Paul Sperry, the longtime journalist who's now an investigative reporter for Real Clear Investigations, has tweeted out this less-than-shocking information on media coverage of the House GOP’s impeachment inquiry:
BREAKING: CNN, MSNBC and the Big 3 TV networks have all blacked out coverage of today's Biden impeachment inquiry, only the fourth presidential impeachment inquiry in U.S. history -- in stark contrast to their wall-to-wall coverage of the 2019 Trump impeachment inquiry #MediaBias— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) September 28, 2023
Got that? An impeachment inquiry by Democrats was urgent and deserving news.
The equally major news that the House was going to start holding an impeachment inquiry looking into President Joe Biden’s alleged financial shenanigans is being dismissed as garbage by CNN, MSNBC and “the Big 3 TV networks” - ABC, CBS and NBC.
NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck reported this:
Go Figure: ABC, CBS, NBC Circle the Wagons Around Biden After First Impeachment Hearing
Which is to say while there was no gavel-to-gavel coverage, when the hearing was briefly covered, the networks made a point of rallying for Biden.
All of which is to say that this business of media bias is rapidly reaching a crisis situation for Americans. In this situation this is no longer media bias -- it's media censorship. The networks say there is "no evidence" and allow no evidence to be presented.
That media outlets in America have been partisan in one way or another is ancient news. While attention in today’s world has tended to focus on Rupert Murdoch and the rise of conservative media, recall in history that in the 19th and 20th centuries their were serious press Lords with names like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer.
But there was a distinct difference between biased press outlets then and now. In the old days long gone by, the press may have been biased but it didn’t hesitate to acknowledge that a news event had happened.
The fact that the USS Maine had blown up in Havana, Cuba in 1898 led to demands for war with Spain, with some opposing the idea. Wikipedia records today that after the news of the Maine’s sinking “The cause of the accident was immediately debated.” Debated it may have been - was it an accident or deliberate sabotage? - but that it had happened was not debated or withheld from Americans by the journals of the day.
One can understand that the left opposes the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. No surprise there.
But the fact that the House impeachment inquiry was, in fact, happening - and five, say again five! - major television networks are heavily signaling this impeachment inquiry lacks any gravity is a decidedly serious matter.
There is nothing new about leftist censorship involving the media. Famously, history recalls Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin literally having this or that now-former ally removed from a group photograph because that aide had fallen out of favor.
Over here at the BBC Culture site is the photo in question in its different stages. The original photo of Stalin surrounded by four others was taken in 1926. The site runs the series of photos that followed, with the BBC quoting expert Matthew Gale as saying:
A series of snapshots conveys a chilling timeline: in the first photo, Stalin is seen surrounded by four of his comrades; in the next, dated 23 years later, three have disappeared; in the third, he stands alone in a postcard portrait. Those in the leader’s inner circle who fell out of favour were simply erased from official images: photographic manipulation was key for rewriting Soviet history. It is one of our concerns today – images are very convincing, but they are also very easily manipulated,’ says Gale.
Stalin’s era was filled with media censorship of one kind or another. The tactic was and is the stuff of dictators.
In today’s world, one of the major dictatorships is, of course, the Chinese Communist Party.Here’s a recent headline from the UK’s The Guardian:
China’s manipulation of media threatens global freedoms, says US report
Censorship, data harvesting and purchases of foreign news outlets could lead to ‘sharp contraction’ of freedom of expression
Don’t forget about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Last year there was this in the New York Times:
Russia Takes Censorship to New Extremes, Stifling War Coverage
Contradicting the Kremlin on the war in Ukraine — even calling it a war — is now a crime, prompting independent media to close, and Russia cut off access to Facebook, the BBC and other news sources.
Whatever is going to unfold in this latest impeachment saga - the fourth in American history following impeachment charges in their day against Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump - is at this moment unknown.
But that it is in fact happening to Joe Biden as the fifth president to suffer this fate is both important news and, not to mention, history.
And the fact that five left-leaning networks of today have decided to black out the news has all the finesse of state-run press outlets in a dictatorship.