Dennis Prager, a well-known, right-wing news commentator. The two argued. Maher called Prager’s argument dumb; he said Prager was talking “nonsense.” The audience shouted at Prager. But for the Daily Beast, that wasn’t good enough. Prager simply should not be on air. Any media personality—even if he is left wing and even if he argues with Prager—has gone “off the rails” if he gives him any publicity.
The attempt to shut down news the left doesn’t like has a deadly history.
In his March-April 2004 Trumpet cover article titled “The Deadly Left-Wing Media,” Mr. Flurry pointed out that, during the 1930s, most of the British media worked hard to silence Winston Churchill.
Churchill biographer Henry Pelling wrote that “the bbc had kept him off the air on controversial questions in the 1930s”—these controversial questions included the rise of Nazi Germany.
“Britain was facing its worst crisis ever, and this state-funded corporation rejected his strong warning about Germany,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “The bbc worked hard to stop his message to save the Western world!”
But it wasn’t just the bbc. The Times, then Britain’s leading and most prestigious newspaper, gave a distorted picture of the rise of the Nazis, repeatedly lulling its readers to sleep. It refused to publish Churchill’s complaints and rebuttals.
Times’ editor Geoffery Dawson wrote in 1937, “I spend my nights in taking out anything” that could offend Germany. Instead, he was “dropping little things which are intended to soothe them.”
“The Times newspaper now had a shameful history to remember—and perhaps try to forget!” Mr. Flurry writes in his booklet Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman. “Not only did it distort the available facts, it refused to print Churchill’s view! And his view had been amazingly accurate for years. It had a blatant bias visible to the whole world. This was no small crime by the prestigious Times. Its supposed purpose was, and is, to print the truth—and the spirit of truth.”
As the ’30s dragged on and war became more imminent, fewer and fewer papers would publish Churchill’s warnings. The press demonized Churchill as a warmonger. In 1938, the Evening Standard canceled his fortnightly column. This column had gone out in over 50 newspapers around the world. But the Standard disagreed with his views on Germany.
Churchill was able to get another contract, this time with the Telegraph, but the articles reached a smaller audience.
If Churchill’s warnings had been heeded, World War ii could have been avoided.
In a democracy, the people choose the leaders and, by extension, set policy. The people are informed and guided by the media. Throughout most of the ’30s the British public supported appeasement with Adolf Hitler. The result was disastrous. But the media deserves a lot of the blame for misleading the public and hiding the truth.
The press was a close community, where people generally thought alike. If someone brought a message they didn’t like, they didn’t just cover their own ears—they covered that nation’s as well.
“Media conglomerates are extremely powerful,” wrote Mr. Flurry in 2004. “They are becoming too powerful for politicians to challenge. To directly challenge the mega-media often leads to political death. The media frequently have more power with the people than the politicians do.”
Look at the showdown between President Trump and the media. Look how much damage the press can do. Would a man like Mr. Trump have been able to even become president before the Internet and social media gave him an alternative way to get his message out? No wonder so many in the press are pushing for Facebook and Google to censor right-wing messages.
America today faces a multitude of threats: its own moral decline, a radical left that would tear the nation apart to get power, threats from abroad, and more. All of these threats are as deadly as Hitler and the Nazis. But so few are concerned about them because their media is not giving them the truth. And if you speak out about any of these threats, the media will demonize you the way they once demonized Churchill.
Why have our press been so consistently bad? Why are they pushing so much deceit? “The habit of saying smooth things and uttering pious platitudes and sentiments to gain applause, without relation to the underlying facts, is more pronounced now than it has ever been in my experience,” Churchill lamented. He was citing Isaiah 30:9-10, where the people “say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”
Naturally, people want to take the easier route and speak and hear smooth things—things agreeable to those in the media bubble. That is the easy way to receive applause and promotion.
The passage in Isaiah continues: “Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (verse 11).
This passage is describing a people with a built-in resistance to truth, to anything upsetting or that would cause us to want to change. They are ultimately against God.
The passage goes on to warn: “Calamity will come upon you suddenly—like a bulging wall that bursts and falls. In an instant it will collapse and come crashing down” (verse 13; New Living Translation). This is where the “smooth things” approach leads. When problems are ignored and sins go unconfronted, the end result is a problem of catastrophic proportions.
This is the scale of the danger posed by the “fake news” media. Sixty million people died in World War ii—a war the media failed to warn about until it was too late. How many more would die in a modern collapse?
This is an imminent danger you need to understand. But there is more to the story. There is a hidden, unseen reason why deceit and lies are so common in today’s media—a hidden factor that is bringing the nation down. Gerald Flurry’s free booklet America Under Attack explains that unseen reason. You can read it online or order a free copy here.