Posted tagged ‘“Fact checkers”’

The Media is the Greatest Enemy of a Free Press

July 3, 2017

The Media is the Greatest Enemy of a Free Press, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 3, 2017

Americans, from the government to the streets, must make it clear that there is no fourth branch of government. Only when the media cartel has been broken, can a free press rise once again.

********************************

The media finally found its hero.

The hero was Brian Karem, the sweaty, surly and unshaven correspondent for Playboy, who whined that Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, the Deputy White House Press Secretary, was “bullying” the abused media.

Vox dubbed Karem “heroic” for defending “CNN’s honor.” The media’s “honor” has fallen so low that it needs defending by the red light district. If the media’s honor gets any lower, its honor will need an assist from the Mafia, Mexican drug cartels, NAMBLA and the Toxic Waste Association of America.

Karem claimed to be inspired by the tantrums of CNN’s Jim Acosta. CNN was particularly upset by the White House denying the network the precious video that it needs to show off its latest Trump attacks.

Off-camera briefings are a good start. Off-media briefings would be even better.

Under the illiterate headline, “We Stood Up to the Administration Today Because Free Press is Crucial,” Karem wrote at Playboy, “The administration supports the First Amendment – just not the people who practice it.”

And the only people entitled to practice the First Amendment, according to the media, own the media. They don’t need to know basic grammar. They don’t need to have their facts right. They just need to be part of huge media conglomerates with left-wing politics whose mission is attacking conservatives.

What got Karem’s goat (and the goats of the rest of the media herd) was that Sanders had given the first question to Breitbart. And conservative sites are not entitled to the protections of the First Amendment.

A free press is crucial. And when the White House fights for a free press by diversifying the press corps, it’s upholding the spirit of a free press that the media cartel is fighting to kill.

The entire “Fake News” outcry that Karem and the rest of his “honorable” colleagues in the media are whining about began with a media plot to censor conservative sites on social media for “Fake News.”

Why does the media believe that Playboy, but not Breitbart or the Daily Caller, have a right to be heard?

“I don’t like the entire institution of the press and free speech being castigated,” Brian Karem wheedled. “The foundation of a free republic is a free press.”

The media has reached rock bottom when a porn magazine’s correspondent starts claiming to be foundation of a free republic.

And when the media enthusiastically agrees.

The foundation of a free republic is free people. Free people have the right to say what they please. They can do it on social media, at a political protest or in the pages of a newspaper. Freedom doesn’t begin and end with the media cartel. Even though the media cartel would like nothing better.

“We can’t take the bullying anymore. It’s undermining the fourth estate, it’s undermining the first amendment,” the Playboy correspondent whined elsewhere.

America isn’t supposed to have a Fourth Estate. That’s France. But that’s what the media is. It’s not a free press. It’s a cartel that leverages control over what was once the free press. Few conservatives are allowed into its ranks. Its partisan mission is to support the left and oppose the right.

The First Amendment gives the media the freedom to do it. Not the institutional authority.

It’s the media that has zero respect for the First Amendment. Its contempt for the religious freedoms of the First Amendment is notorious. But its hostility for the free press is a more recent innovation.

The media has viciously fought the White House’s effort to diversify the press corps by bringing in conservative media. Karem’s tantrum was an outgrowth of that larger battle. Its push for “fact checks” is a cynical effort to embed censorship of conservative media outlets into Facebook and Google News. The media is the greatest enemy of a free press. And it should be treated that way.

It’s an unelected and illegitimate fourth branch of government backed by a handful of powerful interests that insists on setting the national agenda, determining who gets elected and impeaching them if the voters disagree. That is the coup that the fourth branch is busy trying to pull on President Trump.

And the media insists on determining who gets to belong to it. Playboy, yes. Breitbart, DailyCaller and Front Page Magazine, no. Playboy is a heroic defender of the media’s “honor.” Conservative sites must be censored so all that the media deems “Fake News” doesn’t undermine its political agenda.

But the media doesn’t get to decide who can belong to a free press. And what news is fake.

President Trump, Sarah Sanders Huckabee and others have called out the media as “Fake News.” And that outrages the media cartel because it challenges its institutional authority.

The media’s institutional authority shouldn’t just be challenged, it must be broken.

A free press is open to everyone. The media is a closed cartel. A free press has a diversity of opinions. The media has only one. A free press is a dialogue. The media silences dissent, from individuals to conservative outlets. A free press does not attempt to usurp democracy. That is the entire purpose of the media cartel. It manufactures an artificial consensus through mass communications propaganda.

The internet has made the media irrelevant. It also killed the very last of its ethics and journalistic integrity. All that remains are a network of partisan left-wing sites trailed by dead tree paper and dead cable outlets integrated into one heaving mess that connects CNN to ESPN to Playboy to Teen Vogue.

