It is bitterly ironic how America’s current corporate media embrace censorship—for others, of course. After all, the First Amendment’s recognition and protection of the unalienable right to free speech and the freedom of the press have long been rightly and ardently defended by those making a living in the industry. Their rationale was elementary: an attack on the free speech of one citizen was an attack on the free speech of all citizens.
Today, however, many of the most strident voices for censorship and self-censorship—including calls for the First Amendment to be radically curtailed—come from the left-wing, spoon-fed, regime-succored Pravda media.
What changed? Some, rather charitably, believe the Pravda media are enraptured with their regressive leftist ideology—which must be proselytized and protected at all costs, including the adoption of “accountability” (read “biased”) reporting—which impels journalists to ditch objectivity. This in turn spurs demands for both censorship and self-censorship to dispense with ideological inconveniences, such as facts and truth.
But in actuality, it is best to recall the cardinal rule of politics: follow the money. When one does, the Pravda media’s ignoble motive manifests: censorship is their protectionism.
Protectionism is usually implemented to preserve manufacturing industries, like automobiles and steel. The industries claim to be economically pressed by what they declare is unfair foreign competition, and demand the government provide subsidies, tax breaks, and/or barriers to market entry for their unfair competitors through tariffs and other policies to protect their jobs and profits. The politicians who support these policies are rewarded with endorsements, contributions, votes, etc.
Now ponder our Pravda media. It is also an industry, manufacturing “content” and bent on shaping and changing American public opinion. Yet, in this age of the democratization of information, the corporate media is facing pressure from what they deem to be unfair competition that must be stopped through government and industry action. That competition is you; and you must be silenced.
One of the aspects the Pravda media most despise is how the democratization of information eliminates barriers to entry for Americans in all walks of life, allowing their voices to be heard and to influence public affairs and policies. After all, what good is a pricey journalism degree if the dirty uncredentialed can undo all your propagandizing with a few viral lines on social media?
But the Pravda media’s loss of their presumed power and warped self-image as opinion makers aren’t their only “losses” due to your “unfair” competition in the marketplace of ideas.The Pravda media is also hemorrhaging money and jobs, so they demand subsidies and barriers to your entry into the public square. The Pravda media then creates the duplicitously monikered “fact checkers” and other internal mechanisms to brand your speech as disinformation that is unsafe for public consumption. They then take this bogus determination to their cohorts in Big Tech and Big Government to censor and/or create a chilling effect regarding your “unsafe disinformation.”
For those in Big Tech and Big Government who support this protectionism through censorship, lavish Pravda media praise and protection follows. Those who oppose it face scurrilous innuendos. As for you, you get censored—and maybe even declared a domestic terrorist.
Thus, despite their hypocritical paeans to their presumed noble motives, the Pravda media constitutes a dying industry losing jobs and profits due to its own misconduct. Rather than reform, they vociferously and deceitfully demand to be protected from outside (but not unfair) competition by promising rewards to their fellow elitists willing to protect their jobs, profits, and elitist self-esteem. What happens to such rent-seekers when they become dependent upon the government for their livelihood?
A free press becomes Pravda; and you get silenced.