Federal Judge Rips “Dangerous” Mainstream Media That Is “Very Close To One-Party Control”
A federal judge took aim at an issue rarely tackled by the nation’s courts, blasting the mainstream media as close to a “broadsheet” for the Democratic Party in a fiery dissent in a media defamation lawsuit hearing.
The judge, D.C. Circuit Court Judge Laurence Silberman, said it may be time to revisit the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan ruling, which prevents most lawsuits against the media my public officials on First Amendment grounds.
From Fox News:
“[N]ew considerations have arisen over the last 50 years that make the New York Times decision (which I believe I have faithfully applied in my dissent) a threat to American Democracy,” he write. “It must go.”
“The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions,” said Silberman, who was nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan and has been a senior judge on the D.C. Circuit Court since 2000.
Silberman argued the trend has been going on for decades, then took aim at individual media companies he believed were guilty of the bias:
“Although the bias against the Republican Party—not just controversial individuals—is rather shocking today, this is not new; it is a long-term, secular trend going back at least to the ’70s,” Silberman wrote. “Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets. And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction. The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe). Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”
The judge also pinned blame on social media companies, citing the suppression of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden prior to the election as an example of censorship that benefits Democrats.
Silberman also touched on cancel culture, noting efforts to silence dissenting outlets such as Fox News because they do not conform to the Democratic Party’s messaging:
“It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news. It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy,” the judge continued. “It may even give rise to countervailing extremism.
“The First Amendment guarantees a free press to foster a vibrant trade in ideas. But a biased press can distort the marketplace. And when the media has proven its willingness—if not eagerness—to so distort, it is a profound mistake to stand by unjustified legal rules that serve only to enhance the press’ power.”
Of course, complaints about liberal bias in the mainstream media is nothing new for Republicans. Former President Donald Trump made calling out the media a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign and presidency. Trump frequently clashed with what he referred to as “fake news” outlets such as the New York Times and CNN, while his campaign to dispute the results of the 2020 Election eventually earned him a ban from social media.
Trump has now vowed to return to social media with a platform of his own.
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