In Ari Fleischer’s recently published book, SUPPRESSION, DECEPTION, SNOBBERY, AND BIAS, (Broadside Books, July 2022) you will learn everything you did not want to know about today’s media.
In this well-researched and documented book, Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary during George W. Bush’s administration, asserts that the media has a diversity problem. For the preponderance of today’s media it is race, gender, or sexual orientation that defines diversity. They celebrate it as long as it doesn’t involve ideological diversity, of which its corps has none.
When everything is BREAKING NEWS, it is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. The press has been everything other than what it claims to be: fair, balanced and impartial. For the media, news suppressed is as effective in conveying its bias messages as news reported. Partisanship has replaced objectivity and advocating for one party over the other is the norm. When the public reads or watches only media outlets that reflect their political views, they are getting fifty-percent of the truth. When the “elitists” unceremoniously dismiss FOX, or the “deplorables” off-handedly shun CNN, they are putting on blinders, spurring their readers’ views to the left or the right but not straight forward. When the pro-GOP or pro-DEMS media refuse to call out the bigots and racists in their preferred party, they are no longer objectively reporting the news, they are skewing it to fit their political agenda. When the media believes that, in its coverage, the ends justify all or any means, that is not reporting, it is partisanship of the most egregious kind. When a story proves to be false, any retraction cannot repair the damage it left in its wake.
Jill Abramson, who was the New York Times highest ranking editor from 2011 to 2014 admitted that the paper is biased. Years earlier in 2004, Bill Keller the paper’s executive editor said that “a fair amount of it [news items] would have been regarded as excessively opinionated twenty tears ago”. Gone is the era of Walter Cronkite, laments Fleischer, and in his place emerged a gaggle of like-minded so-called journalists whose activists’ words pollute the media-sphere.
Fleischer bemoans the fact that today the fair reporting of the news is the exception rather than the rule. He provides scores of well documented examples where the media employs a double standard in its printed, verbal, and digital communications, all the while feeding its readers disinformation. He said he misses the days when the media reported rather than contorted the news to support its preferred narrative. In conclusion, he believes there are still good reporters and journalists but they are a fading breed. The media has lost the trust of half the country but it can regain it if it harkens back to a time when the media fulfilled “its commitment to the American people” with honest, unopinionated and objective reporting.