The liberal press’s contempt for the intelligence of the American people was on full display on Friday’s Morning Joe as columnists and reporters from The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and USA Today all joined in a united chorus to insult the public as being too stupid to parse the difference between truth and propaganda. Moreover, once again, the show’s panelists also used their platform to call for government regulation of social media to stop “election meddling.”
Morning Joe’s latest call for censorship of news that they don’t like came in response to a short clip that they played of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expressing confidence in Americans’ ability to make informed political decisions:
I think what people need to keep in mind is that there’s a distinction between people trying to sway American elections and succeeding in swaying American elections. [...] American citizens are pretty savvy, and when they decide who to vote for, I don’t think they’d be influenced by ads posted by foreign governments. I think people are more thoughtful about that in the way that they make their decisions.
This was so triggering for the panel that Donny Deutsch immediately renewed his calls for regulation of Twitter and Facebook to save “our democracy”:
Am I overreacting, Gene, that there's nothing more important to safeguarding our democracy over the next decade than the regulation of the Twitters and the Facebooks and so on, that without that, we do not have any -- you talk about fake news, you talk about lack of truth -- the pillars start to fall apart?
Deutsch was asking Eugene Robinson, longtime left-wing columnist and associate editor for The Washington Post, for his opinion. Not only did Robinson agree that regulating news on social media was of paramount significance, but he explained pretty clearly why he thought so:
Look, I think this is enormously important, Donny, and it’s -- but it's hard. It's tough. It's tough to figure out exactly how to regulate. We do have the First Amendment. Um, and, we all believe in it and cherish it. But, this whole -- the whole fake news thing is -- it's incredibly corrosive and damaging to our democracy. You know, if Twitter really could get rid of the Russian propaganda presence, my notifications on most days would, like, be cut in half, right? Because it's like half Russian bots attacking something that I've written here or there. But Rod Rosenstein is wrong. The American people are not in a position to be able to discern between what's true and what's propaganda.
Who really believes at this point that the American press “cherishes” the First Amendment? Liberal journalists certainly hate it when Trump suggests that the media needs to be investigated for daily distortions and fake news in their coverage, but when the tables are turned, they are all too happy to call for government control or corporate censorship of ideas that they view as wrong-think.
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More importantly, it really is an amazing window into the minds of liberals to see how they genuinely believe that Americans can’t figure out what is true and what is false. This may be the case with many Democrats, who have inexplicably grown much more trusting of the media since the 2016 presidential election in spite of repeated retractions and revisions of stories for serious factual and sourcing errors by esteemed outlets like Robinson’s own Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Associated Press. However, it is not true of most, let alone all, Americans that they simply can’t separate fact from fiction.
Did anyone on the panel push back against Robinson’s charge that Americans are imbeciles? Of course not:
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I totally agree. Jonathan Lemire, you and I had the same reaction when [Rosenstein] said that, which was: are you kidding me? Because, I know -- we have a whole generation growing up on Twitter, Facebook, and I know what, like, my kids read. They don’t -- they can't tell the truth, and between truth and gossip, even about their own mother, let alone [trails off].
JONATHAN LEMIRE [AP, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER]: That's right. I mean, election meddling does not just mean an attempt to actually damage a ballot box, right? It means this, it means propaganda. It means flooding social networks with-
BRZEZINSKI: [interjecting] Untruths. With lies.
LEMIRE: -fake news, with untruths, trying to sway voters. And I think 2016 is of course an example that it played some role. Can we quantify exactly how much? Of course not. But there's no doubt. Scholars, election experts all believe that this propaganda played a part in what happened last year. And to suggest that it didn't seems very out of touch.
HEIDI PRZYBYLA [USA TODAY, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER]: Why did we have a man show up with a semi-automatic and try to shoot up a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C.? Was that because of real news? That was because of fake news. And we can't quantify, you know, the impact that it has, but to say it doesn't have an impact is just crazy-
BRZEZINSKI: [talking softly under Heidi] Yeah, it was disturbing.
PRZYBYLA: -because so many -- and we also -- we have studies showing that a lot of, for instance, Trump voters, maybe it's their distrust in the mainstream media, I don’t know what it is, but they get a lot of their news off of Facebook where, honestly, a lot of people can't even tell the difference between a real news story and an ad.
The most interesting tidbit here for further consideration is how Lemire defined “election meddling.” If election meddling simply counts as any false information put out with the intent of swaying voters, then where does that leave most mainstream news outlets given their regular output of rank Democrat agitprop promoting left-wing politicians and causes? If that is propaganda, and therefore election meddling, what consequences should liberal media organizations face for interfering with American elections for decades by putting out, just as one example, unapologetically pro-communist advocacy and revisionism?
One suspects that Lemire and his colleagues would prefer not to answer such a question.