Founder and co-host of independent US media outlet the Young Turks Cenk Uygur recently gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington. Speaking to mainstream journalists, Uygur demolished the corporate media to its face.
“You will equate the lies and truth”
Among a number of examples of establishment media bias, Uygur said:
If you think you voted for Hillary Clinton and that makes you a progressive, you don’t know what the word is… The Clintons took $3bn from donors over their careers… You know who broke that story, the Washington Post… so credit where credit is due… Unlike the right wing, we don’t want to tear them down – we want to build them up…
Neutrality is not objectivity. So it is the wrong standard. If you call everything 50/50, you will equate the lies and truth. And that gives lies an enormous advantage.
Uygur explained why he thought the media had an “establishment” bias:
Think about how you do coverage. What’s the first thing that the writers write about and they talk about on TV? Who has the most money.
Wait a minute… I’m not impressed if you took the most amount of money from [arms dealer] Northrop Grumman… from Apple, or from any of these companies. That to me says you’re less trustworthy, not more….
But what does every media outlet in this country do – old media? They reward it by giving it coverage…. ‘Hillary Clinton’s leading’… It ain’t good… 93% of Americans believe that the politicians represent their donors and not their voters. Yet here we are in a town that celebrates it. And it’s disgusting.
He also said that there was an upcoming “civil war” between the corporate media and new progressive media over the candidates for the Democratic Party in 2020. And he predicted what the mainstream coverage will be like:
You will run almost no negative stories about [‘centrist’] Cory Booker. But you will run incredibly negative stories about Bernie Sanders – cue it, watch me, okay. They’ll talk about his houses, they’ll talk about race.
‘It’s their boat, so they don’t want to rock it’
In response to the speech, Bloomberg news editor Andrea Edney insisted:
All of the reporters and editors I know work so hard to get it right
But Uygur said:
Nowhere in my speech did I say they were lazy… I said they were wrong.
And he offered broad reasons why media outlets like CNN are pro-establishment:
They don’t want to rock the boat. Because it’s their boat.
Edney later challenged the idea that outlets should hire critics of the establishment:
CNN should be in the business of hiring reporters, not politicians
But Uygur pointed out:
What is the perspective that they present, Andrea? The perspective is status quo, establishment
The exchange captures the problem at the heart of the mainstream media: that editors cannot always see beyond their worldview. And that worldview informs the value judgements journalists make from the moment they select which story to cover and which stories to leave out. That’s before reporters even begin writing the article, where they choose which information to include.
In short, everybody has bias. And the key to establishing a healthy democracy is ensuring there’s a diversity of media outlets with different political perspectives.
Uygur boldly called out the establishment media straight to its face. Kudos for that.
– Support The Canary if you appreciate the work we do.
Featured image via wwwMOXNEWScom/ YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?