Letter: Political bias forces media to lose track of its mission

From: Tom Heller


The very first question National Public Radio Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep asked Sept. 29 of Nicole Carroll, editor of The Arizona Republic (which recently reversed a 126-year unbroken string of endorsing Republican presidential candidates) was “What’s wrong with Donald Trump?” You can listen to the interview online at: db.tt/qP3Utk9j

She laughed quickly (sharing the joke?) and proceeded instead to speak about Hillary Clinton’s qualities. By changing the subject, she did not answer the question posed. Just like a politician. Indeed, just like Hillary Clinton.

The answer to that first question didn’t surface for minutes. It was that “Donald Trump is unqualified to be president.” Asserting further that “the havoc of a Donald Trump presidency would be worse than the consequences of a Hillary Clinton presidency,” she finally revealed the underlying logic behind her newspaper’s endorsement.

It has become painfully evident to me that what now passes for editorial analysis/thinking has devolved to mere repetition of shallow memes that populate the fluid ether (media, in particular social media like Facebook) in what has become today’s Tower of Babble. It no longer exercises tested and hard logic.

The Fourth Estate, whose voice has served to keep political powers in check throughout our nation’s history, now simply reflects what’s in the ether, no longer capable of illuminating. Failing the citizenry, that formerly proud tower of journalism has crumbled like those at the World Trade Center 15 years ago.

As the sad performance of The Arizona Republic’s editor evidences, the institutional media has been captured by the political class, which now enjoys unfettered power to set and enforce society’s standards through them. And now functions, essentially, as the judge, jury and executioner on virtually all matters before our society (Transgender bathrooms, anyone? NFL/NCAA social justice concerns? Black Lives Matter? Paths to citizenship? Refugee sanctuary? All curiously focused in key battleground states.)

The media has sold its soul and lost its mission. They have been reduced to pharisees, fearfully protecting the increasingly narrow and vanishing realm their political overlords have deigned to permit them.

To paraphrase Ben Franklin in 1787 at the close of the Constitutional Convention, “(We have) a political-media axis — if you can keep it, Mrs. Clinton.”

America, you’re being played.