Unfreedom of the Press
a book by Mark R. Levin
(our site's book review)
The Amazon blurb says that From six-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, FOX News star, and radio host Mark R. Levin comes a groundbreaking and enlightening book that shows how the great tradition of the American free press has degenerated into a standardless profession that has squandered the faith and trust of the American public, not through actions of government officials, but through its own abandonment of reportorial integrity and objective journalism.
Unfreedom of the Press is not just another book about the press. Levin shows how those entrusted with news reporting today are destroying freedom of the press from within: “not government oppression or suppression,” he writes, but self-censorship, group-think, bias by omission, and passing off opinion, propaganda, pseudo-events, and outright lies as news.
American free press has degenerated into a standardless profession that has squandered the faith and trust of the American public through abandonment of reportorial integrity and objective journalism
With the depth of historical background for which his books are renowned, Levin takes the reader on a journey through the early American patriot press, which proudly promoted the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, followed by the early decades of the Republic during which newspapers around the young country were open and transparent about their fierce allegiance to one political party or the other.
It was only at the start of the Progressive Era and the twentieth century that the supposed “objectivity of the press” first surfaced, leaving us where we are today: with a partisan party-press overwhelmingly aligned with a political ideology but hypocritically engaged in a massive untruth as to its real nature.
Levin is a nationally syndicated talk-radio host
Mark R. Levin, nationally syndicated talk-radio host, host of LevinTV, chairman of Landmark Legal Foundation, and the host of the FOX News show Life, Liberty, & Levin, is the author of six consecutive New York Times #1 bestsellers: Liberty and Tyranny, Plunder and Deceit, Rediscovering Americanism, Ameritopia, The Liberty Amendments, and Unfreedom of the Press. Liberty and Tyranny spent three months at #1 and sold more than 1.5 million copies. His books Men in Black and Rescuing Sprite were also New York Times bestsellers. Levin is an inductee of the National Radio Hall of Fame and was a top adviser to several members of President Ronald Reagan’s cabinet. He holds a BA from Temple University and a JD from Temple University Law School.
Levin tells us: "Unlike the early patriot press, today’s newsrooms and journalists are mostly hostile to America’s founding principles, traditions, and institutions. They do not promote free speech and press freedom, despite their self-serving and self-righteous claims. Indeed, they serve as societal filters attempting to enforce uniformity of thought and social and political activism centered on the progressive ideology and agenda. Issues, events, groups, and individuals that do not fit the narrative are dismissed or diminished; those that do fit the narrative are elevated and celebrated. Of course, this paradigm greatly influences the culture, the government, and the national psyche. It defines a media-created “reality” whether or not it has a basis in true reality, around which individuals organize their thoughts, beliefs, and, in some cases, their lives."
Today’s newsrooms and journalists serve as societal filters attempting to enforce uniformity of thought and social and political activism centered on the progressive ideology and agenda
Levin continues: "Moreover, the media are to expose official actions aimed at squelching speech and communication. But when the media function as a propaganda tool for a single political party and ideology, they not only destroy their own purpose but threaten the existence of a free republic. It is surely not for the government to control the press, and yet the press seems incapable of policing itself."
Levin again: "Lara Logan, . . . journalist . . . , [spoke of] the media’s professional demise, preference for the Democratic Party and progressive advocacy, and intolerance of independent and diverse perspectives in reporting. . . . When a journalist breaks from the rest of the media pack, which is quite rare, their careers are typically threatened or ruined by the rest of the press. Indeed, [once the podcast interview] went viral, she was ostracized [and attacked] . . ."
Another example is Sharyl Attkisson, who was treated similarly for breaking with the reporters who idolized Obama and she was smeared and hacked, as detailed in her book The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote.
Notice that to most people, truth is truth, but to the mainstream media, it is whatever those in power need it to be—this is the influence of propaganda and pressure; i.e., Truth, R.I.P.
So it is more critical than ever for reporters to make the distinction between fact and opinion. Otherwise, we get fake news and the post-truth era's rants and raves and—like in the 2016 election—the public loses respect for and faith in reporters, science, facts, politics, and truth itself. And why wouldn't they? See Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News, Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers, and Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion.
The role of a free press is to be watchdogs monitoring politicians and government
However, the reality of American press is being lapdogs of the politicians and government and corporations and even the intelligence community.
