Tags: What | Free | Press

What Free Press?

Tuesday, 12 Aug 2008 03:19 PM

By Phil Brennan

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It began as a irritant, then slowly became anger and then a simmering rage. Right now its my full-blown, ongoing outrage at what we laughingly call the mainstream media which is about as mainstream as a diet composed solely of eating grasshoppers — and considerably less nutritious.

It's not just the shameful refusal of the MSM to cover the spectacle of a recent candidate for the presidency of the United States cavorting with a mistress and probably siring a child while seeking the nation's highest office and while his wife battles an incurable disease yet campaigns her heart out for him. And then lying through his shiny, pearl-white teeth about it.

That refusal was total — not a single MSM media outlet so much as whispered a word about the scandal until it was obvious to even the most naive reporter that the hated National Enquirer had the goods on Mr. Edwards.

And their immediate reaction was not to delve deeper into the scandal, but to scurry around trying to find a plausible excuse for their failure to do the job of reporting the news. New York Times editor, Bill Keller, explained his paper's refusal to dig into a story owned lock, stock and barrel by the Enquirer by referring to what he called the "hold-your-nose quality about the Enquirer."

This is the editor whose newspaper routinely blabs to all the world, including people whose lives are dedicated to killing us all, our most vital national security secrets, putting you and me and every other American at risk. And the newspaper that went all out to falsely accuse John McCain of having an affair with a lobbyist without a shred of proof to back up their story. Talk about hold-you-nose qualities. The stench from the Times is enough to churn your stomach.

The Times, like all the rest of the rapidly declining MSM, despises the Enquirer, Fox News, bloggers and the alternative media in general because they have all but demolished the paper curtain that hid anything damaging to the left wing which dominates the old media. The new media has ended the MSM's monopoly and the MSM's impotence to stop their rapid decline infuriates them.

Let's get something straight here. The Enquirer is a business that exists to sell papers. Generoso Pope, the twisted genius who founded and ran the Enquirer with an iron hand had the unique talent of being able to divine what kind of stories would hit home with the housewife in Dubuque Iowa and he saw to it that she got what interested her. It was sensational and it sold papers by the millions.

Moreover, what was regarded as scandalous and indecent about the Enquirer, was almost Sunday school pure in comparison with what constitutes the daily fare in today's media. When it came to covering sex the prudish Mr. Pope had a category of story ideas called "clean sex." Nothing slimy passed muster.

Along the way, Pope built an army of tough reporters, mostly Brits, who knew that they either got the story they were sent to get, or found themselves out of the best paying jobs in the business.

So, armed with whatever lavish sums of the money they needed to do the job, and the understanding that their jobs depended on it, they got the story. And every time when the story was also being covered by reporters from the MSM, the Enquirer reporters ran circles around them, mainly because the MSM types were hanging around the local gin mills interviewing each other while the Enquirer reporters swarmed around getting every detail of the story they could uncover.

In my days as a lowly assistant editor of the Enquirer, I watched a parade of MSM reporters try to get jobs there. None ever made it in my time there. A tryout for a job at the Enquirer was the equivalent of spending 30 days walking barefoot across beds of burning coals.

The absolute blackout of the Edwards story until it was no longer possible to ignore it was simply just one more example of big media's routine failure to report on stories that contradict the current leftist wisdom. Had Edwards been a Republican, thew would have been all over the story from the beginning.

For years they reported every IED explosion, every case of unexpected consequences affecting Iraqi civilians, every suicide bombing and any incident that showed that the U.S. might be losing the war. Goebbels could have done a better job of managing the news.

There was a reason for this: it made the president and the GOP look bad. Every Iraqi or American soldier or Marine's death was an accusing finger pointed at George Bush. It was the common wisdom that the Iraq war would doom the GOP and its candidate to certain defeat in the 2008 elections.

Then something unimaginable happened. Thanks to the much condemned surge, the U.S. began to win the war; but you'd never know it if the MSM had their way. Unable to deny that the war is now all but won, the MSM simply stopped covering the enormous changes taking place there, and Iraq suddenly dropped off the pages and TV screens of the mainstream media.

This is the way it was in Soviet Union and its captive nations. Nothing critical of the communist worker's paradise ever saw print. The commissars had absolute control of the flow of information. The people were kept in the dark.

It's not the government playing the role of censor here. It's the media commissars, and they are doing a bang up job of managing the news.

If you doubt that, just take a look at the coverage of the media's darling, Barack Obama. They don't even bother to conceal the fact that they worship at his feet. And they'll fight tooth and nail to keep anything unfavorable about their new messiah from ever seeing the light of day.

There are stories the MSM can't get enough of. If a sizeable number of Americans actually believe in global warming despite the overwhelming evidence that it's all a gigantic hoax that the media ignores, it's because the MSM has fed the nation a steady diet of global warming propaganda, all but elevating Al Gore to sainthood.

If you need proof of this, a survey that showed fewer Americans now believe in global warming attributes the fact to a fall-off in reporting on the subject.

According to an analysis by Gary Langer of ABC News, the drop in the numbers of believers in global warming coincides with decreased media attention to climate change, in favor of the election and economy. "A database search finds 50 percent fewer news stories on global warming in the month before this poll was conducted, compared with the month before last year's survey," Langer wrote.

In other words, credence in global warming depends of the media's selling the goofy idea that we are about to be pan fried.

A free press? Not if the MSM has anything to say about it.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s.

He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.

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