One of the most celebrated features of the United States has always been its free press. By this, we do not mean freedom of the press. That critical preposition implies the government does not control the media. But a free press is a different animal altogether. A genuinely open Fourth Estate is one in which its members do not march in lock-step, do not coordinate messages, and generally do not consult one another about what to write and when.
That’s what makes the recent synchronized effort by more than 200 newspapers to publish editorials about whether the media is “the enemy of the people” such a poor idea. Papers from coast to coast should have eschewed this harmonized response to the president’s remark about the news industry.
But many of them caved in and drank the Kool-Aid.
In an effort to look unified, editorial boards have deliberately handed over their individuality as independent media outlets. This non-conformity is a crucial aspect of their liberty and by giving in to “groupthink,” they have allowed themselves to be perceived just as the president has charged – an enemy of the people.
Other than acting as mouthpieces for their publications, there is little that editorial boards across the U.S. have in common. Some write from a progressive perspective, others conservative, and occasionally one gets a libertarian point of view. To publish an independent picture of the body politic is the raison d’être of a free press. And it should not so easily be given to the tyranny of the majority.
Perhaps this is why the American public seeks alternative news outlets more and more with each passing year. Even if we stipulate that President Trump’s “enemy of the people” phrase was unproductive and perhaps even self-destructive, a collective response from the establishment media is not the answer. In fact, it only gives the president’s assertion more validity.
Is It True?
All this may be well and good, but let’s take a moment to evaluate the president’s statement for its veracity. Has the media become the enemy of the people? The simple answer is yes and no.
Certainly, there are news organizations who make it their mission to propagate their own political agenda rather than offering up information without all the vitriol. When they do this, however, they are only shooting themselves in the foot. Serving up a daily diet of propaganda instead of unbiased information has only spawned a fresh swathe of free-thinking news outlets. Indeed, as the so-called mainstream media ratchets up its leftist narrative, other, more honest sites are created to fill the void. As such, we are long past the point of a finger in the dike to hold back the flood.
Of course, the information platform monopolies can try their damnedest to shut these alternative news outlets down, but their censorship only serves to make those who are liberty-minded more determined to get their messages into the public arena. One significant difference between the old guard and new in the world of journalism is that the modern media entities are more independent and less likely to want to jump on the bus with the good old boys.
This coordinated editorial board effort by newspapers across the country only serves to highlight why establishment news business are losing viewers and readership by the droves and boutique news outlets like Liberty Nation are growing exponentially.
Ultimately, we should be thanking the group-thinkers for their collective editorials about “the enemy of the people.” Keep up the good work guys, because the more you engage in this type of behavior, the more you turn off the average American.