by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For our form of self-governance to work, we need a robust news industry. Its role is to hold authority accountable and allow an informed public to make well-reasoned decisions. That’s why a free and independent press is protected by the Constitution. But our MSM has run wildly off the rails.
The MSM is no longer a purveyor of truth, but rather a developer of narratives — and they’re shameless about it, calling such narratives “fake but accurate.” The facts may be wrong, but the story supports the chosen narrative. They no longer inform the public. Instead they mislead it to satisfy ideological objectives. The MSM has become an industry of propagandists — no longer facilitating self-governance, but undermining it.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found that 71 percent of Americans consider our democracy to be under threat. Of that group, a shocking 84 percent consider the MSM to be the biggest threat to our democracy. That equates to 60 percent of all Americans viewing the MSM as a threat — not drug cartels, Islamic fundamentalists, or even MAGA-hat-wearing semi-fascists, but the MSM.
That poll is not an outlier either. It’s consistent with a recent Gallup poll on our confidence in institutions. It found that Americans rank print and television news next to the bottom of institutions that they have confidence in. The only institution that garners less confidence than the news is our “we need to pass it to find out what’s in it” Congress. Even used car dealers command greater confidence. It’s no wonder that television news ratings are collapsing. But the problem created goes well beyond ratings and commercial revenues. It’s a disaster for our country.