The most controversial, highly contested and politically brutal Presidential election in modern times has finally concluded in the only way such a campaign could have ended, with a surprising result and deep feelings on both sides.
Americans have overcome deeply divided election outcomes in the past and will most likely rise above and accept the recent results as well. But what is being overlooked and is equally, if not in some cases more important than the election results is the newly confirmed revelation that the American media is beyond broken. The November 10, 2016, headline in The New York Times, “Democrats, Students and Foreign Allies Face the Reality of a Trump Presidency.” reads more like the aftermath of a foreign invasion than the hopeful future of America after an election and says volumes as to how biased that industry is.
Societies remain free when there is accurate and truthful information. Unfiltered facts make up the GPS navigation system guiding Americans to make informed decisions, and it is, for this reason, the media has been called the “fourth estate” or likened to the fourth branch of government equally important to the preservation of freedom.
Because of this great responsibility, the media enjoys certain privileges such as the Freedom of the Press protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the media shield laws, which is legislation stating that a reporter cannot be forced to reveal his or her source of information.
Elections start and elections end, but the influence of the media remains. Americans have come to acknowledge the liberal bias the media has displayed over the years. But what has been uncovered for the first time, due in part because of leaked email communications published by Wikileaks, is the unsettling fact that the American media is shown to have colluded with the Democrat party as well as the Hillary campaign in a misguided effort to alter the results of an election. In one example John Harwood of CNBC, who moderated one of the Republican primaries, emailed Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta to get advice as to the questions he should ask of then-Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush. Then CNN contributor Donna Brazile gave Democrat Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton advanced notice of specific questions that would be asked at her upcoming debate. And after interviewing Hillary Clinton, New York Times’, Mark Leibovich delivered the resulting draft for his article to Clinton’s staff for editing, something similar to what CNN contributor Maria Cardona did when she handed over an Op-Ed piece to the Democratic National Committee asking for guidance and approval before publishing.
When the media sends articles for editing to the public relations people of the people written about, it ceases to be the media. What it does become is a fraudulent propaganda firm disguised as a news outlet pretending to deliver unbiased information.
The abuse of power has consequences and an American President can be impeached for such abuse, but what kind of “impeachment” remedy is available to the American people regarding the improper abuse of power by the media?
It is a frustrating fact that the above information will reach very few Americans or the desks of reflective editors because of a paradox that the media, which is supposed to be a disseminator of information, will choose to extinguish information that can ultimately save itself from extinction.
Patrick E. McCarthy is a New York-based freelance writer.
**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.