WATCH: Freedom of the press?

(Original air date: November 17, 2019)

This week, thirty media and tech companies announced they’re partnering behind a new national campaign “Protect Press Freedom.” But conservative commentator and author Mark Levin argues the modern mass media does not favor of a free press. His new book is called: Unfreedom of the Press.

Sharyl: You wrote “the American free press has degenerated into a standardless profession, not through government oppression or suppression, but through self-censorship, group think, bias, omission and propaganda.”

Mark Levin: There’s a new doctrine that’s being pushed in journalism school, has been for about 30 years, which is to push what’s called public journalism or community journalism, which is social activism. And so now you have a lot of reporters, Jim Acosta is a perfect example, who create the drama, then report on their own drama That becomes news for five days. President calls that “fake news.” He’s right. There was a professor Boston who used to head the library congress, but he was a historian at the University of Chicago. Wrote a whole book on it, pseudo events. Our news is filled with phony events and filled with propaganda.

Sharyl: Your book has a lot of history in it and one small portion talks about Thomas Paine’s Common Sense in 1776. He wrote advocating for American independence and you talk about the so-called pamphleteers of that time.

Mark Levin: The pamphleteers were the great heroes, the first printing presses. These were the men that pushed the American Revolution and the ideas we read in the Declaration of Independence. They wanted to fundamentally transform government. Throw off the monarchy and create a representative government. The media today want to do the opposite. They want to fundamentally transform the civil society in defense of an all powerful centralized government.

Sharyl: But weren’t the pamphleteers and the patriotic press themselves biased?

Mark Levin: Absolutely. They were biased for liberty and they were biased for property rights and they were bias for limited government and they admitted it. They didn’t believe in objective news. Even though they had some news, they supported a cause. They didn’t view themselves as seeking what’s the news of the day, the information of the day. They were revolting against a tyranny. The press today poses as seeking objective truth when it’s not.

Sharyl: Would you find that less objectionable if the press today, the ones that you believe are biased, actually said what they were for and reported as they do rather than maintaining a sense of supposed neutrality?

Mark Levin: Well, we had a press like that called “the party press” and it followed the administration, they’re tailing the administration of George Washington’s second term where the newspapers were lining up between behind Jefferson and his party and Hamilton and Adams and their party and they were transparent about it, okay? At least they were more honest about it. Although we’re getting to a point now where some media outlets are so brazen about their ideology, they’re being very honest about who they are

Sharyl: We kind of know

Mark Levin: We kind of know who they are, but there’s still this patina of, “We’re the news. Don’t criticize us or you’re attacking the First Amendment.”

Sharyl: Do you think news should be reporting or interpretation? Or some combination thereof and how would that be structured?

Mark Levin: I make the point in my book that you really should strive, if you’re a newsroom, to separate news from opinion. Stop hiring ideologues in the news room because it’s harder and harder for ideologues to be objective or as objective as they can be. Number two, maybe you’re liberal, maybe you’re conservative. But at least apply some objective standards and process to the gathering of news. We’re not doing either now.

Sharyl: Some blame our, the media’s, declining credibility on President Trump. Isn’t there some truth to that?

Mark Levin: There’s really no truth to that. I’ll tell you why. I write in the book and I explain presidents who really endangered the media, even John Adams, people will be shocked with the sedition act of 1798. He imprisoned journalists, shut down some newspapers. You had Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War with his authority shutting down newspapers, imprisoning journalists. You had Woodrow Wilson, the great progressive intellectual, put a new sedition act in in 1918, shutdown newspapers, imprison journalists, imprison political opponents. FDR unleashed the IRS on several publishers including Moe Annenberg who owned the Philadelphia Inquirer ’cause they didn’t like the New Deal. Barack Obama and his administration, of course, he didn’t know anything, the FBI went after the New York Times, Fox and AP. Donald Trump may call the press the enemy of the people, or a particular segment of the press, the enemy of the people. He hasn’t done anything like that.

Sharyl: You wrote, “It is surely not for the government to control the press and yet the press seems incapable of policing itself.” So what are we left with?

