Wall Street Journal editor at large Gerald Baker blasted the mainstream media on Tuesday with a scathing column asking if America’s free press could become an “instrument of state propaganda” if Democratic nominee Joe Biden is victorious on Election Day.
Much of mainstream media has bent over backward to tarnish President Trump over the last four years and a recent study by the Media Research Center indicated that evening newscasts on ABC, NBC and CBS are significantly more negative about the current president than Biden. This comes on the heels of the mainstream media largely ignoring or dismissing the explosive New York Post report that purported to show emails from Hunter Biden linking his father to his Ukraine business dealings.
Facebook and Twitter both took steps to censor the story and NPR even admitted it wouldn’t cover the report that could potentially hurt Biden’s chance to defeat Trump – chalking it up as a “waste” of time.
Baker’s piece, “Media Watchdogs Aren’t Supposed to Guard Biden,” asks if the media that has grown to hate Trump and cheer Democrats could “become a vehicle for state propaganda” with a liberal occupying the Oval Office.
“In the long and dishonorable annals of journalistic cant, there have been few statements to compete with the one issued by National Public Radio last week explaining why it wouldn’t burden its listeners with any news about Hunter Biden,” Baker wrote.
“NPR’s might have been the most baldfaced exercise in dishonesty but it wasn’t the only one,” Baker wrote. “Most people have discovered they can live without NPR. Facebook and Twitter are different. They control the bulk of, respectively, the distribution of news to ordinary folks and the flow of news to journalists. When they decided to restrict access to the story, its visibility is dramatically diminished.”
Baker feels, “The construction of a media-and-tech wall to protect Joe Biden in the final days of the 2020 campaign has taken to a brazen new level the democratic problem of a society whose information flow is skewed heavily to one ideological pole.”
The WSJ top editor noted that some traditional newsroom leaders dismiss the idea that the press would essentially act as a public relations department for a Biden administration “on the grounds that Donald Trump is a unique threat to democracy and that they have been forced to take commensurately unusual measures,” but noted that New Yorker editor David Remnick essentially called for “full-scale resistance” to Trump in 2017.
“For journalists that meant being fair to both sides was out the window,” Baker wrote of Remnick’s April 2017 claim that Trump was threatening democracy only 100 days into his presidency.
“Once the media and tech companies have saved the country from Mr. Trump’s Fourth Reich, the argument goes, the Resistance will surrender its arms and go back to being fair-minded standard-bearers for truth,” Baker wrote. “Put aside for a moment the idea that what was normal before President Trump was media objectivity. If you believe that, I have a few thousand Barack Obama hagiographies to sell you.”
Baker then declared that a return to pre-Trump objectivity is essentially unrealistic at this point.
“Newsrooms are now hostage to narrow-minded post-teenage social justice warriors who have no time for the idea that there might be an alternative to their own Maoist ideology. Forget ‘objectivity.’ Journalists have a moral purpose,” Baker wrote. “If they do hold Democrats accountable, you can bet it will be not to the standards of, let’s say, the median voter. It will be to the demands of critical race theory, woke norms and climate extremism.”
He then explained that many news organizations don’t need to rely on advertising for their revenue in the modern age, as subscribers willing to open their wallets to get access to the content they want has taken over.
“They have become essentially membership clubs of like-minded people. Those members won’t take kindly to being told the Democrats they support are flawed or corrupt or dumb,” Baker wrote. “So don’t think a defeat for President Trump will return the media to some kind of golden age of news reporting – if one ever existed. Having tasted victory, why would they stop there?”
Wall Street Journal deputy editorial editor Dan Henninger joined Fox News on Tuesday to discuss his colleague’s piece.
“I think Gerry Baker has raised a legitimate alarm,” Henninger said on “America’s Newsroom.”
“We have been watching a historical event here as much of the major media and press outlets align themselves with one of the major U.S. political parties. This is unprecedented, but you know, we saw it happen virtually the week of Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, when they started the Russian collusion narrative,” Henninger said. “The press has been all-in on trying to … oppose this presidency for nearly four years now.”
Henninger said the mainstream media has upped its anti-Trump coverage over the finals days before Election Day 2020.
“The idea that, should Biden win, that come inauguration day next January, they’re going to go back to being objective reporters, I think, is a pipe dream,” Henninger added. “Something has changed with this young generation of reporters. The goal used to be objectivity, the goal now for many of them is social justice and that suggests that there will be reporting supporting the goals of the Democratic Party’s left wing.”