Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
The media finally found its hero.
The hero was Brian Karem, the sweaty, surly and unshaven correspondent for Playboy, who whined that Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, the Deputy White House Press Secretary, was “bullying” the abused media.
Vox dubbed Karem “heroic” for defending “CNN’s honor.” The media’s “honor” has fallen so low that it needs defending by the red light district. If the media’s honor gets any lower, its honor will need an assist from the Mafia, Mexican drug cartels, NAMBLA and the Toxic Waste Association of America.
Karem claimed to be inspired by the tantrums of CNN’s Jim Acosta. CNN was particularly upset by the White House denying the network the precious video that it needs to show off its latest Trump attacks.
Off-camera briefings are a good start. Off-media briefings would be even better.
Under the illiterate headline, “We Stood Up to the Administration Today Because Free Press is Crucial,” Karem wrote at Playboy, “The administration supports the First Amendment – just not the people who practice it.”
And the only people entitled to practice the First Amendment, according to the media, own the media. They don’t need to know basic grammar. They don’t need to have their facts right. They just need to be part of huge media conglomerates with left-wing politics whose mission is attacking conservatives.
What got Karem’s goat (and the goats of the rest of the media herd) was that Sanders had given the first question to Breitbart. And conservative sites are not entitled to the protections of the First Amendment.
A free press is crucial. And when the White House fights for a free press by diversifying the press corps, it’s upholding the spirit of a free press that the media cartel is fighting to kill.
The entire “Fake News” outcry that Karem and the rest of his “honorable” colleagues in the media are whining about began with a media plot to censor conservative sites on social media for “Fake News.”
Why does the media believe that Playboy, but not Breitbart or the Daily Caller, have a right to be heard?
"I don’t like the entire institution of the press and free speech being castigated,” Brian Karem wheedled. “The foundation of a free republic is a free press."
The media has reached rock bottom when a porn magazine’s correspondent starts claiming to be foundation of a free republic.
And when the media enthusiastically agrees.
The foundation of a free republic is free people. Free people have the right to say what they please. They can do it on social media, at a political protest or in the pages of a newspaper. Freedom doesn’t begin and end with the media cartel. Even though the media cartel would like nothing better.
"We can't take the bullying anymore. It's undermining the fourth estate, it's undermining the first amendment," the Playboy correspondent whined elsewhere.
America isn’t supposed to have a Fourth Estate. That’s France. But that’s what the media is. It’s not a free press. It’s a cartel that leverages control over what was once the free press. Few conservatives are allowed into its ranks. Its partisan mission is to support the left and oppose the right.
The First Amendment gives the media the freedom to do it. Not the institutional authority.
It’s the media that has zero respect for the First Amendment. Its contempt for the religious freedoms of the First Amendment is notorious. But its hostility for the free press is a more recent innovation.
The media has viciously fought the White House’s effort to diversify the press corps by bringing in conservative media. Karem’s tantrum was an outgrowth of that larger battle. Its push for “fact checks” is a cynical effort to embed censorship of conservative media outlets into Facebook and Google News. The media is the greatest enemy of a free press. And it should be treated that way.
It’s an unelected and illegitimate fourth branch of government backed by a handful of powerful interests that insists on setting the national agenda, determining who gets elected and impeaching them if the voters disagree. That is the coup that the fourth branch is busy trying to pull on President Trump.
And the media insists on determining who gets to belong to it. Playboy, yes. Breitbart, DailyCaller and Front Page Magazine, no. Playboy is a heroic defender of the media’s “honor.” Conservative sites must be censored so all that the media deems “Fake News” doesn’t undermine its political agenda.
But the media doesn’t get to decide who can belong to a free press. And what news is fake.
President Trump, Sarah Sanders Huckabee and others have called out the media as “Fake News.” And that outrages the media cartel because it challenges its institutional authority.
The media’s institutional authority shouldn’t just be challenged, it must be broken.
A free press is open to everyone. The media is a closed cartel. A free press has a diversity of opinions. The media has only one. A free press is a dialogue. The media silences dissent, from individuals to conservative outlets. A free press does not attempt to usurp democracy. That is the entire purpose of the media cartel. It manufactures an artificial consensus through mass communications propaganda.
The internet has made the media irrelevant. It also killed the very last of its ethics and journalistic integrity. All that remains are a network of partisan left-wing sites trailed by dead tree paper and dead cable outlets integrated into one heaving mess that connects CNN to ESPN to Playboy to Teen Vogue.
The media cartel is a network of money and power. This illegitimate network intersects with other institutional left-wing networks in the non-profit sector, the political sector, the academic sector and many others. Each network is a thread in a spider web that is choking the life out of this nation. And at the center sit the radical spiders that pull all the strings.
The obscene efforts of the media cartel to wrap itself in the tattered shrouds of the First Amendment are as disgusting as a man who murdered his parents begging the court to have mercy on an orphan.
The media is waging a ruthless campaign to censor its opponents under the guise of “Fake News”. Yet it plays the victim when it is criticized (rather than censored) for the dishonest lies of its partisan agenda.
It has made war on the Constitution. It rejects some parts of the Bill of Rights entirely. It is now engaged in a gargantuan effort to reverse the results of a national election. And when it is called out for its abuses of power, it contends that to criticize it is to undermine the foundation of a free republic.
How can you possibly have a free republic without CNN, MSNBC and the Washington Post? But a better question might be, how can you have a free republic when a leftist media cartel is running it?
The government should not privilege a media cartel or confuse its arrogance with authority.
Off-camera briefings should become off-media briefings. Media outlets that want to act like campus crybullies should be booted. Dot coms that clamor for Net Neutrality but then use media “fact checks” to censor conservative competitors should be called out for their partisan hypocrisy.
The White House’s battle against the media cartel is the best defense of the First Amendment.
Americans, from the government to the streets, must make it clear that there is no fourth branch of government. Only when the media cartel has been broken, can a free press rise once again.