Mark Levin: Modern mass media is destroying freedom of the press. So where do we go? There are new pamphleteers out there. They’re all on the Internet. They’re in other places and other formats. Bloggers, websites, all over the world. We should separate the good from the bed. I know there’s bad stuff on the internet, but there’s good stuff on the Internet too. We should encourage more technological advancement, new platforms, new forms of communication. Because what is it that matters about freedom of the press? What does it really come down to? Freedom of speech. That is all of us communicating with each other, we the people, to try and figure out how to improve our lives and improve our neighborhoods and improve our society.

Among the new outlets backing the new ‘Protect Press Freedom’ campaign are some that Levin sees as the most biased media.

Order “Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism” by Sharyl Attkisson today at Harper Collins, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books a Million, IndieBound, Bookshop!
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22 thoughts on “WATCH: Freedom of the press?”

  1. Sharyl:

    Let’s test Levin’s loyalty to America:

    Ask him to shed — publicly renounce!
    — his claim to dual citizenship with Israel,
    which has had a very heavy/deadly hand
    in arming Red China these past 40 years.

    Google it.


    1. P.S.

      I’ve a revelatory Washington Times article ( 1995 ),
      warning about how Israel had been secretly helping
      Red China build an American-type stealth fighter/
      bomber, using U.S,. technology.

      Loyalty!, Sharyl ?

      Now consider this, regarding “Jumping-Jack” journalists
      (( John Stinton’s term, NYT )), a Pentagon spokesman had
      announced, just several years ago!, that spy agency’s and
      DoD officials were “shocked” to see China had unveiled
      a new stealth fighter/bomber.

      Go figure, Sharyl!

      Ask Mark Levin.


      1. You kidding me right. There is no way you can have that kind of information at all… And your sources just invented that news, just got their hatred to Israel…

        1. Sharyl ( and the rest ):

          “Israel about to give China U.S. technology!”

          Washington Times / Wednesday, December 28, 1994 / pg. A3

          From the text of the article:

          “ ‘This plane would fit in with a
          scenario for conflict over Taiwan
          10 years from now,’ said expert.
          ‘And for someone to help China
          build a production line, a turn-
          key facility for this aircraft, is
          O M I N O U S [ my emphasis ].’ ”

          Ask Levin.


      2. It amazes me that the only comment I see is from an idiot who posts a conspiracy theory about Israel when the topic is about a free press.
        I’m sure this guy is getting his info from Google. Google is part of the problem.
        I have no doubts that there are hundreds of conspiracy theories out there, and simply saying ‘Google it” show the lack of intelligence you really have on any matter.
        Please stay in the basement and let the adults talk.


      3. Obviously you have never listened to Levin or read any of his books, as it all revolves around personal liberty, freedom, and history with context. One must question your loyalty as you spread your stupidity for all to see. Go read a book and learn from it.

        1. Libertyminded :

          “ . . . never listened to Levin . . .” ?

          This scribbler is the “pamphleteer” to which
          he sometimes references—40-plus years
          of it.


  2. Excellent piece. As usual, Mr. Levin is on target.

    I’ve been a fan of you and Mark for years.

    Keep up the great work!

    Andy B.

  3. Fake News .Israel developed its own fighter -the Lavi which it exported in the 1980’s .It was more of a ground attack single engine fighter.. It had 40 percent parts from US. It was not stealth .Israel sold some of these abroad including China to help support their own industry.. They did not cooperate with Chinese aircraft manufacturers. .When the US objected to it the Israelis stopped production of the Lavi . This has nothing to do with China’s current fighters .
    Low thinking individuals always find scapegoats for their own failures. Europe used Jews as their scapegoats for a thousand years. Israel loves Donald Trump and is a Democracy in the middle of Tyranny. Ever since its founding it has been attacked for its very existence. Israel .BLM -a Marxist antisemitic organization frequently expresses hate for America and Israel. The American left is anti Israel. A Recent poll of Arabs on the West bank says they would prefer Israel annex it rather than live under the tyranny of Palestinan Warlords. Arabs live much better in Israel .They have voting rights and access to a better standard of living.
    Logic and virtue will prevail over envy,hatred and anarchy.

    1. Steve B :

      As in any cohort, there are the GOOD and the BAD—such as
      with the Jews.

      I admire politically conservative Jews (( who battle the weak-
      minded libertines among Jews ))—such rightists as Mark Levin
      and Rabbi Daniel Lapin (( Google, Bing, or Duckduckgo
      Rabbi Lapin’s scribblings—he is on Glenn Beck’s team )).


