“Journalism is dead,” Marc Ang, my Red Beans & Fried Rice podcast co-host, opined.
Maybe not dead, but as I often say, the fourth estate is in foreclosure. The pursuit of the story used to be respected, and sometimes applauded, whether you agreed with the publication it came from, or not. I regularly read left-leaning publications like L.A. Weekly, the Guardian, and Pro Publica because they have some really good writers, and for the most part, they pursue stories, no matter the political or cultural leanings. However, in legacy, social, and alternative media, “the narrative” is all that matters. If the pursuit of the story does not fit that narrative, then not only is it not given credence, but you are branded as a heretic, and a “spreader of disinformation”.
Marc has a friend who wrote a well-researched and appropriately cited op-ed, simply asking why people who question the COVID-19 vaccinations, and bring up any evidence of harmful effects–as Israel has done, linking the Pfizer vaccine to heart inflammation–are immediately labeled kooks and treated like the worse form of life.
Marc helped this friend, who is a Democrat and no fan of Donald Trump, submit this op-ed to several sites. These were the responses he received:
“We publish thoughtful commentary from all sides, but some points of view are just wrong and dangerous. Vaccines don't cause autism and have saved millions from death by smallpox, polio, tetanus and now coronavirus. Saying otherwise simply puts gullible people at risk.”
I read the op-ed, and the writer did not make this point at all. She talked about the many parents of autistic children whom she encountered, who did believe this. Whether vaccines were connected to the start of autism or not was not even a point of discussion. This writer's lament was that instead of hearing their concerns, these parents were demonized. Apparently editors lack the nuance to look behind the words that trigger them, in order to understand the full scope of the telling. We saw this at work when Sen. Tom Cotton's (R-AK) New York Times op-ed titled, “Send in the Troops”, got pulled because the staff was triggered and claimed it put Black staffers in danger.
These are the people who pass for journalists these days.
This seems to be the new order of things: If it makes anyone feel bad (except my enemies), or if it doesn't line up with the chosen narrative, then it has no right to exist. Forget about the public's right to get information and decide for themselves what is valid and what is not.
The plebes are not allowed to think for themselves.
Back to Marc's friend's op-ed. The response from this progressive piece of work was quite stunning. He actually lodged a threat towards Marc's Asian B2B organization for his simply submitting an opinion piece for consideration:
“Thank you for providing self-indictment of false coronavirus related claims. We'll be sure to look into your organization further as a spreader of disinformation.”
“D” for “Disinform” is apparently the new scarlet letter. Well, can we not say the same about advertising too? When was the last time that Big Mac looked like it does in the picture? But disinformation is the Left's latest pejorative, right up there with anti-vaxxer and science-denier.
So how are all those “journalists” who look down their noses at conservative or alternate viewpoints faring?
They are at the G7, trying to prop up the false narrative that Joe Biden is a world leader, rather than a cognitively-challenged, incompetent fossil:
Here are the lowlights:
Biden called Putin, “Trump”.
When you're the leader of the free world, and your predecessor lives rent free in your head, it's not a good look.
Biden introduced the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, right on the heels of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson having already introduced him.
Biden arrived three hours late to a NATO press conference, and didn't provide an explanation.
If Trump had done this, it would be wall-to-wall coverage for the rest of the week. Biden? Crickets.
Then CNN immediately did damage control for Biden, as my colleague Bonchie explained.
Today felt like a special moment in media bias history. We literally had the president verbally insult and berate a female reporter and within 30 minutes…that reporter's own network was praising Biden's demeanor while she was made to accept his apology on air. Incredible.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) June 16, 2021
The U.S. press performed their trained seal act well, following the narrative, while jockeying for prime position to get into the Biden-Putin conference.
While Sky News Australia and other international outlets told the true story.
Boris Johnson insists to Joe Biden that he already introduced the president of South Africa to a G7 meeting.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 13, 2021
From the horrible G7 coverage, to op-ed writers being refused publication for the sole reason that their viewpoints don't align with the chosen narrative, to cancel culture threats being lodged, we have entered a not-so-brave new world of journalism where one must fight and claw to even get the truth a hearing.
It's exhausting, but I am heartened by those who continue to take a stand and demand truth be heard.
Which brings us to Ivory Hecker, Fox 26 Houston correspondent, and the latest Project Veritas whistleblower.
JUST IN: Ivory Hecker, TV News reporter is choosing to blow the whistle on her own television station. Moments ago, she just announced on air she will be releasing recordings through Project Veritas, TOMORROW. pic.twitter.com/x10Oxco050
— Personal Blog Media News (@pbmnews) June 14, 2021
— Nunya Bidness (@daniell07860675) June 16, 2021
Hecker teased in the middle of her news broadcast that Project Veritas would be dropping a story in which she was featured, and that she had recorded her interactions with Fox brass.
The initial video dropped yesterday, and while not exactly a smoking gun, it's a clear drawing a line in the sand for Hecker. As a journalist, she wanted to follow stories and report information that would be of interest to the public; not the preformed narrative that kept the advertisers happy.
In her conversation with James O'Keefe as the video was unveiled, Hecker said she came forward because this “affects the viewers,” and, she didn't want to be a part of it. She wanted to report on stories that mattered, whether or not it “fits the corporate narrative.”
“The viewers are being deceived,” Hecker said. “By a carefully crafted narrative in some stories. ”
As is inevitable in such cases, Hecker was fired.
BREAKING from @dianafalzone and me.
Fox 26 Houston reporter Ivory Hecker, who revealed last night live on-air she was working with Project Veritas on a story about Fox Corp supposedly "muzzling" her, has been fired by the news station.https://t.co/wwKsyui1Iw
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 15, 2021
However, Hecker says that she encourages “copycats” who will stand up and do as she has done. She asserted that others are also coming forward.
I’m encouraging copycats. It’s not okay to bully a reporter out of covering a newsworthy story. It’s not okay to pressure a reporter out of asking the people’s questions. I’m already hearing from several TV journalists wanting speak#Fox26Whistleblower pic.twitter.com/0O5Ehiq1tb
— Ivory Hecker (@IvoryHecker) June 16, 2021
From major names like Glenn Greenwald who left the company he created to stand for truth and to protect First Amendment freedoms, to Phoenix Fox 10 anchor Kari Lake, who left a nearly 30-year career in the business because, as she said in a video goodbye, “the profession of journalism is in many ways unrecognizable to what journalism was when I walked into my first newsroom in 1992.”
“It really got difficult for me when COVID hit,” Lake told the Arizona Daily Independent News Network.
“I felt the stories I was reading were not fully truthful. The cancel mob's insistence that certain COVID-related stories not be told or even whispered, while others were told over-and-over made me feel as if I was not giving a balanced view of the situation to viewers.
“I became a journalist to be helpful, not harmful, but some of the stories I was reading likely contributing to the fear and division, and I couldn't do that anymore.”
My hope is that these voices for truth, the real story, and sharing information rather than crafting it to suit an agenda will ultimately win out.