It is one of the more remarkable (read, ‘’Disturbing’’) actions to witness taking place in the media -- reporters and journalists pushing for the silencing of particular outlets. The obviously troubling aspect is that you have a collection of people who wholly subsist on the freedoms granted by the First Amendment encouraging limitations to that very freedom of expression. Another component seen is that in their very specific targeting -- those being conservative outlets -- the mainstream players are essentially announcing their unbiased occupation of left-of-center territory.
While some of these reactions can be chalked up to emotional backlash in a time of crisis, the levels seen are profound. We have journalists supporting the idea of blacklists made of other journalists, TV pundits calling for truth panels to be formed targeting GOP messaging, and some calling for evicting and ‘’cleansing’’ conservative thought entirely. Most revealing is that over at CNN, Oliver Darcy has been on a campaign to get conservative news networks completely removed from cable providers.
As outlandish as these suggestions have been, they are not cooling off. We saw Sunday that CNN’s media Hall Monitor Brian Stelter has signed on now to his Boy Wonder's mission. On his Reliable Sources broadcast Stelter addressed the concept pushed by Darcy, encouraging the effort to attack his competition under the guise of elimination of what he drolly dubbed to be ’’information pollution.’’ This is his way of assessing what is to be considered lies in the media, and this is his justification to have them silenced.
Stelter, of course, attempts to dismiss outright the suggestion that this is tantamount to censorship. He says Fox News claiming that CNN is trying to force them off the air is, ’’patently false.’’ The problem -- his ward, Oliver Darcy has said, on the record, he wants that very thing to happen. Here he was referring to the aftermath of the Capitol riots.
But what about TV companies that provide platforms to networks such as Newsmax, One America News -- and, yes, Fox News? Somehow, these companies have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation. That should not be the case anymore. After Wednesday's incident of domestic terrorism on Capitol Hill, it is time TV carriers face questions for lending their platforms to dishonest companies that profit off of disinformation and conspiracy theories.
And Darcy has not backed away from this effort. Now Stelter is taking up this cause, but in realizing how bad the optics are in trying to muzzle and remove the competition, Brian resorts to repackaging this attempt, describing it as a needed purge. He is not trying to silence one side, he is addressing a blatant problem everyone recognizes, is the claim being made. The problem he is creating, however, is that he is intently focused on his target; in his desire to apply this new information pollution standard he fails to see it equally applies to himself and his home base as well.
Brian says by way of introduction, ’’There is, up in the sky, information pollution -- and the polluters are trying to deflect blame.’’ This is projection of the highest order, because Brian wants us to bypass one glaring fact; CNN is a constant source of his so-called information pollution. The network energetically pumped the Russian collusion lie for how many years? But moving beyond that obvious marker, just this month we have seen the network behaving in the exact same manner they accuse is seen from Fox, and others from the right.
It was on Joe Biden’s second day in office when CNN told the explosive lie that he had been left no vaccine distribution plan, something entirely disproven within a matter of hours. In their reporting on the members of Congress who voted against the election results the network has presented them as insurrectionists who were violating our Democracy. Not reported -- many Democrats had cast the exact same votes in 2016, challenging the results from numerous states that year. This reaction was absent any accusations of tossing the Constitution in the shredder. Then you have Jake Tapper, recently crowned ‘’The King Of Truth’’ by Esquire Magazine, shown repeatedly spreading the false claim that Jacob Blake was unarmed during his police encounter.
Stelter, Darcy, and many others from the media complex are operating with a level of confidence that derives from watching President Trump being silenced by social media companies and the complete deplatforming of the social media outlet Parler. This has both empowered many with a sense of justification and a roadmap on how to completely muzzle those who can be branded as purveyors of lies, propaganda, and misinformation. The issue is exactly who is it that will be administering these standards? The proven outlet of lies, CNN?
The amusement to be found rests in the very fact that in order to present this plan to root out misinformation Stelter has to resort to gaslighting. He did an exploration of the supposed rise seen with hyper left-wing news blogs and outlets, finding no problems with their coverage in this new era of Biden. One guest speculated that there is no equivalent of Fox News seen on the left. That is an interesting way to roundly ignore MSNBC.
This displays the overlaid flaws in approaches Stelter and his crew use towards their desired goal. Since he is not really looking he does not find left-wing media bias, and since outlets on the left are rarely subjected to the same rigorous fact-checking applied to conservative outlets he does not find lies resting on that side. The incurious actions leads to a belief of only one side harboring guilt.
Brian Stelter feels justified in demanding this truth filter be used to remove his accused information pollution, unaware that some of the biggest violators reside on his half of the political spectrum. It will be revealing when these requirements are placed upon his own network. Revealing, and the squeals of outrage will be deafening.