(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) A government-funded media institution borne out of the goal to promote objectivity and prevent media bias has now become one of Marxist cancel-culture‘s leading voices in an alarming bid to normalize far-left bias.
National Public Radio recently announced a revision to its ethics policy, which would permit its so-called journalists to demonstrate and overtly advocate for social-justice causes that pertain specifically to “the freedom and dignity of human beings.”
It is unlikely, however, that any NPR mouthpieces will be clamoring for the ‘freedom and dignity’ of conservative political dissidents locked in Washington, DC, detention centers and subjected to unconstitutional, inhumane treatment by the Biden Justice Department.
The presence of anti-American, non-capitalist funding and influences in US journalism; the rise in superficial, opinion-affirming social-media click-bait; and the field’s infiltration by radical activists who reject the ethical creeds of the past have all pushed mainstream media from the routine, systematic bias that plagued newsrooms for decades to a more aggressive and malignant form of overt propaganda.
“Some of the leading media corporations, they’ve decided what sells is divisiveness, and hatred and sensationalism,” media analyst Ayaan Hirsi Ali told Fox News.
“And that’s how they make their money—and I think that the general public is seeing that,” Ali continued. “And that’s why poll after poll after poll shows there is very, very low trust in media, because it’s not media anymore, really.”
Despite receiving tax subsidies, the haughtily erudite NPR has garnered a reputation for being abjectly partisan, including a notorious statement rationalizing its refusal to report on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal that emerged last fall.
The outrageous suppression of information that was of tremendous public interest and impact—on the basis that NPR didn’t “want to waste the listeners and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions”—elicited the perennial calls from Republican lawmakers to defund the outlet.
“Your organization is among a whole host of mainstream media outlets that have proven not to be dedicated to reporting unbiased news to the American people,” wrote Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-SC, in an October 2020 letter.
“While other outlets do not receive taxpayer funds, NPR does,” he continued. “Because of such willful neglect, NPR should not receive another cent from the taxpayers.”
But Duncan’s denunciation did not, as yet, translate into action.
Speaking to Fox News this week, Ali said that by crossing the line into unabashed activism, NPR and others no longer could claim their output to be real journalism.
“If you want to engage in activism, go ahead. But to call it journalism, it’s a joke. It’s not journalism,” Ali said.
“It’s not reporting, it’s not analyzing, it’s not investigative reporting because for all of those activities, you require an open mind, you require a kind of philosophy that you follow the facts to where they lead and then you have to have that disposition of honest, impartial reporting,” she continued. “That’s not what activism is about.”
Others, such as conservative anti-bias watchdog the Media Research Center, noted that the blatant capitulation to woke leftism was not a new development, but it was, no less, a watershed moment for the practice of journalism in America.
“It’s not news that NPR is leftist, but that they won’t even try to hide it anymore is astonishing,” MRC’s Dan Gainor said in a statement to Fox News. “This is a taxpayer-funded ‘news’ organization. Why do we give it a penny?”
While the change in policy took heat from traditional journalists on Twitter, the move is part of a growing pattern of averred leftists trying to shake off the ethical constraints of the industry—or, rather, to destigmatize their refusal to follow them.
Several outlets this week called attention to a shocking column from the Washington Post‘s Margaret Sullivan, who advocated for journalists to stop covering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s Jan. 6 show trial by giving equal voice to both sides—even though few in the mainstream media were guilty of such an offense to begin with.
“The Democratic leadership has been trying to assemble a bipartisan panel that would study that mob attack on our democracy and make sure it is never repeated,” Sullivan claimed.
“Republican leaders, meanwhile, have been trying to undermine the investigation, cynically requesting that two congressmen who backed efforts to invalidate the election be allowed to join the commission, then boycotting it entirely,” she continued. “And the media has played straight into Republicans’ hands, seemingly incapable of framing this as anything but base political drama.”
The leftist concept of false-equivalencies in coverage first gained traction in the run-up to former President Donald Trump’s 2016 election, poisonously pushed by activists like far-left New York Times opinion columnist Paul Krugman.
“If Donald Trump becomes president, the news media will bear a large share of the blame,” Krugman griped in his Sept. 26 2016 column “The Falsity of False Equivalence.”
After the election, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet—who was among the cabal of media figures that first conspired with Fusion GPS to push the disinformation from the notorious Steele Dossier in July 2016—further validated his newsroom’s transition into a propagandist arm of the leftist resistance.
Baquet had baselessly complained that the alleged lies of Republican leader Donald Trump were somehow different than those of his Democrat counterparts, including campaign rival Hillary Clinton.
“He lies about small stuff. He says one thing one day and says something different the next day. He insists that things are true that are sort of demonstrably wrong,” Baquet ranted.
After declaring that the Times “blew it” in failing to secure a Clinton victory, Baquet announced his intention to rededicate the paper’s mission to serving as an anti-Trump attack dog and refusing to “normalize” his administration.
But countless examples since then have proven that it was the media itself that was no longer normal.
Among the many high-profile anti-Trump smears that proved to be demonstrably wrong were the refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, the Russia collusion scandal, a libelous attack on a group of high-schoolers from Kentucky, and the boosting of race-hoax claims by actor Jussie Smollett.
Despite the industry’s shameful humiliation—which has led to record public distrust in the entire media institution—its ivory-towered elites continue to double-down on justifying the Fifth Estate’s malpractice.
At a recent meeting, following the high-profile departure of “1619 Project” fiction writer Nikole Hannah–Jones over a tenure dispute, faculty at one of the top journalism programs in the country, the University of North Carolina, voiced their objection to having the word “objectivity” etched in a list of core values in their building’s lobby.
“Faculty say the display gives the impression those statements are values of the school and its faculty, and in a draft of a statement … faculty wrote it should be removed or given more context,” wrote the News & Observer.