A federal judge used his dissenting opinion in a recent case to issue a stunning rebuke of the mainstream media, which he says has turned into little more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.
According to The Hill, the comments came from Washington, D.C. Circuit Senior Judge Laurence Silberman in his opinion on a recent, but unrelated defamation case.
Silberman was appointed to his position by former President Ronald Reagan.
“The first step”
Writing Friday, the judge said “the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news.”
Silberman trained his sights on The New York Times and The Washington Post, adding that “the news section of the Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction.”
“Nearly all television — network and cable — is a Democratic Party trumpet,” Silberman charged, according to The Hill. “Even the government-supported National Public Radio [NPR] follows along,” he added, pointing to Fox News, the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page, and the New York Post as notable exceptions.
The judge also went after Big Tech, which he said “filters news delivery in ways favorable to the Democratic Party.”
According to Breitbart, Silberman wrote that this “one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy. It may even give rise to countervailing extremism,” he said.
“It is well-accepted that viewpoint discrimination ‘raises the specter that the Government may effectively drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace,’” the judge added. “But ideological homogeneity in the media — or in the channels of information distribution — risks repressing certain ideas from the public consciousness just as surely as if access were restricted by the government.”
According to The Hill, Silberman suggested a step in the right direction would be for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its famous 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, which requires those seeking relief over defamation claims to prove “actual malice” on the part of a publisher. The judge said the precedent is now being “abused” by journalists, who can “cast false aspersion on public figures with near impunity.”
His comments came in a dissent on a case where the D.C. Circuit Court ruled 2–1 that a pair of Liberian officials had fallen short of proving actual malice in their case against Global Witness, an environmental protection group that said the pair “had accepted bribes in connection with the sale of an oil license,” according to The Hill.
But while the judge’s thoughts may be largely in line with many on the right side of the political aisle, little seems to be happening in the realm of reforms. It’s a shame.