However, the reality of American press is being lapdogs of the politicians and government and corporations and even the intelligence community
To maximize commercial viability, the press has opted to replace much information reporting with infotainment, opinion reporting, ranters and ravers, partisan news reporting, and thinly disguised advertisements. They also maximize the differences between the two parties to try to sensationalize them. And the networks couch every tiny piece of thinly disguised propaganda and actual news as worthy of being called a News Alert, forgetting about the fable of the boy who cried wolf. When something actually worthy of the term comes along, the television screen continues to say News Alert, so we don't even notice since we've been thoroughly desensitized.
The networks couch every tiny piece of thinly disguised propaganda and actual news as worthy of being called a News Alert, forgetting about the fable of the boy who cried wolf
The liberal media bias ensures we see the world through a filter—a filter that magnifies the facts that liberals want us to see and shrinks the facts that conservatives want us to see; we view through liberal-colored glasses. When we get tired of this distortion, we switch to Fox News. The network bigwigs even admit to their bias, but believe it is justified since we all know that the right wing is evil, greedy, sexist, racist, and lacking compassion.
The liberal media bias ensures we see the world through a filter—a filter that magnifies the facts that liberals want us to see and shrinks the facts that conservatives want us to see; we view through liberal-colored glasses
Four times as many journalists identify as Democrat as they do Republican. It is hard for conservative journalists to get jobs in the industry if they tell about their conservative leanings, so they either keep the information to themself, fib about their preferences, or apply at Fox News or even Breitbart.
There seems to be a revolving door between government and journalism, so we've got all these journalists with mostly liberal opinions going into government to have liberal-flavored effects on policy. We'd be hard-pressed to find a similar extensive relationship between numerous major media organizations and recent Republican administrations.
There seems to be a revolving door between government and journalism, so we've got all these journalists with mostly liberal opinions going into government to have liberal-flavored effects on policy
Fox’s election coverage was 34 percentage points less negative than the average for the other seven outlets on the subject of Trump. Even they had 48% positive and 52% negative coverage of Trump, but this was mainly because Trump kept lying and saying nasty things about people and threatening people and countries and leaders. It was said he was his own worst enemy.
Trump does not understand democracy, and often tries to rule like a king rather than administer like a president; he wants to be a strongman rather than a bureaucrat
Okay Vladi, you old dog, I lead or you bleed—got it? Okay Donny, whatever, dude! (Jeez—he's so bossy!); No question about it, Trump rules more like a demagogic strongman or wolf pack leader than a president
Trump has a three-word message for anyone with a different idea than him or who doesn't wish to follow his orders or who makes fun of him: kiss my ass
"The Shorenstein Center provides a thoughtful piece of advice to newsrooms and journalists. 'Journalists would . . . do well to spend less time in Washington and more time in places where policy intersects with people’s lives. If they had done so during the presidential campaign, they would not have missed the story that keyed Trump’s victory—the fading of the American Dream for millions of ordinary people. Nor do all such narratives have to be a tale of woe. America at the moment is a divided society in some respects, but it’s not a broken society and the divisions in Washington are deeper than those beyond the Beltway.'" (Source: Thoughts on Trump’s Coverage, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy)
- Requiem for the American Dream: The 10 Principles of Concentration of Wealth & Power
- Democracy—an American Delusion
- A Dream Deferred
- Black Skin Privilege and the American Dream
- Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis
- Redesigning the American Dream
- The Big Answer
- Freedom of the Press—an American Delusion
One should expect this book to reach deep into the culture of disinformation that we are bombarded with every day—the misinformation we are choking on
The press is the enemy—a very Trump-sounding Trumpism. However, such a bold claim didn’t originate with Donald Trump, it originated with Richard M. Nixon. Nixon was right then, and Trump is right now. In Unfreedom of the Press Mark Levin provocatively demonstrates why that was true fifty years ago, why it’s true today, and more importantly: what we can do about it. One should expect this book to reach deep into the culture of disinformation that we are bombarded with every day.
