So it’s high time we analyze more closely the relationship between the media and power elites. To do that, we need to look at how and why elites conscript journalists, and why journalists can’t resist the bait. The enticements come as access, privilege, prestige, fame, influence, and very high salaries for those in the limelight.
Not all mainstream journalists are fallen, but those who resist bias tend not to be household names ..... In the end, we should remember that journalists’ weaknesses are simply human weaknesses. There are several reasons their level of prejudice has risen so high. But prime among them is how much our society has come to de-value the old ideals of virtue and honor.
.... Somehow, large parts of our civil society have succumbed to that base but instinctive drive in people to lord it over others. That drive, as always, motivates those who tend to seek the reins of power. History is filled with unsavory characters determined to reset the universe so it revolves around them.
They have always—always—had major quibbles with the free flow of information. They view objective journalism as a bad joke, or in the words of Vera’s mentor above, a “bourgeois and reactionary” thing.
The point is that freedom of expression, when legally protected and practiced universally, stands in the way of their accumulation of power. So the first order of business for a power-monger is to break down free expression, to control the language. That’s a tall order when the public is well-informed. To combat a high-information public, community “organizers” have been hard at work pushing policies that cultivate ignorance, vulnerability, and scarcity.
As they march through the institutions of a society, these conditions produce a culture of confusion, dependence, fear, and resentment. Once power-mongers control all the outlets of communication—particularly the media, Hollywood, and academia—their propaganda can do its work. The work of propaganda is to condition people through political correctness to get with their program. This, in a word, means to promote the elites’ accumulation of power in perpetuity.
.... Corruption on such a mass scale is most likely in a culture that rejects the idea that humans are by nature highly corruptible. This false assumption allows people to operate under the illusion that they are not susceptible to manipulation. That illusion provides optimal conditions for manipulation.
... Political correctness is the job description of most journalists today. It aims to saturate the masses in the elite’s preferred narrative while suppressing any competing narrative. The idea is to make sure that only those willing to play this intimidation game get a piece of the power pie. In that way, the cronyism worms deeper into the system. There is no logical end point, as it can only keep feeding on itself and get more extreme and polarizing unless something from the outside manages to stop it in its tracks.
It’s plain old-fashioned hubris, dangerous and commonplace. So journalists get this way the same way anybody gets this way: through pride, through greed, and all of the other oh-so-quaint “seven deadly sins” that our elites would tell us do not exist. Left unchecked, these tendencies metastasize. If we allow ourselves to be unaware of the dangers of unchecked pride and greed—or for that matter envy, anger, sloth, lust, and gluttony in all their forms—we fall. That’s a law of human nature, just as gravity is a law of physics.
... Anyone who tries to report objectively won’t make it through the meat grinder of political correctness and the filters they must penetrate. This drives any hint of independent thought out of journalists who may have been inclined towards independent reporting.
Now combine a lapdog mentality in the media with elites who have a problem with freedom of information because it levels the playing field. Freedom of information results in the most equal distribution of power possible. Well, that can’t be good for power elites intent to keep and exercise power, right? So wherever power elites regulate the flow of information, you’re only going to get propaganda instead of hard news.
.... Today, when I hear a news outlet talk about its “programming,” I can’t help but think of programming computers or cult recruits. Listening to the news is more like an exercise in thought reform—in which you are being told or nudged in how to think about an issue—than it is the objective flow of actual news you can digest and think through on your own.
... The tragedy is that without real journalism and a free flow of real information, people lose the ability to exercise real thought. Without being able to actually think things through with the grounding of objective morality, there is no morality, period. Unchecked propaganda that suppresses real communication is extremely dangerous because it turns all of the above into a certainty. Sadly, journalists have become all too complicit in that.