It’s not been a good year for major media.
First, they were caught red-handed as shills for the fake Russian collusion narrative that convulsed the nation for nearly three years.
Then, they were exposed as barkers for the fake Ukraine scandal while the real thing — Joe Biden’s pay-for-play scheme and $1 billion “quid pro quo” while he was President Obama’s vice president — still goes largely unexamined.
Truth be told, this kind of slanted reporting involving Russia and Ukraine has a long pedigree.
In 1932, The New York Times’ Moscow bureau chief, Walter Duranty, won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Joseph Stalin’s USSR. Duranty lied repeatedly, issuing reports that all was well, even as Stalin was killing millions, mostly in Ukraine, by starvation and executions.
“There is no famine or actual starvation nor is there likely to be,” Duranty wrote for The Times in November 1931. “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda,” he wrote in August 1933.
More revealingly, he wrote, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs,” in May 1933. These and more damning excerpts were reported by the Columbia Beacon, a student paper that has called on Columbia University’s Pulitzer Committee to revoke Duranty’s prize.
Gareth Jones, private secretary to former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, conducted his own unsanctioned tour of the Ukraine famine areas, saw the horror and publicized his findings at a March 1933 press conference in Berlin. A couple of American papers, the Chicago Daily News and the New York Evening Post, picked up the story, but it was ignored by other major media.
Jones went on to publish a dozen articles in the London Evening Standard and other papers, according to the Atlantic’s Anne Applebaum. But, since the American paper of record, The New York Times, did not regard the famine story as fit to print, it didn’t gain traction here.
Meanwhile, British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge was Moscow correspondent for the Manchester Guardian at the same time The New York Times was printing Walter Duranty’s lies.
Muggeridge, like Jones, evaded Soviet officials and saw for himself the carnage that Stalin had ordered. He managed to smuggle several articles out of the USSR, and got them published by the Guardian, although with heavy edits by the paper’s leftist editors.
“Shortly before Mr. Muggeridge’s articles appeared in the Guardian, the Soviet authorities declared Ukraine out of bounds to reporters and set about concealing the destruction they had wreaked,” wrote Marco Carynnyk in Ukrainian Weekly years later. “Prominent statesmen, writers and journalists — among them French Prime Minister Edouard Herriot, George Bernard Shaw and Walter Duranty of The New York Times — were enlisted in the campaign of misinformation.”
When the truth of the coverup was revealed, Ukrainian groups lobbied The Times and the Pulitzer Committee to rescind Duranty’s award. Both refused.
For decades following World War II, America’s media had been liberal, but with some exceptions like Duranty, not openly leftist. That’s no longer the case. Anyone tuning in to CNN, MSNBC and the three major networks — NBC, CBS and ABC — will see nonstop left-wing propaganda. Many media outlets run stories that rub raw the nation’s racial wounds.
Much of it is designed to convey that liberals and Democrats love people and the truth, while conservatives and Republicans are racists who hate people and lie all the time.
The same goes for nearly every major metropolitan newspaper, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times, plus the wire services such as the Associated Press.
The media’s sheer hatred of Mr. Trump and by corollary everyone who voted for him is so obvious now that one wouldn’t think research was necessary to prove the point. But the Media Research Center (MRC) did us that favor.
The MRC released a study last month showing that over a six-week period (Sept. 24-Nov. 5, 2019), on NBC, ABC and CBS, out of 684 evaluative comments about Mr. Trump, “a whopping 96 percent have been negative, vs. a meager four percent that have been positive.” And they say Mr. Trump is the threat to press freedom?
Impeachment hysteria crowded out other important news, such as the surging stock market and a 50-year low in unemployment. “The President’s handling of the economy was given a stingy 4 minutes, 6 seconds of airtime during these six weeks, or less than one percent of all Trump administration news (645 minutes),” the MRC report said.
How did the media become so dominated by a leftist mindset? Easy. Those in charge weed out anyone who thinks otherwise. And they have a steady supply of young journalists fresh from college where they’ve been brainwashed by Marxist professors.
Freedom of the press is held as sacred, but only if you march to the left. When the media need to resort to “fake news” to advance their agenda, they do so.
After all, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times.
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