In his speech last January at the Conservative Forum in Silicon Valley, Evan Sayet addressed the question of “Why the Mainstream Media gets Every Major Story Not Just Wrong But as Wrong as Wrong Can Be.”
The short answer to the question about the media’s utter, complete and total failure, Sayet claims, is that to today’s “journalists,” “It’s an act of bigotry, to be an objective reporter.”
This is the line that Rush Limbaugh, in his hour-long rhapsodizing on the speech, called “brilliant,” saying “I wish I’d thought of it myself.”
Rush’s plaudits aside (indeed, he has cited Sayet’s speech at least 5 times since that day ) we owe it to ourselves to be objective and ask: Is it true? Do today’s journalists see objectivity as bigotry? And if they have, as he asserts, gotten every major story in recent decades completely wrong, does this explain it?
Using Bret Stevens’ 2005 Wall Street Journal article “A First Draft of History?” as a point of departure, Sayet goes through a list of major stories of recent decades, noting how the media got each of them wrong, “not just wrong, but as wrong as wrong can be.” He starts with global stories such as how our media was caught utterly off-guard at the falling of Communism, their predictions about Japan’s economy being a juggernaut, the warning about the march on Baghdad in the early days of the Iraq war as a “quagmire,” among others, then continues with more recent, domestic stories – the exactly false, and doctored, reporting on the Martin-Zimmerman case as a prime example. No doubt about it, but the media’s reporting on these was wholly inaccurate, to the point where, as Sayet points out, if you rely on the news media as your “intelligence service,” which of course is its purpose, then you would be operating under completely false information, and your worldview would be not based in reality in the slightest.
Are there major stories in recent decades the media hasn’t gotten completely wrong? From their staggeringly deceitful propagandizing about Hillary’s Arab Spring, to coverage of newly-convicted felon Mayor Ray Nagin’s New Orleans during Katrina, to their “reportage” on Benghazi, from Candy Crowley’s mendacity about the President’s mendacity, to the spin about Obamacare even now, to the utterly false shoving of the Global Warming/Climate Change/Extreme Weather narrative down our throats, from stories about Iran to accurate unemployment figures to any kind of nonsense out of Paul Krugman to who was to blame for the government shut-down last December (Ted Cruz? Sorry, but no. ) – each of these was, as Sayet says, “not just a little bit off, but 180 degrees from the truth.”
This is a betrayal of the most specious, dangerous and depraved kind. To create for those who depend on the news a completely, utterly false narrative about the world around them, around US, is “as wrong as wrong can be,” frankly.
So Sayet’s claim about their getting every major story wrong holds up to scrutiny. And note that these are not just stories that are classified as “political.” Not at all. To the left, every aspect of our lives is political, every choice we make is rooted in a political framework, every move we make is an opportunity for political action on their part, and an argument for inserting government into our lives.
We also know that without the media as its sales force, leftist ideas don’t stand a chance. Frankly, if the truth were reported about any of this, it is clear which way voters would vote, and we would of course reject these absurd policies, right after we stopped laughing at their creativity, temerity and just plain ludicrousness. To impose and legislate ideas that require a salesforce to lie to the extent that our media does is a travesty; to propagandize for them is to aid and abet political malpractice. In a nation where the press is guaranteed freedom to scrutinize, analyze, report on the goings on of the people’s government, this abuse of power is anathema to a self-governing nation. That it is done voluntarily is breathtaking.
And yet, it occurs.
Generally, the reason for this acknowledged media “bias” is that they will do whatever it takes to advance the leftist narrative, that it is just that simple. Journalism 101 in today’s America: If there is a way to spin a story in a way that will further the leftist cause, do so. If there is a way to spin a story to damage the conservative cause, to silence, discredit, eliminate the Republican voice, that, too is an imperative. Advance one side, silence the other, BOOM. Congratulations, you are now qualified to be a “news” reporter.
Sayet doesn’t dispute this, but goes further.
Given that they have distorted everything to their advantage and to silence any dissenting voice, he asks: WHY. It is that exploration that renders his talk, and the book that builds on his answers, unique.
And the answer lies in his “Unified Field Theory of Modern Liberalism” outlined in his book, The Kindergarden of Eden, and in his talk. This theory describes “How the Modern Liberal thinks,” and goes like this.
Since we are subject to biases due to various accidents of our birth and other factors – gender, race, height, nationality, experiences, birth order (OK, I threw that in there) – any judgment we make about anything will be tainted by these biases, therefore, in short, to judge is inherently wrong. Any act of discriminatory thinking, that is, determining that any one thing is better than another, is wrong, because this kind of discrimination or discernment is solely due to our own personal biases and prejudices.
In fact, this is moral relativism on an individual scale rather than a cultural one. Moral relativism operates from a stance that there can be no such thing as universal values, there can be no objective “good” or “bad” because any such valuation is based on our cultural prejudices. Sayet takes this idea to the individual level, and contends that this forms the philosophical underpinning of Modern Liberalism. Howard Zinn, the “historian” who has quite possibly wrought more damage on the education of more generations of Americans than just about anybody, is quoted by Sayet as saying “Objectivity is impossible, and it is also undesirable. That is, if it were possible it would be undesirable…” This Modern Liberal perspective leads directly to the rejection of judgment, and voilà, what we have is the “not that there’s anything wrong with that” belief system, one that is characterized by utter amorality and valuelessness.
