Shortly after Obamacare was passed and signed by the President, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute noted a sudden plethora of articles that had begun to appear in a wide variety of MSM outlets about the probable ill-effects of “reform.” This prompted him to ask, “Where were these reporters before the passage of the health care bill?” The answer to this question is now pretty obvious. They were colluding, via JournoList and other such forums that we don’t know about, to make sure that no one screwed up and told the truth before that morass of taxes and regulations became the law of the land. To the nation’s cost, their self-censorship succeeded.
Today, we face a similar but much more dangerous situation. The “reporters” of the establishment news media are engaged in a concerted campaign of misinformation to get Barack Obama re-elected. This has been evident for some time, but the breathtaking mendacity of this effort was writ large by Candy Crowley during last Tuesday’s presidential debate. Everyone has by now seen the video clip: the President made the preposterous claim that he had identified the attack on our Benghazi consulate as an act of terrorism as early as September 12. Then, when Romney called him on this egregious whopper, Crowley repeated the lie.
This was no misbegotten attempt at instant “fact checking.” It was a deliberately disingenuous attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the debate’s 65 million viewers. Crowley herself admitted that she had reviewed the transcript of Obama’s September 12 Rose Garden remarks in advance of the debate, and she is not dumb enough to believe Obama’s characterization of his boilerplate comment about “acts of terror” in general. This tag-team prevarication may well backfire. Jeffrey Lord suggests, in Thursday’s American Spectator, that it may turn out to be the “tipping point that makes Mitt Romney the 45th President of the United States.”
That would certainly constitute a splendid example of poetic justice. But what if Lord is wrong? What if Obama’s MSM pimps succeed in getting him re-elected? As we saw with Obamacare, these people wield a great deal of power and they are obviously willing to abuse it. Moreover, despite the increasing distrust with which the public regards the effusions of the Fourth Estate, nearly half of the nation’s adults still believe what they see and hear in the media. Gallup released a survey last month showing that 40 percent of the electorate still has some measure of confidence that the MSM reports the news “fairly, accurately and fully.”
This percentage constitutes an all time low, and it also means that 60 percent of the public has a healthy distrust of the media. Another good sign is that the survey showed enormous skepticism among the all important independents, only 31 percent of whom trust the media. Nonetheless 40 percent amounts to tens of millions of Americans, and its implications for last Tuesday’s face-off are scary to contemplate. It suggests the possibility that 20 to 25 million of the debate’s viewers could well have accepted at face value Crowley’s misleading statement about the President’s immediate reaction to the Benghazi attack.
If the final debate contains similar misrepresentations of fact, and it probably will, that could well dampen Romney’s momentum and even cause him to lose the election. And this is where the media become dangerous. Pat Caddell, a Democrat and former pollster for Jimmy Carter, recently outlined the peril: “The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power. When they desert those ramparts and decide that they will now become active participants … they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy …”
It is no coincidence that Caddell’s remarks, which were made on September 27, were largely focused on the Benghazi attack. He was clearly shocked and outraged by the failure of the media to do its job as it relates to that particular “act of terror” and the disgraceful conduct of Obama and his minions in its aftermath. “We’ve had nine days of lies over what happened because they can’t dare say it’s a terrorist attack, and the press won’t push this. Yesterday there was not a single piece in The New York Times over the question of Libya. Twenty American embassies, yesterday, were under attack. None of that is on the national news.”
He went on to say that, during his days in active politics, the media would have been all over any President who behaved as Obama has behaved in reaction to Benghazi: “If a President of either party — I don’t care whether it was Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or George Bush or Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush — had a terrorist incident, and got on an airplane after saying something, and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified!” But this is not your father’s press corps. They do, in fact, see themselves as “active participants” in political campaigns. And they always support the Democrats.
The JournoList scandal and several subsequent incidents of journalistic collusion have demonstrated that the media have collectively decided to take up the mantle of the Democrat party as well as its corrupt candidates. They have, as Caddell puts it, “made themselves the enemy of the American people.” Thus, much more is riding on the outcome of November’s election than who will live in the White House. The voters will be deciding if we still live in a democracy or a nation that has been “fundamentally transformed” into a place where self-appointed elites decide our destinies without regard to what we want or need.