Opinion

All the ‘News’ That’s Fit to Apologize For

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Posted: Jun 09, 2020 12:01 AM
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All the ‘News’ That’s Fit to Apologize For

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File

I’ve often joked that the enemies of America didn’t need to bother trying to destroy our country, that the political left would eventually do it for them from within. The only thing I got wrong was the timing. I thought it would be the long con – an extended timeline of chipping away at rights through the legislative process. Instead, Democrats are throwing everything behind the short con – pushing for violent insurrection right now, another progressive burning of the Reichstag, hoping it will carry them through November and into power. But much of that anger is directed inward, a circular firing squad of wokeness, and I, for one, am enjoying it all.

As the people who created and encouraged the angry mob scramble to appease it, hoping to be spared its rage, they’re failing miserably. In fact, more left-wing scalps have been claimed in this mess than anyone else. Politicians are taking a knee so easily you’d think they were Bill Clinton’s intern, and newspapers are burning themselves down so fast there may soon be nothing with which to line birdcages.

Good. Let them die.

I used to hold out hope that journalism would reform itself, that the news business would return to delivering the news, but it’s too late for that. It has to be destroyed.

The New York Times firing the opinion editor for running an opinion shared by a clear majority of the American public – that the military should be used to restore order during the riots – was too much for the bed-wetters with claim to be serious journalists. Yes, the “official” story is James Bennet resigned, but that’s the type of thing participants agree to say to save face. He was sacrificed to the outrage mob because the alternative – telling adults to grow the hell up and act like professionals – is no longer acceptable, or even expected, in liberal circles.

I wrote in my book that the worst thing to happen to journalism was the thing they celebrate the most: Watergate. The press forced a president to resign and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became celebrities, no small feat in an era before cable news, even being portrayed by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the movie. That a CHUD like Bernstein could be played heroically by Hoffman while both made millions of dollars was all many journalists needed to try to become famous themselves. Cable news and “contributor” contracts only made things worse. People entered the profession with the goal of fame and fortune, not reporting fairly or accurately.

The thing about back then, even for Woodward and Bernstein, they had editors who took their jobs seriously. Editors wouldn’t just publish something because a reporter had gotten a tip. Tt had to be verified. There were standards.

But those people upholding standards retired, replaced by the people they frustrated by being prevented from turning up their liberal advocacy. Now they’re dying off or being forced out, leaving the profession to the wolves.

The frenzy started with whining internally at The Times, spilling into social media. Suddenly, after consulting their union (because what organic, principled protest doesn’t consult lawyers first?), liberal journalists began tweeting some form of “Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger,” about the Cotton op-ed. What wasn’t explained is how, because being a liberal doesn’t require proof or thought. A declaration by a leftist is proof enough to fellow travelers, as were the claims that Cotton’s opinion wasn’t factually accurate. Besides, asking for proof would be denounced in the same way – you don’t dare question the mob, lest you find yourself their next target.

Several attempts to appease the growing number of crybaby staffers were made, including a 317-word factually devoid editor’s note added to the Cotton piece, but nothing worked. No level of self-flagellation, as Quarterback Drew Brees is discovering (he’s on apology number 3, with even his wife trying now), is enough for the mob once they get a taste of appeasement.

Faced with the choice between a principled stance of defending running an opinion contrary to that of liberal orthodoxy and the potential of a skyrocketing diaper budget for junior staffers, The Times chose the diapers.

The babies winning wasn’t the worst sign for journalism. When the Cotton piece ran, subscription cancelations reportedly reached a record pace. When Bennet was invited to leave, no similar crush of cancelations were reported. That means their audience, their customers, like their journalists, were more bothered by the idea of an opinion they disagreed with being published in the paper than they were with the silencing of someone who’d dare publish it.

Readers of a paper that published a column by Adolf Hitler in June of 1941, when the Holocaust was underway, and recent pieces by other despots and murderers, not to mention one defending pedophilia, plus their regular hyperventilating leftist columnists on staff, were more concerned with a sitting United States Senator calling for the restoration of order and an end to rioting and murder than any of their own history of hatred, division, and lies.

That’s to be expected. The choir you cultivate as your audience is a reflection of who you are, not the other way around. That your employees can overthrow the remaining standards you do have, opening yourself up to charges of hypocrisy at a time your claim to be First Amendment champions, is simply incompetent management.  

You don’t get to wrap yourself in the First Amendment while simultaneously wiping yourself with it insofar as you support its application to others and have it go unnoticed.

As a rule, I’m not a fan of people losing their jobs. But when people refuse to do their jobs, or are so bad at them that it’d be better if they didn’t have them, any sympathy I’m inclined to feel is wiped clean. When The New York Times finally goes under, the drink I will have to celebrate will be sweeter than anything to ever touch my lips.

I realize that’s a longshot. It’s unlikely it will be allowed to fail. It’s too important to Democrats. Some rich liberal will swoop in and bail them out, but I can dream, can’t I?

Until then, let its slow rot serve as a reminder of that industry and a dying monument to the progressive philosophy that, as we’ve seen this week, will, if left unchecked, return to their history of violence, demands for purity (this time of thought), book burning, and worse. In other words, they’ll be exactly what The New York Times finds acceptable in an op-ed writer.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.