TIPP Insights: The media’s mindless deference to institutions is dangerous

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By TIPPINSIGHTS EDITORIAL BOARD, TIPP Insights

For decades, the liberal media has held federal agencies like the CDC and the DOJ, international organizations like the United Nations and NATO, and even partisan Congressional committees, like J6, as gold standards of integrity and conduct.

Blind trust in the FBI was briefly marred during James Comey’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers, which many leftists still believe handed the 2016 election to Donald Trump. But Comey made amends with the media by launching the Russia-Russia-Russia investigations against the 45th president, taking notes of private conversations, and leaking them to the press through a Columbia professor.

In the infancy of the Trump administration, in January 2017, two FBI agents came to the White House to interview General Flynn, President Trump’s National Security Advisor. When MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace asked Comey to describe how the agents landed in the White House, he said flatly, “I sent them.” Comey acknowledged the way the interview was set up – not through the White House counsel’s office but arranged directly with Flynn – was not standard practice. He called it “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more … organized administration.”

Organized administration? Wasn’t Comey obligated to help the incoming Trump administration instead of taking advantage of its weakness?

When Trump fired Comey, he cleverly played a victim who sought out the truth, and the FBI again became an institution of integrity. Never mind that a grueling investigation by Robert Mueller, a former FBI chief, resulted in nothing.

The media hailed the FBI raid this week on Trump’s club residence, including his private office, as a civics lesson of the “no-one-is-above-the-law” principle. Spilling sensitive terms such as the Espionage Act – implying that Trump deliberately stole state secrets to his advantage – added to the Judgment Day narrative of the good triumphing over evil.

Outlets bent on accepting that a raid (many went out of their way to clarify that it was not a raid) was required to preserve the American way of life failed to see the long-term damage they were causing. Pundits galore stopped by various media shows to insist that the FBI wouldn’t have done what they did if they didn’t think it was a severe breach of national security. In so doing, they wholly deferred to the FBI, which just recently starred the likes of Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page. These partisan individuals have never apologized for using their deep state tools to damage the Trump candidacy and presidency. The disastrous Merrick Garland presser was designed to bolster such characters – that the Justice Department always has the nation’s best interests at heart. Right.

Recent history shows that federal agencies routinely pick and choose political sides in enforcing laws. No DOJ task force investigated an entire summer of riots following George Floyd’s death, let alone prevented damage. Billions in property damage were recorded; dozens of lives were lost and many more wounded. Not one person was charged.

When America was burning during the peak of Covid, public health officials, actively pushing social distancing rules and mask mandates at churches and private gatherings, excused them when people gathered in close quarters at BLM protests. One public health official characterized the exception as necessary, although screaming in public without masks could exacerbate virus spread. Apparently, a conversation, however violent, about racial disparities was worth the risk of increased Covid hospitalizations and death.

The DOJ refused to pursue allegations about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election under the excuse that it did not want to interfere in an election. Yet, the Mar-a-Lago raid against the titular head of the Republican Party fewer than 90 days before a crucial midterm election was not interference?

Bias aside, it wouldn’t have been so bad if our federal agencies were mostly right on the big stories. Oliver Stone, famous for his deep research about the JFK assassination, has publicly called for abolishing the CIA, finding fault with the Agency for numerous errors in covert operations that have risked many lives. Massive intelligence failures have resulted in needless deaths and destruction, like the Weapons of Mass Destruction fiasco during the Second Gulf War or, more recently, the disastrous Afghan exit.

Closer to home, federal agencies have been more wrong than right on the significant events impacting America – and few bureaucrats have been held accountable. The savings and loan disaster during the late 1980s; the lack of oversight of the big financial institutions during the 2008 financial crisis; the misleading guidance issued by the CDC at various points during the pandemic; the refusal of public health officials to even allow for a meaningful debate on what they called “settled science” in an area that was hardly settled; the lack of federal oversight on the pharmaceutical industry for triggering the opioid crisis – all speak to colossal failures of large government organizations. Yet, the media insists that the public should hold paramount trust in these agencies.

And then, there is Congress. The hyper-partisan effort to prove to Americans that Donald Trump was responsible for the events of January 6 has now been going on for 18 months, with more primetime shows scheduled for September. Trump presumably will continue to be under the media gun for stories related to the raid or the civil trials in New York and Georgia.

The collusion between the media and the deep state to bring down one individual is extraordinary. Each party feeds the other and is in a deeply symbiotic relationship. Each enjoys enormous protections – in the Constitution, for the media, and in numerous federal statutes that make it a crime to challenge the government.

It is little wonder that we are a deeply divided country.


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