Who hasn’t heard the nursery rhyme, from The Christian Recorder of March 1862, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”?
Apparently, the American media.
Donald J. Trump has insulted the press upside down and sideways, but, ultimately all his bluster is just a bunch of name calling. The media reacts to his insults as though he’s just imprisoned hostile journalists.
Despite the fourth estate’s hysteria regarding Trump’s verbal assaults, the press has never been freer in this nation. Proof positive is the fact that, according the Media Research Center (MRC), 90 percent of the media coverage of Trump is negative, and viciously so. The first time a reporter is jailed for an article, or even fired for attacking Trump, please drop me a line and maybe then we can discuss any supposed threat to our nation’s democracy.
This is extremely important, because the press is mimicking what leftist groups do in greatly exaggerating the threat of racism. When everyone they disagree with is labeled a bigot, the term loses its meaning and shields the true racists from proper scrutiny.
The focus on Trump’s words, by the press, shields a much more credible threat to our democracy: The left’s new intolerance of opposing opinions. While I know of no journalist who has lost his or her job for criticizing Trump, I can name numerous conservatives who have lost theirs for espousing their views:
A Silicon Valley CEO was bounced from his position for supporting traditional marriage.
A Google employee got the axe for suggesting women may want more job flexibility to accommodate child rearing.
Conservative columnist Kevin Williamson lost his position at the Atlantic for comparing abortionists to murderers.
A far more impactful set of mass editorials would focus on holding college administrators accountable for allowing radicalized students to prevent those they disagree with from exercising their rights to free speech.
Conservative pundits, Ann Coulter and Jason Reilly (an African American from The Wall Street Journal) just to name a few, were disinvited to campus forums.
Orthodox Jew, Ben Shapiro, was shouted down during his speech at UCLA and needed a security force. Brown University’s Janet Mark was refused a right to speak at an event sponsored by Hillel, because it was considered a pro Israeli group.
Nicholas Dirks, the Berkeley chancellor, not a known conservative, was blocked by students who felt he was not doing enough to prevent black suffering.
Former Cook County, Illinois State Attorney Anita Alvarez, was prevented by Black Lives Matter from speaking at the University of Chicago because they felt she was responsible for “state violence against black and brown people in Chicago.”
A professor escorting conservative economist Charles Murray was assaulted during a campus speech.
Yale University forced out a professor who criticized the administration’s policy of insisting on politicallt correct Halloween costumes.
A Missouri University professor was caught on tape calling for “some muscle” to physically remove from campus a young reporter trying to get opinions after the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Missouri.
She still teaches there.
Evergreen University exacted no punishment on students who forced whites off of campus.
The media can further embolden free speech by starting with itself and erasing its nauseating double standards. CNN dumped respected conservative pundit, Jeffrey Lord, for facetiously saying in a tweet that a political nemesis at Media Matters was using Nazi-like tactics in calling for a boycott of conservative Fox commentator Sean Hannity.
Meanwhile, over at MSNBC, Donnie Deutsch compared voting for Trump to “standing at the border like Nazis.”
How about ESPN, which fired former pitcher Curt Schilling, a known conservative, for commenting against transgender bathroom policies, but kept on the payroll Jemele Hill, who repeatedly called the president a racist.
There once was a time when you could espouse a conservative viewpoint without having to worry about a flash mob assaulting you at a restaurant. That is the threat to our freedoms. Not getting called names by the president in a Tweet.
Were it liberals getting shut out of campuses or harassed with their families at restaurants, you can be sure the media would be all over it (check out their apoplectic response to correspondent Jim Acosta getting booed at a Trump rally).
In fact, you’d be seeing 300 media outlets coordinating their outrage.
Trump is wrong claiming the press is the enemy of the people. A free press is the most important element of a free society. However, he’s not wrong in pointing out the deep degree to which the media leans left.
Trump doesn’t like being criticized, so he fights back. If the press doesn’t like getting hit (sometimes justifiably, sometimes not) then they can counter perceived distortions with the facts. But spare us the histrionics that Trump’s nasty words are tearing apart the media’s ability to speak its mind.
It has never been freer to do so than today.
Steve Levy, former New York state assemblyman, Suffolk County executive, and candidate for governor, is now a distinguished political pundit. Levy’s commentary has been published in such media outlets as Washington Times, Washington Examiner, New York Post, Albany Times, Long Island Business News, and City & State Magazine. He hosted “The Steve Levy Radio Show” on Long Island News Radio, and is a frequent guest on high profile television and radio outlets. Few on the political scene possess Levy’s diverse background. He’s been both a legislator and executive, and served on both the state and local levels — as both a Democrat and Republican. Levy published Bias in the Media, an analysis of his own experience, after switching parties, with the media’s leftward slant. Levy is currently Executive Director of the Center for Cost Effective Government, a fiscally conservative think tank. He is also President of Common Sense Strategies, a political consulting firm. To learn more about his past work and upcoming appearances, visit www.stevelevy.info. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.