The mainstream reporters and editors who vigorously investigated presidents without fear or favor are almost all gone. These journalists, both left and right, critically examined all administrations, from the Republican administrations of Reagan and the Bushes, to the Democratic administrations of Clinton or Carter.
Successful or not, re-elected or not, all these presidents knew that, if a reporter found a good story, regardless of political bias, that reporter was going to pursue it.
But now we have just seen the failure of that system, the betrayal of public trust in the coverage of the last election and the coverage of today.
We Won’t Let You See This
In some respects, this has been nothing less than a news blackout. And some courageous men and women, who don’t go along with this venal system, have been pushed out of the news business or forced out of mainstream organizations that once honored them.
And even as GregoryBresiger.com, a measly little blog devoted to personal finance and the love of liberty, writes these words, we have a fear that we might even be blacked out by a cancel culture run amok. But until then, and I hope that time never comes, what we will use our precious liberty, secured to us be generations of courageous men and women. But what is happening today and last year is we have a news media that is losing respect almost as quickly as our political ruling class.
In the previous segment, I mentioned how the left-wing media of decades ago effectively covered the Billy Carter scandal; how Carter administration officials, in losing the election of 1980, complained that the press had turned on them.
It hadn’t. It was doing its job.
Now let us review how that same press covered the scandals of Joe Biden. Or didn’t cover them. Almost Biden’s whole family has been implicated in various pay for access scandals going back decades. Charges were made against Biden’s son, Hunter. A credible witness came forth to say that Hunter was taking payments from foreign powers. E-mails affirming the story were produced.
It’s a Smear!
How did the Biden people respond? They said it was all “a smear.” But here is the most significant part of the denial: They never said the emails documenting these sleazy relationships were fabrications. This is an indirect of saying, “yes, these emails were real but we hope you will just forget about them, move on and elect Joe Biden as president.”
That just about what happened.
Once the 2020 primaries were over, and Joe Biden became the obvious choice to run against Trump, the bias became palpable. The mainstream media no longer was somewhat biased but they virtually became officials of the Biden campaign. Negative Trump stories were highlighted (No objection; that’s what a press is for; to question power).
But anything negative or that would question Biden was either ignored or distorted (Yes, that was a journalistic crime. It demonstrated the sleaziness of much of the mainstream media).
Yet the questions over the Bidens’ relationships with foreign paymasters should have been big stories in the 2020 campaign as it was in the 1970s when President Carter’s brother was accepting a lot of money from the Libyans.
But in 2020, the bulk of the press was very different from their 1980s predecessors. Some elements of the press actually announced they would not touch the Biden family story foreign connections story. They said it “seemed” like a campaign of “Russian disinformation.”
How does one know if one doesn’t investigate?
How to Find Stories
I used to be a reporter. And yes, it is true that many leads one gets, possibly ninety percent, constitute “disinformation.” They are false leads. They are either wrong or someone is trying to use your media outlet to get someone.
But the point is 10 percent of leads result in great stories. And one only gets to that 10 percent by sifting through the garbage.
How does one know a story is disinformation unless one examines it? Answer: One doesn’t. And in the case of the Hunter Biden/Biden family foreign influence peddling story, very few outlets would even consider it. That’s because they were in the tank for the Democratic party.
Biden Controversy? Not Interested
So tens of millions of Americans voted without knowing the facts, disputed or otherwise, about Joe Biden and his son’s financial relationships with Russian and Chinese power brokers.
And that’s because some big political players in news media actually killed the story. Some of them were anything but career journalists. Some of them were power players with strong connections to the Democratic party.
So, with the exception of a few news outlets—outlets that were at times censored by left wing big tech—Biden stories were ignored. And I am sure that the coverage of these stories would have had an impact on the election.
Enough to change the outcome?
I don’t know. But that’s not the point. A vigilant press, a press that is doing its job without fear or favor would have examined the evidence and reported what it found.
No Story? Really?
Most of our press not only didn’t examine the evidence. They tried to stop others from doing their job. It is very different from the press of 40 years ago. That was when a left-wing press was more likely to do its job, despite personal political prejudices. The latter were usually expressed on the op-ed pages and not in the news coverage.
I believe that this signal change—this censure of things that don’t comport with their extreme left-wing agenda—is one of the reasons why network news viewership has dramatically declined over the last 20 years or so and will likely continue to decline. News coverage often reeks.
Even people who have never set foot in a newsroom can sense the lying, distortion and bias. Do you remember the brutal one on one interviews of Trump on network news in 2020? Now contrast them with the way Biden was interviewed. He was never interrupted. Interviews were done in a soft tone. It was almost as though one was speaking gently to a little child.
Return to Yesterday
The networks and the rest of the mainstream media could reverse the disgrace of the last campaign. They could go back to the standards of two generations ago.
They could purge themselves of the corruption that is ruining their reputations just as tens of millions of Americans have lost confidence in the honesty of government.
They could start by covering an obviously overlooked story that many of them don’t seem to want examined: President Joe Biden’s apparently deteriorating health. This has led to Biden inability even to read from cue cards and a dependence on his wife telling what are the words that are often escaping him.
I’m not making fun of him or any senior citizen. I’m an old man too and my memory is slipping a little. But that doesn’t change the fact that one’s physical and mental condition is critical when one is president.
Biden’s mental condition is rumored to be bad. Is it? Well, we don’t know this in part because a large part of the press—some of which have actually compared to Christ—won’t raise the issue. And, if it were honest, it would.
Biden holds no press conferences. Biden hasn’t even delivered an annual state of the union. All of this feeds rumors that he is breaking down.
GregoryBresiger.com, has previously warned of the FDR 1944 scenario; how a president was re-elected and yet a few people knew that FDR would never survive his last term; that who was chosen as vice president would surely become president in FDR’s fourth term.
Luckily, that person was Harry Truman. Yet it might have been Henry Wallace, who was pulled from the ticket at the last moment. Wallace, who had been vice president was a hopeless dreamer who said a lot of nice things about the Gulag called the Soviet Union.
You Want Power? Take the Test
We have argued that every major president candidate should be required to take extensive medical tests as administered by the Surgeon General, who should then be required to publish the results on line.
We renew and amend that suggestion: Presidents should be required to submit to a complete medical exam each year and the results should be published. The examination should definitely not be done by a president’s personal doctor because of the obvious conflict of interest.
A free and vigorous press would demand these standards and ask these questions, regardless of political affiliation.
A free, vigilant press is essential to the restoration of faith in our government. A free, vigilant press is likely to force governments to operate honestly. On the whole, a free and vigilant press is what we don’t have today.
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