Skip to content

A “Progressive” Kristallnacht

September 25, 2018

When Rupert Murdoch brought British “advocacy journalism” to America, many American conservatives  were delighted.  The “objective journalism” of major broadcast media, sanctified by reporting the news during World War II, had become a screen behind which was hid pro-Democrat Party activism, “Progressive” ideas and hatred of the Republican Party and all its works.

As Fox News made a market for advocacy journalism on the Right, MSNBC and CNN became the voice of the Left in American politics.  Long before Fox News was invented, American politics had begun to reflect the politics of the street that disrupted civil society in Europe with the rise of totalitarian movements.

Here the anti-Vietnam War movement disrupted civil society with street demonstrations and agitation and propaganda perfected by Lenin in the lead up to the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. The “Peace Movement” as it was popularly called was followed by the Civil Rights Movement, the “March on Washington,” and now in the United States we have “Black Lives Matter,” the “Me Too Movement” and various marches of the “Women’s Movement.”

This radical style became ugly during the “March on Wall Street” when demonstrators marched on the personal residences of Wall Street executives, and today we see a tendency to disrupt the daily lives of politicians like Ted Cruz, and members of the Trump Administration, when they dine in public restaurants.

The January 10 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review has published a report on the state of “journalism” in the United Kingdom during the time that country has begun a controversial move out of the European Union. That report raises important issues about the role that “journalism” plays in informing the American nation about important issues.

Acrimonious coverage aimed at a divided country should feel increasingly familiar to American readers. Since Donald Trump became president, traditionally straight-laced papers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have cut their coverage with pointed takes, while outlets that have long taken sides, like MSNBC and Fox, have doubled down on one-sided advocacy—feeding consumers hungry for news that chimes with their preconceived worldview. In the UK, this type of partisanship is a longstanding feature of the national landscape. Print newspapers, in particular, have always dictated the terms of political debate: drawing the battlelines on which politicians duke it out, and taking a “tell, don’t show” approach to endorsements at election time.

Followers of “news” reported at Fox, MSNBC and CNN are aware that political advocacy is being dressed up as “journalism.” But, what we should be concerned about is the role of advocacy groups that take to the streets, disrupt normal commerce, and attack persons they dislike. That was the cutting edge advocacy promoted by Barack Obama when he was a professional “community organizer” and why President Obama’s return to politics is significant.  When carried over onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by members of Congress who began their political careers in the Civil Rights movement, and when proceedings of the United States Congress are disrupted by “Progressive Activists,” we should worry about similarities of the actions of today’s Progressives to the 1938 “Kristallnacht” of Adolph Hitler.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: