Accuracy in Media

The biggest story of the past few weeks that most of America never heard until it didn’t matter was the radicalism of Van Jones, the White House’s “green jobs” czar.

He embraced communism and anarchy; he signed documents professing his belief that the U.S. government may have been a conspirator in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; he called Republicans “a–holes“; he mocked former President Bush as a “crackhead” in an embarrassing video; and he made a bigoted and factually inaccurate comment about only “white men” being school shooters.

Most of America didn’t hear any of that because the liberal media suppressed the inconvenient facts about Jones’ bizarre past. And it doesn’t matter now because he resigned effective in the middle of the night halfway through a dead news cycle on a holiday weekend.

Media bias is still on display, however. Now that Jones is gone, the media aren’t content to report the facts about his departure and the reasons for it. They are attacking the messengers who filled their intentionally created news vacuum — Fox News and the emerging army of conservative new media outlets.

Byron York of The Washington Examiner singled out the easiest liberal media target — The New York Times — but most major news organizations are guilty of this same kind of spin (or they will be soon):

The first words of the Times’ story on Jones’ resignation were, “In a victory for Republicans and the Obama administration’s conservative critics. …” One news anchor suggested Jones was “the Republican right’s first scalp.” Other coverage called the Jones affair a victory for Glenn Beck, Fox News, right-wing blogs, and even Sarah Palin, who played no role in the matter.

If you throw in Rush Limbaugh, you have all the bogey-people of the conservative world. To some on the left, including some journalists, denying them a victory was a top priority, no matter what Van Jones had said and done.

The emphasis on Jones’ critics rather than the man himself continued in the Times’ second story on the matter. The headline, “White House Official Resigns After GOP Criticism,” prefaced a lead that understated the reason for Jones’ departure and blamed critics — “a number of his past statements became fodder for conservative critics and Republican officials.”

The good news for America is that the country no longer has to rely on tired, old, biased outlets like the Times to break the news. The White House has one less radical in it today because new media investigators did the digging that Obama’s allies in the press refused to do.

That includes bloggers like Trevor Loudon of New Zealand, who broke the story about Jones’ communist ties back in April. Old-timers like Tom Brokaw of NBC are wont to dismiss guys like Loudon as part of the Internet “fringe” that no one can trust, but NBC, the Times and the rest of the mainstream media are the ones who have lost America’s trust.

News consumers have turned to the Internet, despite its many flaws, because it matters to them when a president chooses a radical as one of his top aides, and they have come to realize that it doesn’t matter to most journalists — unless the president is conservative.

York summed up today’s new media reality perfectly in the closing to his latest column: “There was a day, not too long ago, when the Times and other influential news organizations could kill a story — could deny the bad guys a win — simply by ignoring it. Sometimes they still try. But it just won’t work anymore.”




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