So any judgment, therefore, is deemed bigotry; only indiscriminateness is permissible, as discrimination is, of course, wrong. No one thing can be any better than any other and to think otherwise is to impose one’s own bigotry into such judgment. This is the logical consequence of embracing moral relativism, as Modern Liberals have.
But how, then, to explain that some religions, nations, entrepreneurs, are more successful than others, if one is to consider that all religions, nations, entrepreneurs are equal? The explanation, contends Sayet, is that to the Modern Liberal constrained by this false premise, is that the successful somehow cheated and victimized those that failed. And therefore to consider that success might be due to some inherent characteristic or hard work or better ideology – is to be a bigot. To evaluate objectively, then, is to be a bigot.
So given that our media is populated for the most part by Modern Liberals, and given, as Sayet contends, that recognizing some nations, policies, people, are more successful than others, and given that evaluating objectively is bigotry, then it is clear that, to a Modern Liberal “journalist,” objective reporting – that kind of reporting that constitutes effective information promulgation – can only be bigoted. And we’re right back to the contention that Rush Limbaugh admired: to the Modern Liberal, “it’s an act of bigotry, to be an objective reporter.”
So, is it true? Do journalists operate in fear of being bigoted, and is it this fear that impels them to contortionist efforts to avoid being seen as bigoted? If they operate from a “not that there’s anything wrong with that” core conviction, it is likely that they’d have a marrow-deep repulsion at the idea that they might somehow betray some personal prejudice that there might, in fact, BE something wrong with something – with Hamas firing rockets into Jerusalem and killing innocent children, with the staggering human suffering under Communism and its economic unsustainability, with the absurd claims of Global Warmists, with the idea that Hillary Clinton betrayed our Ambassador and others in Benghazi by denying their repeated requests for increased security, with the very idea that the President lied repeatedly about this, blaming it on a youtube video then went to a fundraiser with Beyonce, (What if President Bush had done this?) with the reality that the Arab Spring protests might well have been begun by students wanting nothing more than Jeffersonian democracy but that their efforts were hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that is hallmarked by patience and a façade of reason behind which Islamic theocracies are installed, and on and on. Was it brain-crunching mental gymnastics to not be bigoted, to not be objective, that kept reporters from telling the truth about the Zimmerman trial, or about Israel, or about Katrina? Was it desperate attempts to not be bigoted that motivated nearly every mainstream media reporter and network to cover for the administration about the massacre in Benghazi, or Fast and Furious, or Obamacare?
Not only does Sayet make a compelling case for this, but he points out it’s even worse.
The logical and unintended consequence of reporting from a stance of moral relativism is that rather these contorted effort to be “fair,” non-judgmental and not discriminatory in fact, lead to stories that are utterly and completely wrong. By these gyrations, they elevate the evil, failed and wrong, while of necessity denigrating the good, right and successful. Consider the “reporting” on Benghazi. The narrative out of the White House, and therefore the media, was not that they were caught unawares, that they didn’t know who the perpetrators of this massacre were, that they had some idea and would pursue this, that they didn’t want to rush to judgment till the facts were all in. On the contrary. Word came out of the administration that the slaughter of our people in Libya was due to an American exercising his first-amendment-protected right to create a video. Not only was this false, but it was as outrageous a lie as one could craft, and turned our first amendment into a scapegoat for the death of our diplomat and the three other men who lost their lives protecting him. As Sayet would say: “folks, this was not just a little bit off, but it’s 180 degrees from the truth,” as well as turning the blame back to one of the hallmarks of America’s exceptional greatness: our constitutionally-protected right to free speech.
What we have then, most ironically, is that these gyrations intended to avoid bigotry lead, in fact, to bigotry of an even worse kind. The bigotry that comes out of elevating the evil and denigrating the good is far, far worse than bigotry that comes from objective, thoughtful, considered evaluations. Reviling Israel because they must have done something to warrant having their children murdered by those raised from birth to hate Jews is bigotry rooted in twisted irrationality. The bigotry that leads one to blame the American creator of a youtube video for the massacre is infinitely worse that the recognition of Islamic extremism as a very real and legitimate danger. The bigotry that is the natural consequence of the Modern Liberals’ lies, deceptions, contortions to avoid “bigotry” by eschewing objectivity is far more pernicious than that which it seeks to avoid.
Do they lie, distort, mislead, because they will do anything to advance the leftist agenda? Yes indeed. But the leftist agenda is born out of the “not that there’s anything wrong with that” moral relativist mind-set, which leads, as Sayet says, to denigrating the good and elevating the evil, failed and wrong, and the majority of today’s “mainstream media” reporters are no exception.
The danger is that we trust them as our “intelligence service,” to provide us with accurate, objective information, and every day, with every report, they betray us.
Is Sayet right in saying that to todays’ journalist, objective reporting is an act of bigotry? Yes, indeed. But their brand of “reporting” is, in fact, far more bigoted than objective journalism could ever be.
Watch the video. It will stun you. And listen clear through the questions and answers, too. They are gems.