When most people think about "bias" in news coverage, they usually think of some kind of ideological bent, as if the Post, say, is trying to advance some kind of political agenda with its journalism. While this does apply to right-wing outlets, like the Washington Examiner, most of the rest of the press corps isn't ideological as we would normally understand that word.
This doesn't mean there isn't bias, though.
The most prominent bias comes from journalists merely doing their jobs. Choices have to be made. Cover this story, not that story, for this reason, not that reason. In these choices, news outlets reveal their bias. The Times, for instance, is not center-left. It's a publication of the very obscenely rich, that is, the American elite. When it comes to deciding "the news that's fit to print," the elites who work there tend to focus on other elites and what they think — to the exclusion of other points of view, because why be inclusive when you're elite? This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can be, like in the middle of a pandemic.
Elites tend to believe they're elite, because they're elite. They are deserving of wealth and power, in other words. Never mind that most, though not all, elites were born successful, and never mind they were born into eliteness on account of governments favoring their families. This context has serious ramifications with respect to political values. Freedom, for elites, isn't rooted in democracy, community or mutual obligation. Instead, it arises from the absence of coercion, especially by the primary instrument of democracy, community or mutual obligation: government. Choosing for oneself what's good and right — that's freedom. Fine and dandy, except in the middle of a pandemic.
The Washington press corps' presumption that freedom is about choice, not responsibility, is warping our shared understanding of the pandemic. (In this, the Times isn't alone.) On the one hand, the presumption minimizes the damage being done by those who refuse to wear masks or, especially, who refuse to get vaccinated. On the other hand, it gives these people the appearance of pursuing something noble. Instead of being presented as saboteurs, they are presented as individuals fighting for their rights. When they are presented as saboteurs (which I think is accurate), we are told they're a political problem that the president has yet to figure out a way to solve.
But the presumption of freedom as choice does something else. It obscures the lawlessness of GOP leaders and their allies. The press corps has been busy reporting noble individuals fighting nobly for their noble rights. In fact, they have been undermining basic law and order. Texas and Florida have led the way in outlawing mask and vaccine mandates by local officials, especially on school boards. Meanwhile, GOP resistance nationally has sparked a crime wave.
A teacher in California was attacked by a parent over masks. The same thing is playing out in schools across the country. A man was stabbed and a reporter assaulted in Los Angeles during a vaccine protest. An Iowa man was sentenced to a decade in prison over a mask fight. Medical workers are facing more violence and threats of violence. Same thing for flight attendants. (Airlines are now refusing to serve booze, because first-class passengers so often get belligerent.) Elected office holders are receiving record numbers of death threats. A woman attacked a laundry worker in New York City over a request to wear a mask. Employees everywhere are being assaulted for doing their jobs.
According to the Associated Press: "Across the country, anti-vaccine and anti-mask demonstrations are taking scary and violent turns, and educators, medical professionals and public figures have been stunned at the level at which they have been vilified for even stating their opinion. And they have been terrified over how far protesters will go in confronting leaders outside their homes and in their workplaces."
It bears repeating that we are not facing a public health crisis. We have vaccines. They work. They are free. They are available pretty much everywhere now. What's preventing us from ending the pandemic isn't medical. It's behavioral. It's violence! What's driving that is the GOP. What we need is for these people to get in line, for the sake of their freedom and everyone else's. What we need is basic law and order. But the press corps is so focused on freedom as choice, not responsibility, that no one is talking about a violent Republican crime wave. It's almost like it's not a crime — if it's conservative white people doing it.
There's the rub. If Black and brown people were attacking flight attendants and laundry workers and school teachers, we would hear no end from the Washington press corps about threats to basic law and order — and from elected leaders about the need to crack down on crime. Among the news media's presumptions is the one about Black and brown people being violent on account of being Black and brown. Conservative white people aren't "naturally" violent, so when they are, there must be a good reason. Like fighting for their rights!
There is no good reason. There is no reason at all except perhaps refusing to be held accountable to the same standards — the same laws — as Black and brown people are held. Lawlessness shouldn't be a regrettable outcome of liberty. It sure as hell shouldn't be the point.
CNN reporter Kara Scannell revealed on Monday that the attorneys representing longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg don't think he's the last person at the organization who will face criminal charges.
While talking about Weisselberg's Monday court appearance, Scannell broke down some surprising moments that had potential implications for former President Donald Trump.
"One of his lawyers spoke up and he said he strongly believes indictments are coming in this case," she explained. "He didn't say who, or how many, or why he believed it, but we have been reporting that the [Manhattan District Attorney's Office] has been investigating another top Trump Organization official -- Matthew Calamari, he's the chief operating officer."
Weisselberg was first indicted this past July on 15 charges that included four counts of criminal tax fraud and one count of grand larceny.
The longtime Trump Organization CFO has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Watch the video below.
Allen Weisselberg's lawyers 'strongly believe' more indictments are coming in Trump Org case www.youtube.com
Marjorie Taylor Greene's impeachment rant goes off the rails: 'God will no longer provide protection'
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) explained on Monday why she supports articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden.
In a floor speech, Greene said that she was prompted to file articles of impeachment because of "his disgraceful actions having to do with Afghanistan."
According to the Georgia Republican, Biden is guilty of treason because he gave "aid and comfort to the enemies."
Greene also pointed to the "security crisis created at our southern border, which today is actually being invaded."
The lawmaker then veered into a rant about abortion.
"But heading into this week, perhaps the most evil and disgusting thing that is going to happen in this 117th Congress is the bill that's going to be introduced that makes it a federal law to allow abortion up until the day of birth," she complained. "This wall [in the House chamber] says 'In God We Trust' and if that is the case then this Congress will reject this evil bill and protect the innocent unborn."
Greene added: "If this nation becomes a nation where we have such a federal law that can kill a baby up until the day of birth then God will no longer provide protection and his grace over America."
Watch the video below from C-SPAN.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month