Midnight Friday morning, CNN was analyzing the GOP’s perplexing win in Montana’s special election for the House of Representatives—perplexing to Ethics Alarms because the winner, Gianforte, is a dishonest thug, but perplexing to CNN because their reporters were desperately hoping for a sign that voters were turning on President Trump, something their network has been working on for many months. CNN’s Media reporter Dylan Byers then blurted out this remarkable statement:
“There’s this conversation that’s happening among people following the news industry, which is how can we bridge the sort of gap between all of those conservatives who don’t trust the media, and get them to start knowing that, you know, we’re acting in good faith, with good intentions? Maybe you can’t, because they’re not even listening. From the second, it’s not as though they’re reading the article and considering it, or listening the audio and considering it. They’re just not paying attention to it, because they don’t trust us.
And this, by the way, you look at the tapes of Trump there. Two things have happened. One, over the course of several decades, the conservatives have done a masterful job at capitalizing the waning trust in media and using it to their advantage. But a second thing has happened, too, which is, on occasion, more than the media would like to admit, we have not told the story of conservative Americans, disenfranchised Americans, who believe that they are losing their country. The story we have largely been telling is a story that is more or less in step with the arc of history as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It does not mean we favor them to win. It just means that sort of vision of a progressive future, a global future, and that is not one that resonates with so many conservative American voters.”
“The story we have largely been telling is a story that is more or less in step with the arc of history as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
It is notable that none of the three journalists on the panel with Byers challenged this damning characterization.
Byers’ candor is rare and refreshing, as he is confirming not only his own bias but to that of his fellow journalists in the mainstream media, a bias that most journalists, and most Democrats and progressives whose own political agendas are routinely boosted, bolstered and promoted by this bias, vigorously deny. Byers is trying to be honest, while apparently not comprehending the unethical and outrageous conduct he admits to. In good faith and with good intentions, he, CNN and the rest of the mainstream media “tells the story”—as in “frames the narrative”—of public events in the context of their vision “of a progressive future, a global future,” that “is more or less in step with the arc of history as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
Could there be a more clear and convincing description of partisan, ideologically skewed, biased reporting?
Yet Byers said this apparently without any qualms about whether such an a approach to journalism is right, fair, or professional. He simply assumes that it is. What decent human being, after all, doesn’t see the virtues of a progressive and global future—who, that is, except those benighted, angry confused redneck dummies who “believe they are losing their country”? Why would anyone but a dumb, bigoted hick think that?
It’s funny though: I’m not a bigoted hick, and it seems obvious to me, a relatively informed and historically literate observer, that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton‘s views of the virtue of “a progressive future, a global future” includes American bowing to orders from governing bodies we didn’t vote for with values we don’t hold, in service of goals that do not benefit the United States. This is my definition of “losing the country,” and it is a good and accurate one.
Is Byers stupid? Blind? Being dryly amusing? Sinister? He expresses condescending concern that conservatives don’t trust news that is increasingly tailored, by his own assessment, to further the “arc of history” as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—that is, as defined by a failed and incompetent President and an unpopular, dishonest and Machiavellian hack? How can anyone go on TV and state matter-of-factly, with no self-awareness at all, that it should be seen as appropriate and benign (“in good faith”) for journalists to warp reporting for an ideological objective (“with good intentions,” as in “the ends justify the means”), in order to follow the radical agenda of the 21st Century Democratic party? Byers is wounded because those not sharing that utopian dream don’t trust him and the other partisan operatives driving their nation and culture where they quite responsibly don’t want to see it go. Of course, Dylan scolds, journalists just need to pander to them more by “telling their stories.” THEN maybe they’ll trust reporters more, and these simple folk will be receptive to that progressive future and global future.
I find this more amazing than the confession, though Byers doesn’t know he’s confessing, because to him this is virtue-signalling. Journalists are abusing their influence to promote the one-worlders’ dream of a United States that, like the transformed pod people in “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers,” is just like every other nation, because the rest of the world, contrary to the wisdom of our bold founders, knows best. So steeped in progressive cant are these people that they are incapable of understanding why anyone would oppose their mission, resent being misinformed to achieve it, or fail to trust the allied messengers of the Left.. After all, their intentions are good.
Byers is no Ethics Hero; progressive bias is natural and assumed in the news media environment. Journalist like Byers no longer believe that objective reporting is desirable, or that slanted coverage is anything to be ashamed of. He is an Ethics Dunce, but far worse: Dylan Byers is the embodiment of arrogant, partisan, ethically-inert journalism devoted to twisting public opinion, the nation and the culture into the shapes it craves.
By my definition, this makes him and his colleagues dangerous, and a genuine and virulent peril to our democracy.
Pointer and Facts: Mediaite