While most media coverage of this past weekend’s CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, focused on areas of disagreement among conservatives and Republicans, there were many excellent speeches and panels that received no attention from the media. One of those was by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee until this current session of Congress. Four years ago, Rep. Smith started the Media Fairness Caucus, and has clearly been the leading voice in Congress to call out the media for its unmistakable liberal bias.
He questioned the use of the term “mainstream” to describe the media, “when the majority of Americans don’t trust it or share the views it espouses?”
He cited a recent Gallup poll to show that “Americans’ distrust of the media is at an all-time high. Gallup found that 60 percent of Americans have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”
Rep. Smith, who is currently the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, added that “When the media don’t report the facts, the American people can’t make good decisions. And if Americans can’t make good decisions, our democracy is at risk. So media bias, to me, is a major threat to our democracy.”
He also singled out Accuracy in Media, along with the Media Research Center and the Media Fairness Caucus in Congress, as organizations that can “increase awareness of bias in the media and encourage Americans to confront it and demand fair reporting.” He concluded his talk, before taking questions, saying that “Our democracy depends on the American people holding the media accountable. Nothing could be more important.”
Here is the full text of his speech to CPAC on March 14th (PDF).