One of the most pernicious aspects of the American political landscape over the last several decades has been the media dominance of the left, consistently propagating partisan narratives under the guise of objectivity. The media slander of prominent conservative and Republican figures has been evident for a while now but has reached new heights during the Trump era. There were, of course, the unfounded conspiracies about President Reagan’s mental health and the demonization of President George W. Bush as a war criminal, but the unhinged lunacy in recent years is unprecedented.
The media has willingly acted as the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party, and the dominance of the left within the sphere of journalism is evidenced by the fact that a mere seven percent of journalists are Republicans. This phenomenon is also reflected in the lack of mainstream right-leaning media outlets. While the left lambasts Fox News incessantly, the conservative news outlet stands alone in an industry controlled by the left. Other mainstream sources including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times claim neutrality while uncritically advancing the Democratic Party platform. Does anyone really buy that Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper are objective journalists only interested in the truth?
Media bias manifests in several different ways, from the selection of stories to be covered and how stories are presented to the clear disparity between how figures from both sides of the political spectrum are treated. In a CNN town hall in February 2018, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch and Florida Senator Marco Rubio were deemed complicit in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that led to the deaths of 17 people and injuries to 17 more. The CNN hosts sat idly by while these horrifically slanderous attacks were directed at the conservative guests.
By contrast, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently appeared on MSNBC for a town hall with Chris Hayes, who proceeded to feed her one softball question after another. When the question of her botched “Green New Deal” proposal came up, Hayes agreed with her on the deeply consequential issue of farting cows. When she blamed the fallacious FAQ section of her originally released proposition on a staffer, Hayes happily nodded along with her refusal to accept responsibility. Perhaps the most notable moment of the event was when Ocasio-Cortez suggested that Republicans passed a constitutional amendment for presidential term limits solely to prevent President Franklin Roosevelt from being re-elected. The only problem with this is that Roosevelt died in office in 1945 and the 22nd Amendment—which created term limits for the presidency—wasn’t passed by Congress until 1947 and wasn’t ratified until 1952. Errors like this, said in complete confidence, seem to only be fact-checked when they are presented by those on the right.
The coverage of policy proposals from the left and right is shockingly partisan, with legislation like the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-All being treated positively, and the GOP tax cuts being distorted as a “tax scam.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats relentlessly used this term to demean the tax bill, which isn’t surprising given the nature of partisan politics. What was appalling was the media reiterating these partisan claims, again revealing themselves as the communication wing of the Democratic Party.
If the distortions promulgated by the media were constrained to the bubble of Washington D.C., then none of this would be such a big deal. However, the ripple effects of media malfeasance are substantial in terms of reflected public opinion. For example, a Monmouth University poll found that 50 percent of people thought their taxes would increase as a result of the tax bill, with only 14 percent believing that their taxes would be cut. The divergence between public perception and the actual results of the tax cuts was massive, as the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that 80.4 percent of Americans would receive a tax cut, including 91.3 percent of the middle class. This disconnect can clearly be traced to the conspiring efforts of Democrats and the media in misrepresenting the GOP legislation.
While there are alternative conservative outlets such as National Review, The Daily Wire, and Conservative Review that attempt to combat the mainstream media conglomerate of the leftist outlets, there remains an overwhelming disparity in the outreach of these networks. Institutional and financial barriers make it very difficult for conservative news sources to compete with establishment outlets, creating an ongoing uphill battle that has persisted. However, the success of publications like The Daily Wire under the leadership of Ben Shapiro offers a promising opportunity for conservatives to finally compete with the left in the media landscape. Furthermore, there are a growing number of prominent student-based publications that are giving young conservatives a voice that they would not otherwise have. Campus Reform, The College Fix, Lone Conservative, and others have given thousands of college conservative a platform to express their views that are so commonly suppressed on campuses and in the media.
I have written for Campus Reform in the past, an outlet committed to exposing leftist bias on campuses around the country. I was also the editor-in-chief of The Classy Libertarian, a student-run website that sought to further principles of virtue and liberty. Currently, I’m a contributing editor for Lone Conservative, a publication that has grown massively in the last couple of years, recently exceeding 60,000 social media followers, in large part due to the president and founder Kassy Dillon’s growing prominence and joining of The Daily Wire. As someone who has extensively studied leftist bias in the media and on campus, as well as having experience writing for several conservative publications, I understand the difficulty and necessity of conservatives combating the institutional biases and barriers that have led to the ideological monolith in so many facets of American life. Spending the last few years in classrooms full of liberal students and professors, I have witnessed firsthand how intimidating it can be to express conservative positions for fear of repudiation from classmates and grading consequences from professors.
Similarly, the ubiquitous tendency of supposedly objective and neutral publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post to reject article submissions from conservatives while publishing extreme pieces that range from justifying communism to the conspiratorial conjecture of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russian governmental leaders has further displayed the severity of contemporary media bias. It is absolutely vital that we continue to support conservative students and publications in presenting an alternative viewpoint from the traditionally left-leaning information-funneling institutions, predominantly in academia and the media.