U.S. Press Plays Pravda

Given the events of the last two weeks, we may expect an acceleration of media-skepticism. Let us consider just how egregiously the press has abandoned its responsibilities to the public trust in the past few weeks:

On September 11, on the eleventh anniversary of the worst attack yet endured on our shores, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three aides were murdered, and their headquarters in Benghazi sacked. The U.S. Press unquestioningly accepted a White House explanation calling the event a “spontaneous demonstration” inspired by a poorly made anti-Islam film short that had been languishing online, all-but-ignored, for months.

Despite reports that the attackers had been chanting “Obama, we are all Osama,” (in reference to Osama bin Laden, whose America-effected demise was celebrated over 20 times during the recently concluded Democratic convention) the press duly reported the White House line, and they saw no First Amendment issues when the Obama administration asked Google (owners of YouTube) to remove the offending video. (Google refused.)

This is the same press, all the same bylines and faces, by the way, who fretted about the “chill wind” threatening free speech when then-White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer merely suggested that post-9/11 people might need to be cautious in their speech.

The press did not blink when the film’s creator was publicly identified, handcuffed, and brought into police custody for questioning about “a possible parole violation” in the middle of the night. In fact, some journalists—utterly incurious about the possible constitutional repercussions of establishing such a precedent—began helpfully arguing that sometimes free speech ought to be limited, darn it! The work of cultural darling Andres Serrano—whose overpraised “Piss Christ” showcases a photograph of a crucifix submerged in a bucket of Serrano’s own urine—was free speech and “art” deserving protection, while an execrably produced anti-Muslim short, made by a cultural nobody, was not.

Read more from this story HERE.