EDITORIAL: It’s time to establish a Libertarian media conglomerate


(Heartland Newsfeed) — 2018 made my fifth election cycle that I’ve voted in, but I have become incredibly disgusted with the biased coverage by the mainstream media which are either biased to the left or biased to the right.

While Libertarian candidates getting more media coverage than in 2014 or 2016, the mainstream media still chooses to paint the candidates in a negative light and even go as far as setting ridiculous requirements for debate inclusion.

While some major newspapers and their editorial boards opted to endorse Libertarian candidates — most notably being Illinois secretary of state candidate Steve Dutner by the State Journal-Register and Massachusetts auditor candidate Daniel Fishman by the Boston Globe — they still chose to push the ideals of the status quo within the duopoly.

Over 800 Libertarians ran for office in 2018 and they simply weren’t given a fair shake by the mainstream media, no matter how hard they and their loyal supporters tried. Some candidates were included in debates and the offers were either later stripped or they were included and excluded from further debates. That is certainly not fair to the 60% of independent voters in Illinois and nearly 70% of independent voters across America.

Yes, while there are some aspects of Libertarian media out there: Being Libertarian, the Liberty Radio Network, The Jason Stapleton Program, The Tom Woods Show, AntiWar, Ben Swann’s Truth In Media, Reason Magazine and so on and so forth, I think desperate times call for desperate measures.

Now should be the time to band together against the Facebook and Twitter thought censorship police and establish our own media conglomerate and build it up larger than that of Fox News or CNN.

I mean TV, radio, print media and online media. A media who truly believes in the freedoms and liberties of the media and of the individual. A media that would be accepting of people like Fox Business’ Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, as well Fox News’ Greg Gutfeld and Kat Timpf. We already have an ally in former ABC News correspondent John Stossel.

When Joseph Pulitzer founded the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (then called the St. Louis Post and Dispatch) in 1878 following the purchase of the bankrupted St. Louis Dispatch and merger with the former St. Louis Evening Post, Pulitzer had zero intentions of it becoming a politically-charged newspaper. His 1907 charge was supposed to the lifelong mission of SLP-D:

I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.

Let’s break this down, shall we?

It will always fight for progress and reform: Pulitzer was not talking about the progressive liberal movement that exists today. He was talking about the fight to improve the lives of everyone and reform society against corrupt influences. Sadly, since 2005, when Pulitzer Inc. sold the newspaper to Lee Enterprises, the paper has degraded to becoming a filthy liberal rag of a newspaper where Democrat bias is apparent.

It will never tolerate injustice or corruption: There was some corruption in the late 19th century and the injustice at the time surrounded post-Civil War racism. Today, they ignore corruption until they cannot ignore it anymore and the same is true with injustice. The paper of today seems to encourage racist undertones as well.

It will always fight demagogues of all parties and never belong to any party: In the days of Pulitzer, there is only one instance in which the paper was critical toward one particular candidate, which was a US Senate race in 1882 between James Overton Broadhead and John Glover. The paper attacked Broadhead in relation to a lawsuit at the direction of editor John Cockerill. In such a short time, things escalated between Broadhead’s lawyer and associate Col. Alonzo Slayback and Cockerill until Slayback was shot and killed in the Post-Dispatch offices in October 1882. Cockerill was later transferred to New York City to manage a Pulitzer-owned paper there. Sadly, while nobody has been getting shot by editors in the 20th or 21st century, the paper has garnered a reputation for being biased toward liberals in the post-Pulitzer era, with the exception of being critical of Democratic president and Missouri resident Harry S Truman.

It doesn’t seem like they’ve done much of either — neither the fighting the demagogues of all parties nor the never belonging to any party. Not when the modern era of the paper is liberal-biased and it appears most of the columnists are staunch Democrats.

It will always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers: I don’t quite get the message that Pulitzer originally meant, but I’d like to believe he was referring to the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers of yesteryear and today, as well as the likes of Warren Buffett, Charles and David Koch, the late Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey and even President Donald Trump plus former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. I would like to believe what he meant was what we consider the top 1% of Americans and con artists and thieves like Bernie Madoff, Lou Pearlman, Rita Crundwell, Kwame Fitzpatrick, Kevin Trudeau or anyone you would see featured on CNBC’s American Greed. You can probably tack on the TV preachers and televangelists.

It will never lack sympathy with the poor and always remain devoted to the public welfare: I can’t ever recall in the history of the paper that they’ve actually done this during the days of Pulitzer. Today, it’s welfare this and welfare that being promoted by the paper and it has nothing to do with the welfare of mankind, but rather more government, more bureaucracies and more handouts.

It will never be satisfied with merely printing news: What was written in Pulitzer’s day was news. Today’s Post-Dispatch is a liberal rag.

It will always be drastically independent and never be afraid to attack wrong: Maybe it was somewhat independent when Pulitzer’s family ran the paper and attacked wrongdoing. The newspaper of the 20th and 21st centuries was never independent and only attacks wrongdoing on one side.

What would the legends of journalism day about the news media of today? Something tells me that Walter Cronkite or Edward Murrow would not be very pleased.

Just as I was writing this, I read a letter to the editor that was published last December and then it reminded me of a PBS special Cronkite did. In my honest opinion, I believe that he considered the 24/7 news networks to be a huge disgrace to journalism.

It also seems like the media ignored what Murrow said in a 1958 speech:

This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it’s nothing but wires and lights in a box….

The same is also true for print and online. If you can’t report the news without political bias, then it’s just a piece of paper or wasted space on a website.

Media disruption in the works — and it couldn’t get here sooner
Swann is hoping to disrupt the media with a new platform that doesn’t censor reporting through ISE Media. This is definitely a starting place to truly begin the implementation of a truly Libertarian news media.

We at Heartland Newsfeed have strived to deliver the news in an unbiased manner. When there’s no news coming to our newsdesk, we have to rely on news from the Associated Press, United Press International and Reuters newswire services, as well as the Illinois News Network for local news.

We think our involvement in ISE Media would be beneficial to all parties, especially in the case that Facebook and Twitter should decide to shut us down for presenting the news unbiased. There is a reason we publish our non-newswire news stories on platforms like Steemit, Torial and Medium and have begun sharing stories on Minds and MeWe.

Jake Leonard is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. He is general manager of Heartland Internet Media Networks and an active contributor to four newspapers for Pana News Group. He also serves as chairman of Tri-Counties Libertarian Party and Capital Area Libertarian Party, deputy candidate recruitment director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois and as chairman/co-founder of the Libertarian Party Millennial Caucus.

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