Who is in Control: The Media or the Government?

While we argue about who is going to ultimately win the White House, one thing is worrying me:  The Media.  As an avid scholar of the Holocaust and other genocides, I see that one of the first steps to an autocratic leadership is usually control of the media.  However, I do not really see one party controlling the media.  I see the liberal media controlling one party and that party allowing, even welcoming it.  And I have to ask myself, why? 

I first noticed the media’s sense of power in a 2001 New York Times article, titled “150th Anniversary: 1851-2001; Turning Away From the Holocaust.”  During WWII, the Times discussed why most of the news about the annihilation of six million Jews was very seldom front-page news.  And while they said that their coverage, or lack thereof, was not much different from other news sources, The Times felt their coverage helped influence what other papers carried, showing media outlets have seemingly, with a few exceptions, stuck together for years.

The owners rationalized their paper’s reporting practices, telling readers their paper “embraced the wartime policies of American and British governments, both of which strongly resisted proposals to rescue Jews or to offer them haven.”  They also felt that being Jewish owners of a leading paper raised concerns about how Jewish persecution would be received in such an anti-Semitic climate.

Even though the Times published more than 1,000 articles about the Holocaust between 1939 and 1945, only six made the front page.  Most articles about Jewish persecution were located deep within the paper.  Laurel Leff, in her book, Buried by the Times, discussed how The New York Times’ lack of coverage about Jews during WWII, could have had an impact on the government’s lack of response, stating,  “If you could look at [the] front page of the New York Times every day, which Roosevelt did, and not see stories about the Holocaust day after day after day, it became a lot easier not to have a government policy to try and save those Jews.”  If the Times realized that its coverage of the Holocaust was lacking, what steps have they taken to ensure less biased coverage of the world’s events?

It does not seem like they have learned much.  During the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump, the liberal media, at every turn, tried their best to discredit him and push forward their candidate, Hillary Clinton.  When that didn’t work, and Trump won, that same media started a campaign to delegitimize his presidency with articles about impeachment efforts on January 21, 2017; Inauguration Day.  And they haven’t stopped since.

On the other side, the conservative media is writing a different narrative in the hopes of vindicating Trump and his presidency.  They have discussed quite often, for example, that while Hillary Clinton conceded the election, she has never stopped blaming others for her loss and that the riots that plagued our country over the summer were the product of democratically controlled cities and states.  The conservative media, however, is not in a position of control like mainstream liberal media is.  That is the liberal media’s domain, and they seem to be using every resource to convince America that President Trump is an illegitimate president.  

From questions about President Trump’s physical fitness, his relationship with Russia and North Korea, discussing the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, to his handling of the Corona Virus, the media has maligned and tried to thwart every effort the President has made towards keeping the promises he made during the campaign. And while his performance has not been perfect by any stretch, the fact that over ninety percent of coverage about him has been negative, bears thinking about.

And, at every turn, the President’s, and his family’s actions have been questioned and dissected by the media.  He was impeached because of alleged improprieties during a phone call with Ukraine, which is ironic as the liberal media declined to follow up on a story about a computer allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden that was related to events similar to what was covered in the impeachment.  And while there may be nothing to the Biden computer story, is it up to the media to decide that?  What makes a story that is not always verified about Trump or his family news and a story about Biden’s family not news?  Who decides that?

While President Trump, with his tweets, did not do himself many favors, the liberal media has taken every opportunity to frame this presidency or his person as a sham or illegitimate.  For example, they mocked his physicals and physical health.  Adam Rogers from Wired.com tried to refute the President’s results from his 2018 physical, stating at one point in an article on Wired, “If you believe the numbers Jackson gave us,” in an effort to delegitimize the doctor’s findings. 

However, when questions arise about Joe Biden’s competence to be President, the media hasn’t questioned Biden much with respect to his fitness for office, and if they do, pundits for Biden deflect, like TJ Ducklo, who, in an interview with Fox News’ Bret Bair, stated, “He would not "allow the Trump campaign to funnel their questions through Fox News." While Bair continued to question Ducklo, most media outlets have chosen to stay quiet as Joe Biden was their choice for President.

As we get closer to crowning the victor in the 2020 election, we need to take note of the liberal media and their intentions.  What is their ultimate goal?  We know that the media has been stumping for Joe Biden, but to what end?  Instead of just complaining about the lack of objectivity in the media, why don’t we figure out their end game.  If a Biden presidency is today’s prize, what is the ultimate goal?

The author is an English teacher at a rural high school in the midwest.  Emails can be sent to kprange2010@gmail.com