Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What passes for news these days

If there were ever any doubt that the mainstream media are no longer the watch dogs of government but the lap dogs of the left that doubt should have been obliterated by the latest New York Times hit piece on Justice Kavanaugh. I’ll spare you the details on the accusation, but the Times claimed Kavanaugh had exposed himself to a fellow student while at Yale. Turns out the woman he supposedly exposed himself to has no recollection of the incident. In other words, it didn’t happen, yet the Times reported it as if it did.

When President Trump refers to ‘fake news’ this is exactly what he’s talking about. Many in the journalistic community—and some who supposedly support Trump—say his ‘fake news’ mantra is dangerous to the underpinnings of our republic. What’s dangerous to the underpinnings of our republic is rumor and innuendo that’s passed off as solid news. When the president refers to fake news he’s not talking about all news. He’s talking about stories like the one the New York Times ran about Kavanaugh.

My first encounter with how the left-wing media operate was back in 1995. It was during the government shutdown when Newt Gingrich had just ascended to the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives. At issue was a budget bill which would have slowed the growth of Medicare spending. The Democrats and their complicit media were telling the American people that the Republicans were trying to cut Medicare and give a tax cut to the wealthy. I had actually read the bill and knew that there were no cuts to Medicare.

I was broadcasting from the basement of the Capitol and had just finished my radio show. I went in search of the facilities, and as I was making my way back to my broadcast room I encountered a swarm of reporters surrounding a prominent Democrat. I waded through the reporters trying to get through the hallway. As I did I heard this Democrat say, “The Republicans want to cut Medicare and give a tax cut to their rich constituents.” I couldn’t just let that pass. I said, “Congressman, isn’t it true that the Republican plan actually increases spending for Medicare? It just doesn’t increase it as much as the Democrats want.” The lights of the news cameras turned on me. I then proceeded to tell him that I had been there all week and I’d yet to hear one media outlet report that, and I pressed him for an answer. He hemmed and hawed then made some excuse as to how he was late for a meeting and quickly dashed away.

I went back to the room where I was broadcasting and a reporter for NPR followed me in. She angrily demanded to know who I was, which I told her. She said I was not allowed to ask questions of a congressman. Seriously? I told her, “I was just a citizen walking through the halls of Congress, heard a congressman telling a lie, and called him on it. Instead of yelling at me why don’t you ask him the tough questions?” She turned on her heels and stormed out.

Later that day I was observing the debate in the press section of the Senate gallery. The head of the press office came over and informed me that my press credentials had been revoked.

The media are referred to as the Fourth Estate. They’re supposed to be the final check against government corruption and abuse. Supposed to be. They’re not always. Advocacy posing as news is not news. It’s propaganda.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

1 comment:

  1. I too remember when the "news media" used to be lookin' out for to's a question or two they should be asking...As an American Taxpayer, and former U.S. Marine, I'd like to know.
    How many taxpayer dollars have been spent on congressional investigations of President Trump et al? Oh....and what have been the actual findings of all those investigations?

    One more....seeing as how they seem to turn up nothing useful, why is congress still spending taxpayer dollars investigating President Trump?