Newsline

Newsline , Society

A Free Press If You Can Keep It: Journalism Under Attack

Posted on Sunday, March 3, 2024
|
by David P. Deavel
|
32 Comments
|
Print

AMAC Exclusive – By David P. Deavel

In some countries press is under pressure and not free

Remember the quaint days when our prestige media were claiming that President Donald Trump was a danger to the country because he called our mainstream media “enemies of the people” and because the spoiled adolescent Jim Acosta had his White House press pass taken away for his increasingly bad behavior?  

Two actions against journalists this week show that a free press has much more to fear under the Biden Administration than it ever did under the Trump Administration. And the reasons for that have to do with the way in which power and authority operate in our country these days—with no transparency and little Constitutional mandate.

The first action was really part two of a saga. Part one was the week before. After being laid off, CBS reporter Catherine Herridge had her all her files and her computer seized by CBS. As Jonathan Turley wrote, journalists who spoke to him about the event were not only shocked by the talented reporter being laid off but were horrified by this unprecedented action on the part of the company. Turley quoted one former CBS manager who said that he had “never heard of anything like this” and found it “outrageous” since it endangered the confidentiality of her sources. Given that one of the stories she had been pursuing was Hunter Biden’s laptop, there is something very dark about this action. While CBS returned the files this Monday, February 26, after pressure both from the union (SAG-AFTRA) and the House Judiciary Committee, the chilling effect of this action on journalists working on politically sensitive topics is incalculable.  

Part two of the Herridge saga came on Friday when she was held in contempt of court by Obama appointee judge Chris Cooper because of her refusal to reveal her sources in a 2017 report about Dr. Yanping Chen, a naturalized U. S. citizen who ran a school in Virginia. As Julie Kelly writes, Herridge reported that Chen was under investigation by the FBI “for suspected ties to Chinese government, feeding information about US military personnel to the Chinese, and falsifying her immigration records related to her past service in the Chinese Army.”

There is something deeply disturbing about this situation. As lawyer and scholar Hans Mahncke commented, “Everyone knows that if instead of Catherine Herridge reporting on a suspected Chinese spy this was about a Washington Post stenographer making false claims about Trump, ‘Judge’ Cooper would be lecturing us about the paramount importance of protecting sources.”

The second event this week was the Friday morning self-surrender to the FBI of Blaze Media reporter Steve Baker. Baker was then brought in belly and leg chains before a judge for four different misdemeanor charges, listed by his boss Glenn Beck in a tweet as: 

  • “Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
  • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
  • Disorderly conduct in a Capitol building
  • Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building

To the final three, Beck appended the parenthetical note “Didn’t happen.” To the first, he added, “So, will they arrest the NYT journalist who entered BEFORE Steve through a broken window?”

I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. If they do, it will be like their arrest of Ray Epps: full of sound and fury but signifying nothing of legal consequence.

No, the reality is that what probably bothers the DOJ about Baker is that he has steadfastly reported on the oddities of January 6, 2021. As Baker himself said late Friday in an interview with the Steve Deace Show after being released, “All of this is about the suppression of speech and teaching those of us on the Right side of the political spectrum what we can and cannot say and what is allowed.”

What has Baker reported on? As Brad Geyer, one of Baker’s attorneys, told The Epoch Times, “Without Steve Baker’s early reporting, crucial aspects of events, such as unlawful force, the Capitol breach, and the role of suspicious actors in influencing events of the day might have gone unnoticed.” Geyer added that Baker had “proved two crucial government witnesses in the Oath Keeper prosecutions provided outrageously false testimony” and, most recently, “has raised disturbing questions about the origin and earnestness of the investigations of the ‘pipe bombs.’”

In short, Baker has been digging his nose a little too deeply in unexplained aspects of January 6 that point to government miscarriages of justice after the fact—and possible government involvement in the events during the day.

On the same day that Steve Baker was taken into custody, J. Michael Waller of the Center for Security Policy posted CSPAN footage of Senator Ted Cruz’s January 11, 2022, grilling of the FBI’s Jill Sanborn on FBI involvement on January 6. Waller observed: “Two years have passed & the @FBI still can’t say ‘no’ in response to these question. ‘Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6?’ ‘Did any FBI agents or FBI informants actively encourage and incite crimes of violence on January 6?’”

While journalists like to talk about taking on abuses of government power, it is Herridge and Baker who have actually done so. And they are being persecuted and even prosecuted for doing so. That this is happening under the Biden Administration is no surprise, for it was well known that Biden’s former (and likely current) boss Barack Obama, and not Donald Trump, was the real enemy of a free press. Even the New York Times had published articles such as Albert R. Hunt’s 2014 piece “Under Obama, a Chill on Press Freedom,” in which the author stated that “the administration has prosecuted more whistle-blowers for leaks and gone after more journalists than any of its predecessors.”