  4. #CutThemOff #FreeTV Stop your cable, satellite or internet packaged programming. Stop paying for Fake News. #CutThemOff There are plenty timely news feeds via YouTube (for example) at no cost, with some advertising interspersed.

  5. As soon as DOJ get George Soros in & asks him about the funding of all the BLM communist/ Marxist territorist organizations and all his “duel citizenships”.
    I have no problem w/ Marks duel citizenship w/ Israel, our #1 Ally in the world. Now kick rocks Rick

  6. Okay, Sharyl, let’s address the state of

    J O U R N A L I S M and J O U R N A L I S T S

    today :

    You’ll never have any adequate

    F U L L M E A S U R E of

    knowledge, about the state of

    present-day journalism/journalists,

    until you’ve studied Thomas J.

    DeLorenzo’s articles/research on

    Lincoln’s war against self-determination

    (( archived at )).

    Begin with his just-released book,

    “The Problem with Lincoln.”


      1. The author says that Lincoln’s contemporaries didn’t think he was the great man he is viewed as today. Would those contemporaries have been his political/ideological opponents, by any chance?
        Imagine a history written in a few decades time, about the Trump presidency…if someone were to read a book written by a person on the left vs a person on the right, they’d be likely to wonder if the books were written about two completely different people!

  7. Jeffrey L. Olson

    Two American Heroes. A badly needed palliative for my growing skepticism about the sanity of humanity.

    1. Jeffrey :

      Study Aristotle, re your losing faith
      in – your skepticism about – humanity :

      – excerpted from my collection of thoughts on America’s steep moral/cultural decline, “Paleoconservative Thoughts To Ponder” – :

      >    118) Multiracialism in any society is destructive
      >             to good social order by these three steps:
      >             1) Inherently less capable races necessarily
      >             must give way to inherently more capable ones
      >             by their natural inequalities and the competi-
      >             tions raised between them; 2) causing resent-
      >             ments and hostilities in those less capable
      >             races, which races’ natural resentments and
      >             hostilities explain interracial warring within
      >             all multiracial societies; and which 3) wreck
      >             high-culture civilization through either
      >             bloody revolution and/or the requisite dumbing-
      >             down of meritorious and moral frameworks–in
      >             order to placate those low-performing and dis-
      >             gruntled races.

      > In other words, humans are not commodities but distinctly
      > unique individuals attached to distinctly unique races,
      > holding inherently dissimilar intelligence, temperament,
      > character, and physical potentials, which invariably clash
      > within multiracial societies.

      > Black columnist and professor Walter Williams put it this
      > way in one of his essays on race:

      >       “Multiethnic societies
      >        are inherently unstable.”

      Aristotle had made the same point some 2300 years ago:

      Aristotle, on race-mixing:
                      “Another cause of revolution is
                     difference of races which do not
                       at once acquire a common spirit;
                       for a state is not the growth of
                       a day, any more than it grows out
                       of a multitude brought together
                       by accident.  Hence the reception
                       of strangers in colonies, either
                       at the time of their foundation
                       or afterwards, has generally
                       produced revolution.”

      > on bad democracy:
                      “[T]he last form of democracy . . .
                       [in which] all share alike   . . .
                       [and] the leaders have been in the
                       habit of including as many as they
                       can, and making citizens not only
                       of those who are legitimate, but
                       even of the illegitimate . . . This
                       is the way in which demagogues
                       proceed.  Whereas the right thing
                       would be to make no more additions
                       when the numbers of the commonality
                       exceeds that of the notables and of
                       the middle class,–beyond this not
                       to go . . . [these] measures taken
                       by tyrants appear all of them to be
                       democratic.  Such a government will
                       have many supporters, for most
                       persons would rather live in a
                       disorderly than in a sober manner.”

      > on how to install bad democracy:
                      “Fresh tribes and brotherhoods should
                       be established; the private rites of
                       families should be restricted and
                       converted into public ones; in short,
                       every contrivance should be adopted
                       which will mingle the citizens with
                       one another and get rid of old

      In fact, in his POLITICS, Aristotle
      lists 7 or so societies which had
      turned to bloody revolution because
      of incoming tribes.



      The above paragraphs are posted
      under another of Sharyl’s articles.

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