What does modern “liberalism” stand for?
Well, if you believe the marketing hype, it’s “diversity” and “tolerance,” right?
Actually, those buzzwords have never really meant more to liberals and progressives than ensuring they are able to bully their own views into public policy and dominate the cultural landscape.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the backyard of a cultural institution monopolized by progressives – the news media.
For decades, polls have shown self-identified Democrats, liberals and progressives greatly outnumber Republicans, independents, moderates and conservatives in newsrooms and boardrooms of the major corporate media institutions.
The first studies were conducted in the early 1980s, and the trend has actually become more pronounced in the 21st century.
But wait a minute! I thought liberalism loved diversity? Why would liberal institutions allow themselves to become dominated by one worldview? Isn’t that the opposite of diversity? In fact, couldn’t you argue that intellectual and philosophical diversity is the most important kind of diversity of all – especially for a news-gathering organization?
Well, you could. And I have. But you’d be wasting your time. I found it to be much more effective to start my own media institution 17 years ago to compete with the one-sided media that long ago lost its way and its mission of being a watchdog on government and an advocate for liberty.
The Internet leveled the playing field for media entrepreneurs like me, and, for the first time in decades, there were competing voices in American journalism again.
And how have Democrats, liberals and progressives reacted to this explosion of diversity?
In fact, you could say they have been downright intolerant.
Take the latest intel from Federal Elections Commission Chairman Lee Goodman. He told a reporter for the Washington Examiner recently that there are “impulses in the government every day to second-guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers” – and, he explained, his own commission has been used in efforts by Democrats, liberals and progressives to squelch constitutionally protected political speech.
Repeatedly, he says, the First Amendment-inspired media exemption that permits the press to escape regulation under campaign finance laws has been under attack by Democrats, liberals and progressives – those who like freedom of the press when it protects their rights, but not when it protects the rights of those with whom they disagree.
This is the hypocrisy and corruption of modern liberals and progressives today. They just don’t mean what they say. They are bullies and authoritarians. They do not love the kind of liberty that provides equal protection under the law and a spirited political debate.
Goodman explained it this way: “The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the Internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and Internet communications. … They can compete with the big boys now, and I have seen storm clouds that the second you start to regulate them, there is at least the possibility or indeed proclivity for selective enforcement, so we need to keep the media free and the Internet free.”
This is hardly the only time we have seen Democrats, liberals and progressives push for government regulation of free speech. It has come in many forms, most notably efforts like “the fairness doctrine” that would target talk radio, one part of the media dominated by conservative voices.
I thought Democrats, liberals and progressives saw “diversity” and “tolerance” as their highest values. Why, then, do they oppose diversity and tolerance in the media?
You know why.
Because they don’t really value diversity and tolerance. Those are merely convenient buzzwords they cite when they are shouting down opposition.
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