The press is the enemy—a very Trump-sounding Trumpism. However, such a bold claim didn’t originate with Donald Trump, it originated with Richard M. Nixon
"On his show, Levin speaks in the unmistakable tenor of a man experiencing road rage or shouting at a customer service representative. . . . [he] touches on a handful of clear problems in American media, from the often poor distinction between reporting and opinion to the distorting incentives of the Internet. . . . He conducts no interviews, presents no original research, and visits no newsrooms." (Source: 'Unfreedom Of The Press' Is Full Of Bombast And Bile, Annalisa Quinn, NPR)
On his show, Levin speaks in the unmistakable tenor of a man experiencing road rage or shouting at a customer service representative
"The 19th century's party-press was, however, almost evenly split between parties, unlike today. And the modern press's unchecked Democratic partisanship leads it to pursue what confirms partisan narratives instead of truth. . . . The media has cultivated a narrative whereby it is supposedly protecting the First Amendment against the nefarious wiles of Mr. Trump. In doing so, it has shed any sense of its own obligations for upholding a vigorous, free press. Perhaps the most salient point to be drawn from this book, then, is that a free press does not lie merely in a lack of external interference; rather, a free press requires a media which recognizes its obligation to credibility and the pursuit of truth." (Source: Its Own Worst Enemy: Review: 'Unfreedom of the Press' by Mark R. Levin, Jeffrey Cimmino, Free Beacon)
"Fox News host Neil Cavuto tore into President Trump during his closing monologue on Thursday, defending his network from the president's criticism earlier this week that Fox 'isn't working for us anymore.' 'Well I think the president watches Fox,' Cavuto began. 'I also think he is getting sick of Fox. Which is weird because I think he gets pretty fair coverage at Fox.' [statistically, about half of their coverage of Trump is positive, half negative—which is Fair and Balanced, since 80-90% of other networks' coverage of him is negative] After reading Trump's tweet, Cavuto said, "first of all Mr. President, we don't work for you. I don't work for you. My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you. Just report on you." (Source: Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network, Joe Concha, The Hill)
By the 1950s, the media began to abandon their 'truth' goal in favor of 'interpretive reporting' through their progressive lenses whereby they mix fact and fiction in a two-faced presentation of liberal narrative propaganda as fact
"Today's liberal media are wholly in the tank for the Democratic Party, but they steadfastly deny it, which facilitates their ability to deceive and indoctrinate the public. They are not on the party's payroll or subsidized by it, as some of yesterday's newspapers and journalists were, but today there is no denying the revolving door of journalists and/or their family members serving primarily in Democratic administrations, Democratic congressional offices, and Democratic campaigns—and vice versa. . . . Whether there was ever an era when journalists pursued objective truth, by the 1950s, the media began to abandon that goal in favor of 'interpretive reporting' through their progressive lenses. They don't even try to separate fact from opinion anymore; rather, they infuse every aspect of the profession with their liberal biases, including the selection, gathering and reporting of the news. There is no ideological or intellectual diversity in their newsrooms. They're all in disgraceful lockstep." (Source: Limbaugh: Mark Levin's 'Unfreedom of the Press', David Limbaugh, Conservative Review)
Warmongering neocon elites wished to make lots of money by wrecking a country and rebuilding it, with elite oligarchs sticking all the enormous profits (YOUR money) into their full-to-bursting money bins
If you believed there may have been WMDs in Iraq so we should invade them, it has nothing whatever to do with truth or reality or WMDs or dangers (Cheney warned of "mushroom clouds over Manhattan." The WMD crap was all a filthy lie and he knew it). It had to do with the mainstream media used as propaganda tools to fill your head with self-serving nonsense that supports elite empire building desires. In this case, warmongering neocon elites wished to make lots of money by wrecking a country and rebuilding it, with elite oligarchs sticking all the enormous profits into their full-to-bursting money bins. Whose money? YOUR money—YOU paid for that war, whose purpose was to transfer wealth from the U.S. nonrich to the U.S. rich. Did you bitch about it and take to the streets? No. You conformed, like a good little citizen, just like they conditioned you to. You kept telling yourself the CW lie: It's a war on terror! The truth is it's a war OF terror, as everyone in the Middle East knows. In fact, everyone in the world but U.S. citizens know that. Here, we get the TRUTH FILTER.
Our government censors or covers up anything they don't want the public getting wise to, like their unreported imperialism—the U.S. press has a truth filter
In their landmark book, Manufacturing Consent, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky explained the "propaganda model" that controls the public message by "filtering" disturbing truths, "leaving behind only the cleansed residue fit to print" or air. (As in our truth filter above.) They say truth is the first casualty of war, and the U.S. empire builders are always at war so . . . do the math.