Hunt actually put his finger on something important, which is significant for the current cases. He quoted unnamed “insiders” who attributed the administration’s action to “the pressure of the powerful national security apparatus and the fear among Obama aides that the president could face the wrath of the intelligence community if he fails to act tough.” Obama may well have ridden the deep state beast, but it was not clear that, in the end, he held the reins.

What is most frightening about the current attacks on journalists is not simply that a presidential administration might be using law enforcement to punish political enemies and limit speech. What is most frightening is that we have an administrative state and government agencies that seem to rank above the president. For all the Democratic blather about threats to “our Democracy,” the reality is that our democratically elected officials don’t seem to wield much power.

Whatever his failures in his first term, Donald Trump took on that unseen and unelected government power. And Chuck Schumer famously warned him not to. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Unlike Barack Obama, Trump did not knuckle under. And we know the rest of the story: the Russian Collusion Fraud, the massive government-tech censorship activity in anticipation of the 2020 campaigns, and the continuing use of DOJ power to get rid of him.

Benjamin Franklin famously responded to a question about whether the new country was a republic or a monarchy with the line, “A republic, if you can keep it.” The difficulty of our day is that we are having a hard time keeping that republican form of government. Right now, we are having a difficult time keeping one of the essential elements of that republic, the free press.

Journalists and liberals may like Obama and Biden. But if they don’t want democracy to “die in darkness,” as the Washington Post’s pretentious tagline has it, they had better start fighting back against the attacks on Catherine Herridge, Steve Baker, and all of us.     

David P. Deavel teaches at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. Follow him on X @davidpdeavel.

  

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

The AMAC Action Logo

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now
Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Thinking
Thinking
3 months ago

He who controls the press controls the world. That is exactly what the dems and O want. Total control over America and its people. They even let 10 million people in to replace 10 million white republicans. That is why they go after these journalist. Investigations are not allowed. They will decide where you can go. They decide if you were in a building that was off limits to you. It is the quote from Stalin, show me a man and I’ll show you the crime he has committed. There is so much to find out about Jan 6. That is why they are terrified to lose in November. Because many people will pursue that story. A government that lets a woman free on probation after stabbing her boyfriend 108 times. And people that walked peacefully through the capitol get 5-10 year prison sentences. Ridiculous. One day karma will turn and they will get the wrath of the people. That day can’t get here soon enough.

Max
Max
3 months ago

This should be no surprise to anyone. MSM is owned and basically operated by foreign owners who want nothing more to destroy our nation and its freedoms that we enjoy. The higher authorities control what the listeners and readers will receive from MSM. As is seen, those in this industry who fail to follow the provided script and agenda, are done away with. Control is the name of the game.

Kim
Kim
3 months ago

“…the president could face the wrath of the intelligence community if he fails to act tough.” That didn’t prompt biden to act tough on invaders pouring into the country, did it? The deep state’s “intention”, after all, is to create a large and grateful voter base. Facts and objectivity don’t matter if the goal (their intention) goes against their Marxist plan. These seemingly awkward outcomes are becoming the soup de jour across America, and too few of us seem to care.

The U.S. faces its downfall if the free press no longer exists. At that time, they will have accomplished a dictatorship. There will no longer be a job description that befits good journalists like Herridge and Baker. The only media left will be propaganda plastered on walls and children marching in schools to the tune some leftie Pied Piper anthem.

Myrna
Myrna
3 months ago

Freedom of Speech and freedom of the press are under attack. Hopefully the importance of this attack will keep us from pretending it didn’t happen.
If Antifa had not infiltrated the patriots on January 6 and if federal employees had not done what has been hidden so far, many people would not have been persecuted. But this isn’t over yet. Eventually it will be and I pray, truth will prevail.

Melinda
Melinda
3 months ago

I know that eventually the pendulum will swing back (I’m an optimist), but how long will that take? Another 20 years? 50? I’d like to see it happen, but I may not live long enough. I remember Herridge from years ago (I think she worked for Fox news) and she was always an honest reporter and diligent researcher. May she live long and prosper, and never give up to the corrupt mob.

John
John
3 months ago

The real problem is that a majority of the press aren’t free at all. They have been bought out by China and other evil doers like Soro’ and Gates.Most of them are people of less than impeccable morals and values.The message they are receiving is tow the line or you will lose your job and even be arrested.I doubt if there are five investigative reporters who would stand by there journalism principal’s in the whole country.The good news is that there irresponsible propaganda is back firing on them and the powers that be are, flexing there power against them.It’s always a beautiful thing when karma comes back to bite these people in the rump.

