Accuracy in Media

Hillary Clinton bemoaned today’s fractured media landscape, where digital competitors vie for audience in an online marketplace of ideas, wishing for the good old days of the 1970s when “It was a much more controllable environment,” with the “Big Three” networks of NBC, ABC and CBS managing the national media narrative.

In a new podcast interview with Democratic strategist David Plouffe, Clinton also said “I think it’s a lot harder for Americans to know what they’re supposed to believe,” leading critics to wonder whether she was positing that in this new media environment, it was harder for politicians to tell voters what to think.

Despite the well-documented tech bias that puts the thumb on the scale against conservative-leaning digital media outlets, The Wall Street Journal’s James Freeman further reports Clinton’s comments: “Beyond the Russians, she talks about an effort by Trump 2020 campaign chief Brad Parscale to ‘manipulate more voters’ minds.’

“For voters who tend to believe their minds are not so easily manipulated, Mrs. Clinton also offers a history lesson. She notes that the current impeachment effort will be more challenging than the Watergate inquiry she worked on as a young congressional aide, in part because of all the new media competition.

“Back in Nixon days, there were just three commercial broadcast television networks, plus dominant newspapers. Now, she says, ‘I think it’s a lot harder for Americans to know what they’re supposed to believe.’

“She tells the story of dealing with questions from reporter Sam Donaldson in the 1970s, rather than today’s myriad online media competitors. ‘It was a much more controllable environment,’ she laments.”

In the podcast, Clinton also claimed that the impeachment of her husband in the 1990s was “nothing but a partisan effort to take down the president,” yet she claimed that with today’s anti-Trump proceedings by House Democrats “there’s no rush to judgment.”




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