by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We’re witnessing an odd transformation in the media world. Increasingly, the debate within mainstream media institutions is what must not be written about, reported, or discussed.
Apparently the staff of the New York Times cannot abide the presence of a heterodox voice such as Bari Weiss. New York magazine no longer has room for Andrew Sullivan. A staff walkout led to Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, departing the paper, days after the paper ran an article with the headline “Buildings Matter, Too.” None of those figures would meet many definitions of “right-wing” or “conservative.” But they dared dissent from the hard Left in one way or another and thus became targets of the “cancel culture.” …
… Major institutions of American journalism have decided that certain viewpoints must not be expressed within their pages, and certain factions and narratives must not be questioned, challenged, or opposed. Certain arguments must not be heard, certain supporting evidence must not be examined; certain ideas are simply too dangerous or malevolent to be brought to a wider audience. We are instructed that the very expression of them in any form makes certain staffers “feel unsafe” and thus must be treated as akin to a physical assault.
This is not the pursuit of knowledge; this is the avoidance of knowledge. This is not curiosity; this is an ironclad certainty that everything that is needed to be known about any given subject is already known. This is not informing the audience about what is going on in the world; this is making sure they don’t hear what is going on in the world, because it might run counter to a preferred narrative.
Whatever you want to call what these institutions are doing now, this is not journalism. This is anti-journalism.