By Bob Sanchez, JMI Policy Director & John-Michael Seibler, JMI Intern, Graduate of Boston University in Philosophy, & J.D. Candidate at Washington & Lee School of Law
Posted July 26, 2012
“Much of the media, for varying motives and in varying degrees, either voluntarily accords unique publicity to [those who would attack the American free enterprise system], or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people. One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction…This attack on the free enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.”
This critique was written by Justice L.F. Powell Jr. August 23, 1971. Forty-one years later the liberal media is still pumping unfounded propaganda into America’s seas of political thought.
In a most grievous misuse of its powers, certain entities within the liberal media have exploited the Aurora shooting in their latest attempt to smear the Tea Party movement. Among the greatest free enterprise advocates in the Nation, the Tea Party are a natural enemy of the liberal media and the left wing political organizations they seek to protect. To an individual of any self-possessed intellect the idea that they are in any way responsible for or linked to the Aurora shooting is untrue and offensive.
James Madison Policy Director Bob Sanchez: “From our experience occasionally working with the Tea Party folks, we know them to be some of the nicest, most dedicated and patriotic people you could ever hope to meet.”
And yet, after the tragic shootings in Colorado, some in the liberal media started checking for names associated with the Tea Party and discovered someone who had the same fairly common surname (Holmes) as the shooter.
The reporter immediately jumped the gun by trying to link the generally pro-life Tea Party folks to this deadly massacre. As it turns out, of course, the Tea Party’s Mr. Holmes is much older and had nothing to do with this event. However, his life has been turned into a living hell.
This reporting was not only erroneous and shoddy, but reflects the bias of the liberal mainstream media, now pulling out all the stops in a blatant effort to get Barack Obama a second term.
Leftist media sources such as the New York Times made a big deal of a more forgivable and understandable error – quickly corrected – when the reporters for Fox and CNN, under severe pressure to both read and report quickly on the Obamacare ruling, initially said the U.S. Supreme Court had rejected the individual mandate. I wonder how, if at all, these newspapers will report on this much more egregious gaffe.
History tells us they will remain silent.
This is not the first time that the mainstream media have tried to create a link between conservatives and violence. Years ago, the Oklahoma City bombing was blamed on Rush Limbaugh, despite the absence of any evidence that the bomber was inspired by Rush Limbaugh.
Similar things have happened repeatedly, going all the way back to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which was blamed on a hostile right-wing atmosphere in Dallas, even though the assassin had a long history of being on the far left fringe.
But, where the shoe is on the other foot — as when the Unabomber had a much marked-up copy of an environmentalist book by Al Gore — the media heard no evil, saw no evil and spoke no evil. If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.
–Thomas Sowell, News Versus Propaganda. July 24, 2012