The media's walk on the dark side

From 1918 until 1991, “Pravda” – meaning “Truth” – was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But the people of the Soviet Union understood something about Pravda that many naive Westerners did not. Despite its auspicious name, Pravda rarely published the truth. Interestingly, today dozens of news outlets around the U.S. promote themselves as independent local news websites when, in fact, they are not. Sadly, naive locals fall prey to them, allowing themselves to be misled in ways Soviet citizens were smart enough to avoid with Pravda.

More than four dozen news outlets represent themselves today on the internet as supposedly being independent local news websites; however, they are far from what they advertise. Instead, they fall under a single network managed by Democratic operatives pushing their political party’s agenda. All 51 of these websites are based in Washington, D.C., yet, to give a contrary appearance, they operate under names reflecting a non-Washington location, such as the “Milwaukee Metro Times.”

These news websites are not independent at all. They are linked together under a single for-profit corporate entity known as Local Report Inc. That company was established in 2021 in Florida and, ever since, has flown under the radar as far as its representation of but a single political ideology.

Most of the articles these websites post originate from a single source as well – The American Independent. This is a progressive media group that was started by David Brock, co-founder of Media Matters. It describes itself as the “No. 1 digital platform for progressive news,” claiming to “strive to report with honesty and integrity and shine a light on those in power who obstruct progress.”

While The American Independent reveals, in the interests of “honesty and integrity,” it is a progressive-centered news source, Local Report Inc. and its network of 51 websites undertake no similar effort to disclose their single-track progressive agenda, packaged as independent news.

Despite Local Report Inc.’s less than honest approach to news reporting, a much more blatant example of a hidden liberal bias by a newspaper occurred recently in Arizona. The Arizona Republic, the largest newspaper in the state, is recognized as favoring liberal causes. An ethical issue arose after a recent debate between the Republican and Democratic attorney general candidates, Abe Hamadeh and Kris Mayes, respectively.

During a 27-minute debate, moderators devoted the majority of the time (17 minutes) focusing on the Republican candidate’s stand on abortion and the 2020 presidential election. But even more egregious than this time imbalance was the fact that one of the moderators, Stacy Barchenger, who happened to be from the Arizona Republic, failed to disclose that the Democratic candidate had a lengthy career as a reporter for that same newspaper.

This was clearly an ethical violation, especially since the Arizona Republic had agreed, prior to the debate, it would disclose the relationship. Furthermore, despite the newspaper having in its possession evidence concerning allegations of insider trading by Mayes as well as her extreme left-leaning policy ideas, all this was suppressed. Outrageously, the newspaper apparently chose to toss fairness, impartiality and ethics aside in order to promote its preferred liberal candidate. It is shocking that the newspaper thought it could get away with taking such action.

In a written protest to the Arizona Newspaper Association, Hamadeh was generous to claim Barchenger “forgot to divulge her employer’s connection” concerning Mayes to the audience at the outset of the debate. Additionally, Hamadeh wrote that Mayes was not questioned at all, apparently only responding to Hamadeh’s comments, while Hamadeh was subjected to “harsh inquiries with numerous follow-up questions.” Hamadeh has demanded an ethics investigation be initiated – to include any interactions between the newspaper and Mayes that may have occurred prior to the debate.

The extent to which left-leaning news sources will go also was demonstrated by The Seattle Times. While it is typical for campaign ads that quote news sources to use that source’s masthead, when Republican Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley did just that, the newspaper demanded she remove its masthead from such a quote, claiming it “left the mistaken impression the Times had endorsed her campaign.” The Seattle Times has endorsed Smiley’s opponent, incumbent Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the last four times she has run for office without ever questioning Murray’s use of its masthead in her campaign ads.

Despite liberals in general also benefiting from a similarly minded social media that seeks to shut down conservative thought, they still feel a need to disguise their true agenda by creating the illusion it emanates from neutral sources. This anti-conservative mindset has progressed to the point now that news publications, which should be promoting free speech, brazenly demonstrate a contrary intent.

When it comes to freedom of speech and the press, sadly these liberals have managed to secure the best of both worlds for themselves, promoting an agenda protected from valid criticism. So inspired are they by the ideological rush generated by their doing so, either deceptively or brazenly, they fail to realize the bountiful rights of our republic are suffering a slow death, withering upon the vine of freedom. The media are taking a walk on the dark side and need to be called out for it.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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