The 2016 election may be seen as a popular revolt against the growing collusion of the elites in government and the media.
During the Obama Administration, there was a tacit collusion between the White House and its ideological allies in the press, who overlooked major presidential failures in national security, terrorism, economic recovery, race relations and other areas, as well as ignoring extraordinary scandals highlighted by the misuse of federal agencies for partisan purposes, most notably including the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice.
In return for the biased media’s downplaying of policy failures, the White House attacked rivals of its sympathetic left-wing press friends with an unprecedented vigor.
Democrat officials on the Federal Communications Commission, in what may have been one of the most controversial programs ever initiated by a federal agency, initiated an effort entitled “critical information needs” (known as CIN) involving federal oversight of broadcasters and journalists throughout America. It would have placed government employees in the private internal conversations and meetings of journalists, media organizations, and even internet sites, thereby hobbling opponents of the Administration.
It came also in the form of legislation. As previously reported in the New York Analysis of Policy & Government, two Democrat senators, Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and Charles Schumer (D-New York), proposed a measure that would limit free speech protections as they pertain to campaign donations. The proposed legislation gained 43 Senate supporters—all Democrats. At a Senate Rules Committee Schumer stated that “”The First Amendment is sacred, but the First Amendment is not absolute. By making it absolute, you make it less sacred to most Americans.”
The contemptuous attitude towards the First Amendment could be seen in comments by a Federal Elections Commissioner, Ann Ravel, reported in a Washington Examiner article. Ravel stated that Upholding constitutional principles is not an appropriate role for a member of the Federal Election Commission. As noted previously in the New York Analysis of Policy and Government, the Democrat members of the Federal Election Commission attempted to impose a penalty on one news station that has been uniformly critical of the Obama Administration, based on a complaint from an obscure candidate that he wasn’t invited to a televised debate. Of course, those same commissioners have never considered imposing similar sanctions against the Democrat National Committee, which has inappropriately tilted towards Hillary Clinton in her primary effort against Bernie Sanders. The attempt was blocked by Republican Commissioners.
The tacit understanding between the Oval Office and the progressive-oriented mainstream media constituted one of the most significant threats against the First Amendment in U.S. history. The extent of this is only now being openly discussed by some who maintained their silence during the past eight years. Attempts to suppress views contrary to the Obama Administration’s came from a number of sources.
The threat over the past eight years was recently noted by Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes in a Hollywood Reporter article. “The threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic side,’ Bewkes said during a conversation with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget at a conference in New York in a session that was webcast… the Democratic party had a campaign plank to change the First Amendment, and they were doing it in the guise of campaign finance reform.’ The CEO, continuing his theme, even acknowledged that the news media does, indeed, lean left, as conservatives have long complained. ‘That was worrying me more, because the press tends to miss that because they tend to lean that way, and therefore they were supporting what they were viewing, I think overly charitably, as something in cleaning up money in politics when in fact what it would do is restrain multiple voices…So, I thought the threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic side more. I think there won’t be a serious effort on the Republican side.” Bewkes comments came in response to angry statements from President-elect Trump about media bias.
During the recent election, author David Limbaugh, quoted in Stream noted: “I don’t know how reasonable people can fail to recognize the overt collusion of the Obama administration, the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Party and the liberal media to shield Hillary Clinton from accountability for her many misdeeds and abundant corruption.”
The Free Thought Project notes: “After only a cursory search using Wikileaks invaluable database, ‘The Podesta Emails’ reveal not only direct evidence of media coordination, but an attempt to alleviate the damage expected to be wrought by the impending 2015 release of [the Clinton Cash] book by Peter Schweizer” titled: “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”
Despite domination of the airwaves, printed news sources, and social media by left-leaning ownership, more counties voted Republican than at any time since the Reagan election.