Upton Sinclair Perfected The Art Of The Misleading Media Narrative
Today is famed twentieth-century progressive muckraker Upton Sinclair’s birth anniversary. He continues to influence today’s liberal media.
By C.C. Taylor Extract from The Federalist 20th September, 2016
We often act as if media bias is some modern development of our supposedly hyperpartisan world, but it has been the norm throughout human history. What is most different about modern media bias is that the media tries to hide it under a veneer of objectivity. It has been more common for reporters to disclose their political affiliations, either outright through long relationships with readers or early on in their writings, or implicitly by working for a newspaper that openly espoused a particular political view.
Today is the birth anniversary of the famed Upton Sinclair, who in the early twentieth century paved the way for much of today’s breathless political reporting from a progressive vantage point. Let’s give an example.
The road to Abu Ghraib began, in some ways, in 2002 at Guantánamo Bay. It was there that the Bush administration began building up a worldwide military detention system, deliberately located on bases outside American soil and sheltered from public visibility and judicial review. The administration shunned the scrutiny of independent rights monitors like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. It presumed that suspected agents of terrorism did not deserve normal legal protections, and it presumed that American officials could always tell a terrorist from an innocent bystander. That was The New York Times’ editorial description, on May 7, 2004, of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba. Titled “The New Iraq Crisis; The Military Archipelago,” the editorial characterized Guantanamo as the nexus of an American prison system located mostly at U.S. military bases that violated basic international norms of treating prisoners and condoned gratuitous physical and psychological brutality.
It became apparent the Times knew the reality of Guantanamo was different from its editorial description when the Obama administration took office in January 2009 and the newspaper, while continuing to call for Guantanamo to be closed, abandoned its “military archipelago” theme and largely ceased investigating what goes on there. The Bush-era opinionizing at the newspaper represented politically oriented narrative-making, something first practiced by early twentieth-century progressive writers, foremost among them Sinclair. ...
Edward Albee, considered the foremost American playwright of his generation, died yesterday at his home in Montauk, New York.
At the age of 23, when he was still struggling for recognition as a playwright, his talent was recognized by the Foreign Press Association.
In June 1961 he won the FPA’s "Best American Play" Award for his two one-act plays "The American Dream" and "The Death of Bessie Smith."
In 1963 he won the Award again, this time for "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf." On accepting the award, Albee confessed he was not keen to see the play made into a film, however, the 1966 film adaptation of "Who's Afraid if Virginia Woolf," starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, turned the play into Albee's most famous work. ...
[On BBC Radio Stoke's Mid-Morning show, presenter Stuart George mourned the death of 'common sense'. So many people asked for a copy of what he read out, we thought it only fair to re-produce it here...]
"Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: - Knowing when to come in out of the rain. - Why the early bird gets the worm. - Life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.
Common sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, (don't spend more than you can earn), and reliable strategies, (adults are in charge not children).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place - Reports of an 8 year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; Teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; A teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims,
Common sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common sense finally gave up the will to live, after a women failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers: Iknow Myrights Iwant Myrights Iwant Itnow Ima Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing."
[Note: This is a modified version of a text that's originally attributed to Lori Borgman]. ...