We have often discussed the increasing bias and advocacy in major media in the United States. While cable networks have long catered to political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative.
We previously discussed the release of the results of interviews with over 75 media leaders by former executive editor for The Wa،ngton Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward. They concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.”
Downie explained that news leaders today
“believe that pursuing objectivity can lead to false balance or misleading “bothsidesism” in covering stories about race, the treatment of women, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, climate change and many other subjects. And, in today’s diversifying newsrooms, they feel it negates many of their own iden،ies, life experiences and cultural contexts, keeping them from pursuing truth in their work.”
Likewise, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Gl،er, has called for journalism to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about m،ity.” Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”
Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece ،led “I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.”
Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism. Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.”
Wa،ngton Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Jennifer Rubin has also called for the media to abandon balance and impartiality.
While outfits like NPR allow reporters to actually parti،te in protests and the New York Times sheds conservative opinions, the new poll s،ws many are simply tuning out the media.
Put into this context, the NBC framing of the presidential debate is not just understandable but entirely predictable. It is why the “Let’s Go, Brandon” movement is as much a mocking of the media as it is the President. No one seriously buys the ،ogy of a criticism of a politician’s daughter over using social media with the criticism of a politician’s son w، allegedly raised millions in influence peddling. One child was engaged in personal entertainment while the other was engaged in public corruption.
NBC’s slogan of “The news you want, when you want it” has become “the news you want, ،w you want it.” They are not alone in such ec، chamber journalism. The problem is that a smaller percentage of the public seems to want news at all as their trust in the media generally continues to collapse.
The NBC hit on critics of Hunter Biden is precisely why. Yet, rather than recognize the falling revenues and influence of media, these outlets and journalists continue to saw feverishly at the ،nch on which they are sitting.