Unfreedom of the press

By Mark R. Levin

Unfreedom of the press by Mark R. Levin
Added October 10, 2019

The media, Fox News host Mark Levin Levin writes, constitute "a profession whose members form a class or aristocracy of strident, pretentious, arrogant, and self-righteously superior individuals, rarely capable of circumspection or improvement." In Unfreedom of the Press, Levin claims that those entrusted with news reporting today are destroying freedom of the press from within: "not government oppression or suppression," he writes, but self-censorship, group-think, bias by omission, and passing off opinion, propaganda, pseudo-events, and outright lies as news. Levin takes the reader on a journey through the early American patriot press, which proudly promoted the principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, followed by the early decades of the Republic during which newspapers around the young country were open and transparent about their fierce allegiance to one political party or the other. It was only at the start of the Progressive Era and the twentieth century that the idea of "objectivity of the press" first surfaced, leaving us where we are today: with a partisan party-press overwhelmingly aligned with a political ideology but hypocritically engaged in a massive untruth as to its real nature. —Summary from library catalog.  According to a book review by NPR’s Annalisa Quinn, “ …the book is largely filler. Quotations and paraphrasing make up the majority of the book's central chapters. Lengthy and irrelevant block quotes from historians about, say, colonial printing practices ("The use of type commenced in Virginia about 1681...") give the book the air of a padded student essay. He has boasted that the book's chapter on The New York Times would contain major revelations: "What the New York Times did has not been well exposed in the popular culture, and I'm doing it." But in the book, he simply quotes the work of well-known scholars and journalists on the Times' mid-20th century failure to cover the extent of the Holocaust. He conducts no interviews, presents no original research, and visits no newsrooms.” May 21, 2019

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