'One-party control' of media called out as threat to democracy

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
 | 
Jody Brown, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Laurence Silberman (DC Circuit)A federal judge has written a blistering dissent that takes American media to task for being biased against conservatives.

"There can be little question that the overwhelming uniformity of news bias in the United States has an enormous political impact." That's not a statement by a conservative media pundit – but an accusation leveled by Federal Judge Laurence Silberman (pictured). Silberman was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1985 to the influential DC Circuit Court of Appeals – but the now semi-retired judge will occasionally sit in on cases and offer opinions.

On Friday the 85-year-old jurist offered a scathing opinion, taking The Washington Post, The New York Times, the news section of the Wall Street Journal, The Associated Press and a number of lesser outlets to task for being a shill for the Democratic Party:

"The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions," Silberman states on page 20 of his dissent (page 38 in the ruling). "Our court was once concerned about the institutional consolidation of the press leading to a 'bland and homogenous' marketplace of ideas …. It turns out that ideological consolidation of the press (helped along by economic consolidation) is the far greater threat."

Dan Gainor of Media Research Center says Silberman let loose with both barrels.

"He says 'one-party control.' That's where we are with the press – the media and big tech too," Gainor offers in an interview with One News Now. "And he's right. I'd kind of flip it around a little bit on him, but the media control one party. The most woke leftists in America are all part of the Media Party."

Three pages later, Silberman writes:

"It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news. It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy. It may even give rise to countervailing extremism."

Gainor

Gainor says bias in the media became obvious in the 1970s when Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein tackled Watergate.

"When Woodward and Bernstein helped take down a president, the journalists who followed learned the worst possible lesson," says the MRC spokesman. "They learned that if you went into journalism, you could take down a Republican president. They didn't learn you could take down a president for corruption."

Gainor continues: "All pretense of neutrality, all pretense of professionalism, and all pretense of accuracy went out the window [with Watergate], and it just became a mouthpiece for the Media Party.

"This is how you end up with The Washington Post in effect fixing the Georgia election, by falsely reporting what Donald Trump said."

Silberman concludes his dissent with this observation:

"The First Amendment guarantees a free press to foster a vibrant trade in ideas. But a biased press can distort the marketplace. And when the media has proven its willingness – if not eagerness – to so distort, it is a profound mistake to stand by unjustified legal rules that serve only to enhance the press' power."


Editor's note: In image above, Judge Laurence Silberman, senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, speaks at the memorial service for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Tuesday, March 1, 2016, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

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