Harry
Harry
3 months ago

Listen to the Tucker Carlson interview with Mike Benz. It tells you everything you need to know about mainstream news. I had no idea the CIA has been controlling it since WWII. we do not have a republic. We pay our taxes and let the military industrial complex rule the world and then we get old and die. One hundred years from now all these elites will be dead and the world will look like Chernobyl

Lauramerrone
Lauramerrone
3 months ago

The Republic died on January 6, 2021. Don’t know if we can ever get it back as long as leftists are involved…

Ralph
Ralph
3 months ago

The Grand Pooh-bah “Beijing Joe” and his Socialist-Marxist Mandarin administrators that operate the present regime in Washington lie about preserving our democracy when all they care about is preserving THEIR ELITIST CONTROL. They hate Republicans because they hate our republic and want only to foster their goals for one-world government with a totalitarian dictator under their ELITE CONTROL with no concern for the people. It’s obvious that their ultimate goals are no liberties for the hoi polloi.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
3 months ago

1984 is 40 years late getting here…. shows you how patient they are.

Russ
Russ
3 months ago

If journalists and news outlets had any integrity our country wouldn’t be where it is. Thru omission and misinformation in their efforts to destroy America they have done a tremendous disservice to the American people. Free and fair journalism no longer exists in the United States.

George Ruben Rivera Jr
George Ruben Rivera Jr
3 months ago

The vast and overwhelming numbers of “The Press”, however, aid not legitimate journalists. Propagandist Mockingbird Media parrots what they are told – at least Tokyo Rose, broadcasting to Marines in WWII, was funny and sounded sexy. These mockingbirds of today learned not the lesson of Hitler’s Brownshirts . . . sooner or later, the Left will come for them as well.

Bob Olden
Bob Olden
3 months ago

It’s interesting that Hollywood used to glamorize the rogue reporter who got the scoop that exposed a powerful wrongdoer, at great risk to his own life. I guess those people don’t exist anymore. I suspect that hundreds of reporters have tried to follow up sensitive stories (such as Jeffrey Epstein) and the story has been killed by an editor. And the journalist has meekly submitted to being gagged, in order to keep his lying, meaningless job. I wish those milk toast journalists would become so disgusted with themselves that they would come out of hiding and expose the whole stinking mess. Now that would make a great movie!

anna hubert
anna hubert
3 months ago

Nothing to attack A true journalism ‘s been toes up for a long time What is there now has no character

Barbara
Barbara
3 months ago

Is there still a MSM…who follows it? Even some “Progressive-Recessivs” admit that there is no news forthcoming from TV anymore.

JPop
JPop
3 months ago

The guy was doing his job, being an investigative reporter covering a story. The keyboard. basement wannabes should take a lesson. Grow a pair.

johnh
johnh
3 months ago

The Whitewashing of the Jan 6 tapes by Tucker Carlson & Kevin McCarthy is the biggest example I have ever seen of slanting the news by condensing into a couple of minutes. Plus McCarthy only gave the tapes to Tucker at FOX and not other media. This article did not answer the question of who were the people that beat up & attacked the Capitol Police that day & who is person that had hangman noose that day?

johnh
johnh
3 months ago

Trump belittled several reporters during his WH briefings in public & also bashed network they worked for. Plus, he stated FAKE NEWS many times , even tho a few times this news was not fake. My question is, who are we supposed to believe in media? And I always think back to one of the goals of Communism in 1950s was to control the news media.

zoe frost
zoe frost
3 months ago

We have absolutely Communist/Marxist/Fascist/Globalist traitors in high places and places of influence…all working towards the destruction of our Constitutional Republic they hate.
What is as appalling, and tragic, are how many truly and yes, clueless, good people indoctrinazed and/or propagandized, parrot lies, thinking THEY are not traitors, but patriots (GAK!!!). Far too many useful idiots have been bamboozled by 24/7 propaganda that they don’t understand are lies. Lies from mouths of traitors working for traitor Commie/Globalist owned/run MSM. Over 95% of MSM, America’s TASS/Pravda, are comprised of traitors! Hell, not satisfied with that coup, Sorazz fund just bought a massive stake of the 2nd largest radio company, Audacy (includes iHeartMedia), to bring them into the traitor-fold.

John
John
3 months ago

Never fear, the Trumpinator is coming to slay them

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
American Parents Coalition logo
Flag of USA painted on an old brick wall with cracks. Rows of bricks forming the red and white stripes.
A #D map of the United States with red map pins on Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin
President Joe Biden tapes an interview with Jake Tapper of “The Lead with Jake Tapper”, Tuesday, October 11, 2022, in the Map Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

32
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games