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Ted Cruz and the media bias on display for all to see

Written By | Nov 15, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 15, 2015—The blatant bias of the American mainstream media has been in full view over the past couple of weeks. By now, anyone who doesn’t get it just isn’t paying attention. Agree or disagree with the media’s point of view, but never doubt that they have an agenda that they push at every opportunity.

Recent events began with the now-infamous Republican debate in Boulder, Colorado. CNBC was supposed to be covering economic issues. Instead, they baited the candidates to attack each other. Finally, Ted Cruz had enough:

CNBC covered itself with shame that night. It seems unlikely that they will be invited back any time soon.

Follow that with the manufactured story about Ben Carson being offered a full scholarship to West Point. What a load of nonsense that was! An appointment to one of the service academies is indeed a full scholarship, no matter that it is called an appointment. And the service academies, which have a complex allocation of slots, do regularly seek out highly qualified minority students just as they and many other colleges seek out athletes.

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Politico was even chided by other left-wing news outlets about their story, so low was its standard of journalism.

“I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama,” Carson said.

He is right. While “journalists” pore over Carson’s academic records, no mention is ever made in the mainstream media about Barack Obama’s still-sealed academic records.

In Milwaukee last week, Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal held a real forum. At this stage in the nomination process, these really are forums, not debates. The Fox and WSJ moderators made it about the ideas and not about themselves. As Charles Krauthammer said, the biggest winner that night was Fox.

Even-handed as they were, it’s unlikely that Fox will be invited to moderate any Democrat party debates. The position of the left is that Fox News isn’t a “real” news outlet.

So what makes a real journalist or a real news outlet?

In this country, we tend to think of journalists in two ways. One is the purveyor of facts, pure and simple. The news sources collect information and report on what we need to know—much like the national intelligence community collects information and produces intelligence for consumption by federal government agencies. Intelligence can be incomplete and the conclusions can be wrong, but almost no one doubts that the intelligence agencies are trying to uncover and report facts.

We expect that media will act in that kind of information-broker role for the citizenry at large. More and more, however, we find that the media are not driven by facts, but are agenda-driven. From the stories they select to the way the headlines and content are written, the agenda shows through. There is no distinction between fact and opinion: every page is the editorial page.

The second thing we expect from the media is a certain anti-government bias. This is the heritage of John Peter Zenger and the Revolutionary press, and protecting the right of the press to criticize the government is why freedom of the press in embedded in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Instead, the modern American press is blatantly partisan. They attack government only when Republicans are in charge. Their attacks are personal, too: Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle and George W. Bush were all labeled stupid by the press while Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are brilliant.

In both their roles as purveyors of facts and as opposition to government, the mainstream media fail the American people.

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Where does this come from? The schools of journalism. The University of Missouri provides a great example. There assistant professor Melissa Click, herself accredited to the journalism school, was seen banning journalists from a so-called “safe space” and calling for muscle to remove them. The irony? These were student journalists from the school newspaper.

Although she later apologized, her behavior is being repeated at Yale, Loyola of Chicago and Claremont McKenna College. There, Dean Mary Spellman resigned over protests about an email she wrote.

With potential future journalists coming from schools like these, can we expect a more honest press in the future?

Possibly. The editorial board of The Claremont Independent school newspaper published an editorial titled “We Dissent.” It excoriates all parties involved.

In addition, the past seven years have not only exposed the bias of the legacy media, but have also given rise to new media, which are either “fair and balanced” as Fox News claims to be or is outright conservative, such as the Blaze. Either the legacy media will reform itself or it will die.

No longer do the mainstream media, practically a propaganda arm of the Obama administration, have control over the information Americans get. It is still up to each of us to consider the source of the news we read, but in the past few weeks we have been given unmistakable signs that the legacy media is quite biased.

Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.