The media cartel is a network of money and power. This illegitimate network intersects with other institutional left-wing networks in the non-profit sector, the political sector, the academic sector and many others. Each network is a thread in a spider web that is choking the life out of this nation. And at the center sit the radical spiders that pull all the strings.

The obscene efforts of the media cartel to wrap itself in the tattered shrouds of the First Amendment are as disgusting as a man who murdered his parents begging the court to have mercy on an orphan.

The media is waging a ruthless campaign to censor its opponents under the guise of “Fake News”. Yet it plays the victim when it is criticized (rather than censored) for the dishonest lies of its partisan agenda.

It has made war on the Constitution. It rejects some parts of the Bill of Rights entirely. It is now engaged in a gargantuan effort to reverse the results of a national election. And when it is called out for its abuses of power, it contends that to criticize it is to undermine the foundation of a free republic.

How can you possibly have a free republic without CNN, MSNBC and the Washington Post? But a better question might be, how can you have a free republic when a leftist media cartel is running it?

The government should not privilege a media cartel or confuse its arrogance with authority.

Off-camera briefings should become off-media briefings. Media outlets that want to act like campus crybullies should be booted. Dot coms that clamor for Net Neutrality but then use media “fact checks” to censor conservative competitors should be called out for their partisan hypocrisy.

The White House’s battle against the media cartel is the best defense of the First Amendment.

Americans, from the government to the streets, must make it clear that there is no fourth branch of government. Only when the media cartel has been broken, can a free press rise once again.

Post “Fact-Checkers” Swing and Miss at Trump’s Paris Accord Speech

June 2, 2017

Post “Fact-Checkers” Swing and Miss at Trump’s Paris Accord Speech, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, June 2, 2017

By now, most people understand that “fact-checkers” for organs like the Washington Post are just liberals trying to package their talking points under a byline they hope will bolster their waning credibility. That’s certainly the case with this Washington Post “fact check” (by Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee) of President Trump’s explanation for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.

This howler appears in the second paragraph:

Trump also suggested that the United States was treated unfairly under the agreement. But each of the nations signing the agreement agreed to help lower emissions, based on plans they submitted. So the U.S. target was set by the Obama administration.

Q.E.D. But for which side of the debate?

In the online version I’m working from, the “fact-checkers” don’t bother to link to the text of Trump’s speech. Apparently, they would prefer not to be fact-checked.

If one bothers to read the text, one finds that Trump didn’t say the process that produced the agreement — e.g., the way the targets were set — is unfair. He said: “the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.” In other words, the outcome — in particular, the targets — is unfair.

Thus, the fact-checkers have assumed that targets set by Obama are, by definition, fair to the United States. That’s what they used to call “begging the question.”

It would be hard for the “fact-checkers” to go downhill from there, but they make a good run at it. Trump cited a study finding that full implementation and compliance with the agreement would produce only a “tiny, tiny” 0.2 degree reduction in global temperature by 2100. The fact-checkers deny that a 0.2 degree reduction is “tiny, tiny” and say that the author of the study disagrees with Trump’s characterization.

Do we really need fact-checkers to tell us what is, and is not, “tiny, tiny”?

The Post’s “fact-checkers” take a rather different approach when it comes to assessing the magnitude of lost economic growth. Citing a study, Trump said the agreement would cost the economy nearly $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product by 2040. The fact-checkers say “that number must be viewed in context over more than two decades, so ‘$3 trillion’ amounts to a reduction of 6 percent.”

A 6 percent loss of GDP isn’t “tiny, tiny.” It seems significant to me. Others may view things differently, but that’s a matter of opinion, not fact. Trump hasn’t said anything here that constitutes factual error.

Much of the criticism leveled by the Post’s “fact-checkers” is based on the fact that the nations aren’t bound by the key elements of the Paris agreement. Thus, they note that Trump could change Obama’s commitments because it is “technically allowed under the accord.” (Emphasis added).

But in evaluating whether to stay in the deal, Trump has the right to take it seriously. What’s the point of being a party to an agreement that any party can blow off?

The point, from the climate activist perspective, may be to provide a vehicle for challenging decisions like Trump’s roll back of the Clean Power Plan. Trump alluded to this prospect, which has been raised by the White House Counsel, in his speech.

According to the Post’s fact-checkers, State Department lawyers strongly deny that the Paris accords could be used this way. I suspect they are either disingenuous, insufficiently creative, or oblivious. Anyway, Trump is entitled to rely on the view of his White House Counsel.

In the end, I come away from the Post’s “fact-check” believing that, (1) if fully implemented and complied with, the Paris agreement will have only a negligible impact on the earth’s temperature and (2) even if the U.S. remained in the deal, it would not be fully implemented and complied with.

I also coming away believing that, with the possible exception of taking the Paris accord too seriously, Trump’s speech contains no error of fact.