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Journalistic dereliction of duty

  • REX MURPHY

The suppression of a major, no, an explosive and potentially result- changing news story by 90 per cent of the establishment media, is a journalistic crime.


newspapersAs I write it is now the seventh day — and a bare two weeks till the presidential vote — that Twitter, Facebook and their cooperative partners in the television networks and mainline newspapers have smothered or refused to print or broadcast the devastating reports concerning the dealings of Hunter Biden and his father, presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The suppression of a major, no, an explosive and potentially result-changing news story by 90 per cent of the establishment media, is a journalistic crime.

It is the willing, the voluntary adoption by a ( once) free press of the practice of information control that up to this period has been the hallmark, solely, of tinpot tyrannies, Communist governments everywhere, and most notably in the modern era the present information-throttling government of China.

It is an exhibition of blatant, undeniable and massive bias during the exercise of the most central event of every democracy — the election of its leaders.  A great swathe of the media of the United States is deliberately — by refusing to exercise its proper function, and by acting as guardian and accessory to the campaign of its favourite, Mr. Biden — nullifying its purpose, wrecking its prestige and standing with the public, and practicing the single largest dereliction of its democratic function since the founding of the republic.

All under the specious, hollow anti-morality of "If it hurts Donald Trump, it is not only justifiable, but righteous."

A child of five, or the mute beasts of the field would find tongue to tell you that if some equally potentially damaging story placed Donald Trump Jr. in its crosshairs and implicated his father, it would be crowding the screens of Facebook and Twitter; the Washington Post and the New York Times would have exhausted the nation's supply of newsprint with special and interminable reports of its every minutiae; and television's main talking-heads would be choking with the zeal to report it and damnify Trump.

Speaking of the Washington Post, recall its so sanctimonious motto: Democracy dies in darkness.  Two weeks before a presidential election, the Washington Post and its rigorous editors have turned off the lights.

Prof. Turley is NOT a Trump supporter.  He is something far more significant and singular in these partisan-insane times — a fair and intelligent mind. 

Should anyone want something of an honest, independent and clear view of what is happening, turn to the recent utterances of Jonathan Turley, a legal scholar, professor at George Washington University Law School, and frequent witness at U. S. Congressional proceedings about constitutional and statutory issues.

Prof. Turley is NOT a Trump supporter.  He is something far more significant and singular in these partisan-insane times — a fair and intelligent mind.  Here's just a few of his observations — which up until recent days would be the views of everyone with the slightest understanding of democracy and a free press:

"… The companies' actions are an outrageous example of open censorship and bias.  It shows how companies effectively can become state media working for one party.

"… The point is that free speech allows us to call out those who say false or reckless things without Twitter engaging in private censorship.  As soon as these companies embraced censorship, it put social media on the slippery slope of biased and selective speech controls.

"... Despite a letter (signed by) dozens of former officials saying this is Russian disinformation, the FBI reportedly has confirmed that it has the laptop and it is not Russian disinformation" (my emphasis).

There are others of equal standing making the same points.  I'd add a few of my own.  Where are the journalism schools and their mentor-professors?  Why are they not howling in outrage at a canonical violation of the standards of objectivity and fair-dealing, the hallmarks of an independent press?

Why are the journalistic associations of every democracy, so self-applauding at their annual shindigs, not condemning the iron hand of Big Tech in choosing what a free people may and may not see and post about?  Big Tech deciding it must leverage an election?

There is so much more, but it surely should be enough just to note that we have here an open-and-shut case of journalistic failure, publicly enacted — almost boastful in its blatancy — and the great organs of the press float on as if nothing were unusual.

As a final note, this is obviously an American story.  But give a thought to how much coverage the Canadian media have given to every Trump tale, and now ask where is the Biden equivalent.  Check CBC or CTV, which has lived on Trump coverage, for coverage on Biden and son.

Also, once Big Tech finds it can run an election in one country, it will probably develop an appetite to run those in others.

And since Justin Trudeau is obviously agitating for an election in Canada (more on that next time) we should pay great attention to the grand mischiefs and sad practices being engineered by the Silicon Valley sultans to the south of us.

A great swathe of the media of the United States is deliberately ... nullifying its purpose, wrecking its prestige.

dividertop

Acknowledgement

murphy Rex Murphy, "Journalistic dereliction of duty." National Post (October 22, 2020).

Reprinted with permission of the National Post.

The Author

Murphysmmurphy Rex Murphy was host of CBC Radio One's Cross-Country Checkup, a nation wide call-in show, for 21 years before stepping down in September 2015. Murphy is a frequent presence on the various branches of the CBC. He has regular commentary segments entitled "Point of View" on The National, the CBC's flagship nightly news program.  See Rex's TV commentaries. In addition, he writes book reviews, commentaries, and a weekly column for the National Post. He is the author of Canada and Other Matters of Opinion and Points of View.

Copyright © 2020 National Post
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