I start with the near-obligatory reminder that I am on the record arguing that until establishment media hires enough people with non-Left viewpoints as both reporters and editors to constantly challenge newsroom groupthink, its fundamental biases will persist.
I tend to doubt Big Media will ever do this, but some recent stories about conservative media will hand them some easy rationalizations.
Judge Andrew Napolitano returned to Fox News Channel and affirmed his belief that Pres. Obama asked British intelligence to conduct surveillance on Pres. Trump. He was previously suspended for making this claim and the supposed “news” side of Fox tried to distance itself from the apparently baseless claim. But he not only repeated it on a straight news show in his return visit, but also appeared on another supposedly straight news show that evening (lest you think he got suspended again).
Geraldo Rivera accused the House Freedom Caucus of “treason” for opposing the failed House GOP healthcare bill. Rivera is considered a Fox News correspondent, not a contributor.
Breitbart News has been denied permanent press credentials on Capitol Hill until it clarifies its links to a conservative nonprofit group as well to a major Trump donor whose family is an investor in the site. And Breitbart’s brand of journalism has corporate advertisers trying to flee association with the site.
Not even GOP loyalists like radio talker Hugh Hewitt trust Breitbart as a news source. Yet Breitbart dominates conservative social media, perhaps because the number of high-profile conservatives who regularly speak out about Breitbart’s excesses is pretty small.
Regnery Publishing is interested in publishing the book by Milo Yiannopoulos that was dropped by Simon & Schuster after comments surfaced in which Milo condoned sexual relationships between young teenagers and adults. Apparently his anti-Semitic remarks need more publicity, because Regnery seems to be overlooking those also.
The Independent Journal Review has seen staff departures over the publication of a conspiracy theory and the site’s general editorial direction. Reportedly, other staffers are also looking to leave.
Of all these stories, the IJR report is the most heartening, as it demonstrates that there are conservative journalists who do not want to be associated with the standards adopted by some conservative media outlets, and overlooked by many conservative media critics.
If conservatives want the establishment media to take conservative journalists seriously, they need to take conservative journalism seriously enough to hold it to the standards they want the establishment to observe.
Update: There’s a minor correction to this post (i.e., it does not affect the thesis) at the end of this companion post.
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