Will Liberty Survive the Dishonesty of the Media?
The headline in the Wisconsin State Journal on January 31 read “New Calls for Police Reform. Advocates: Where is the Progress?” It was an Associated Press (AP) story about the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police.
It is another stark reminder of how every day the media abandon journalistic integrity in favor of their political agenda. Excerpts from the article expose their tactics.
“Nationwide, police have killed roughly 3 people per day consistently since 2020, according to academics and advocates for police reform who track such deaths.”
“Tyre Nichols’ fatal encounter with police officers in Memphis, Tennessee, recorded on video made public Friday night, is a glaring reminder that efforts to reform policing have failed to prevent more flashpoints in an intractable epidemic of brutality.”
The media regularly shirk their duty when they use language meant to incite emotion rather than promote critical thinking, fail to identify their sources to enable the reader to evaluate whether their opinions are worth considering, and deliberately exclude relevant information that would add important context but doesn’t support their preferred narrative.
It is standard practice for the AP to deny readers access to their reporters. When unable to reach the authors of another AP article for follow up information, Dick Ellis, Publisher of On Wisconsin Outdoors, went right to Laura Easton, Director of AP Media Relations. Her reply to his request was, “We are unable to share our journalists’ contact information.” We should not accept this lack of accountability.
It's hard to imagine that anyone who viewed the video of Tyre Nichols being beaten by police would conclude it was anything other than a homicide. The media’s very selective interest in the killing in our country fans the flames of division and does nothing to promote critical examination of a serious problem.
Use your own good judgment to consider whether additional facts create important context for all senseless killing in our country today.
According to the CDC and FBI, in 2020 (the most recent year complete data are available), there were 45,222 deaths from gun related injuries. 19,384 (45%) were murders, 24,292 (54%) were suicides, 535 were unintentional, 611 were at the hands of law enforcement and 400 were undetermined.
According to the Fraternal Order of Police, in 2022, 331 police officers were shot in the line of duty and 62 died.
Murder is an extreme manifestation of the Immorality that pervades our society. Killing is an everyday occurrence. Increasingly, citizens going about their daily lives and police officers doing their jobs conscientiously are at risk. In the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Pastor James Ward lamented society’s failure to teach morality. He aptly stated you could give a good man the code to our nuclear arsenal and everyone would be safe and you could give a bad man a pencil and lives would be in danger. Reversing the trend of murder in our streets will require confronting the root causes of immorality. God’s laws and the people’s laws already prohibit murder. Hearts and minds cannot be legislated. The media contribute little, and often detract, from constructively addressing the problem.
When our founders insisted on freedom of the press, they meant freedom from a tyrannical government restricting the pursuit of truth. Today the media are unprincipled and undisciplined, preferring to shape our thinking rather than provide the objective information we need to draw our own conclusions. They are a serious threat to our freedom. A handful of journalists are providing a glimmer of hope on the horizon. They have courage and integrity and are launching new media sources committed to telling the truth. We need them and they need our support. Will liberty survive the dishonesty of the media? It’s up to us to make sure it does.