Americans’ Great Awakening is now so well underway that even pollsters and left-of-center opinion writers are finally coming to understand the public’s hatred for a legacy, corporate media that has fully abandoned any pretense of being a common source for information. It has ripped off its mask to reveal itself as the partisan propaganda machine for the state narrative that it has long been undercover. It’s no exaggeration to say the media is the preeminent domestic threat to America.
As someone who spent 20 years in daily newspapers and has been working diligently for a generation to wake people up to the dangers of trusting the media, I’m dancing a rare jig of joy—though not without shedding a small tear for what could have been.
From Russiagate to the lab leak theory to the riots in the summer of 2020 to the effect of school closures during the pandemic, reporters seem increasingly incapable of reporting honestly and comprehensively on the most important issues of the day. Last night, for anyone who was watching the debate with eyes wide open, that much was indisputable.
Savodnik is hardly alone as we see an increasing array of serious left-wing journalists being red-pilled about their industry and walking away, including former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss; Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald; Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi; Vox reporter Matt Yglesias and even former magazine columnists such as the far-left Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan, to name a few. Again, not a right-winger among them, but all see what the corporate media has become and at least have the integrity to publicly acknowledge it.
But what is essential in any Great Awakening is that a critical mass of normal people opens their eyes wide. Exhibit A that it’s happening is nothing short of what’s reported in the Washington Post about its own poll with Siena College:
As it turns out, 84 percent of respondents said yes, the mainstream media posed a threat to democracy, including 6 in 10 who said it posed a major threat. That was the highest percentage of any of the 10 options the pollsters presented—in part because it was one of the few options for which there was bipartisan support.
The last comment is an attempt at spin, but it only reinforces the reality that Americans of every political stripe are waking up to the threat that a partisan, radicalized, state-aligned media poses to a free society. It’s 84 percent!
Who could forget how the Washington Post, in the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, self-righteously ushered in its new slogan, “Democracy dies in darkness”? Well, as it turns out, Americans believe democracy is dying in America, and they blame the media more than anyone or anything else. The Washington Post is a pack leader fulfilling its own slogan. And yet it is all but guaranteed that virtually no one at the Post or the rest of the corporate media has eyes to see what is slapping them in the face.
Self-reflection is not their strength.
Let’s take a recent in-the-news example of how this all works. Ubiquitous in the media is the phrase “election deniers,” which refers to Americans who question the veracity of official vote totals in states that radically altered election laws in 2020 ostensibly as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given state courts ruled some of those changes were illegal, people have the right to question the outcome of close contests.
But Democrats and outfits such as the George Soros-funded, Hillary Clinton-advised Media Matters for America consider all such questions illegitimate and label all those who ask them “deniers.” (The obvious intent here is to conjure images of Holocaust deniers and somehow equate the two things in listeners’ minds.) If you do not religiously recite that Biden won the election and all was entirely on the up-and-up, you are a threat to democracy. And to ensure that message is pushed out in its entirety, the democracy-dies-in-darkness media kicks into action as the communications arm of the Democratic Party.
And so a Google search on any given day will return these sorts of headlines:
- New York Times: “Election Deniers Running for Office”
- Axios: “2020 election denial looms large in Colorado’s 2022 midterm”
- NBC: “Election deniers advanced to November ballots in 27 states, report finds”
- Politico: “Democrats locked in close contests with election deniers for key secretary of state posts”
- Yahoo News: “[Washington state] Election Official Faces Election Denier”
But Americans know there were significant “irregularities” in the 2020 election. They understand much more than media elitists think.
Politico, for example, reports in its daily news blast that “election denialism” is significant: “60% of all voters say that President Biden won legitimately in 2020, compared with 33% (and 65% of Republicans) who say he didn’t win legitimately.” (As far as I can tell, Politico never used such terminology when Hillary Clinton said her election was stolen, and #notmypresident trended for a year after 2016.)
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has repeatedly said, “Journalism has been replaced with propaganda.” She is right. But more importantly, a significant share of the American people now know it.
This Twitter exchange between a GOP Trump “war room” operative and an NBC reporter is pitch-perfect. In it, the two men are doing the exact same job, except one is honest as a GOP political operative and one is lying to people by claiming to be a fair reporter. Americans see it:
Lake gave 3 press gaggles this week – including taking a question from you – and then she talked to press after this, and STILL turned around and addressed your question.
This is performative journalism at its finest. https://t.co/kXD8wdCbpJ
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) October 23, 2022
Even GOP politicians see it. Former Florida Governor Rick Scott, now a U.S. senator, broke the mold in 2010 when he rejected invitations from 17 state newspaper editorial boards, got none of their endorsements, and won anyway. Twice.
Now, some major Florida newspapers aren’t endorsing at all. Florida Democratic political strategist Steve Schale, who ran Obama’s Florida campaigns, sees newspaper endorsements as irrelevant. “Let’s put it this way, I hadn’t noticed if they had endorsed or not endorsed, and I’m a hack who generally lives and breathes this stuff,” Schale said.
Kari Lake and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have continued breaking the code in dealing with the overtly hostile media: Don’t participate. They hold plenty of press gaggles, of course. But they hit back smoothly and confidently and give no pretense that they are dealing with objective journalists. More, please.
America’s First and Second Great Awakenings in the 18th and 19th centuries were solely Christian in nature, and they wrought dramatic changes in entire regions of the United States that lasted for generations.
What might this Great Awakening about our national media accomplish? It might be the biggest step yet toward returning the American government to the people, to be administered by the people and for the people.