Since the 1960s, we have watched the media, whether print or broadcast, devolve into first an arm of the Democratic Party and more recently into a mouthpiece for the leftist fantasies of the woke crowd. Consider how the Trump “Russian Collusion” fantasy was given constant coverage while Hunter Biden’s laptop was dismissed. This bias has not gone unnoticed, and for that reason network news and most major daily newspapers have lost a significant fraction of their patronage.
Much of the lost patronage has found its way to alternatives such as Fox News and Newsmax. Beyond those options, there has been an explosion of websites that counter the leftist bent of the media.
Though these alternatives help offset the bias of the media at large, it is not enough.
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This is especially true when you consider the power that the social media giants have amassed. Between social media and the legacy press, a kind of censorship of non-woke thought and — just as importantly — facts that validate that thought.
Tip O’Neill was fond of saying “all politics is local.” Control of the local school board or the county courthouse are the building blocks upon which statewide elections for governors, senators, and legislatures are built. These local elections decide not only how schools will be run but how policing will be handled, and criminals prosecuted. Unfortunately, local elections in suburban communities surrounding major cities are becoming increasingly blue. A major reason is the censoring of information by legacy media. At the local level there is no Fox News and there are no websites with investigative reporters. Effectively, the legacy media has a monopoly on the truth and dispense only the truth that fits their narrative.
Upper Darby is the fifth-largest community in the Commonwealth and they may very well be broke. One would think that the Inquirer would find this newsworthy. Not so. Could the reason be that their writers effectively campaigned in the pages of the paper for the Democrats that have put the Township on the brink of financial collapse?
Another example is the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County. When Delaware County privatized their prison in 1996, it was the only privately run prison in the Commonwealth. Activists, public employee unions, and the Inquirer began a three-decade propaganda campaign to reverse the decision to privatize. Any unfortunate incident was given extensive media coverage. Accusations of inferior prisoner health care, food and prisoner rehabilitation programs were obediently repeated in the pages of the Inquirer and other local media outlets.
The County, when it was under Republican leadership, attempted to put the incidents into context. The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections releases annual reports on major incidents in county prisons, and Delaware County’s prison consistently had one-third the number of incidents of the average county prison. The prison was consistently given accolades from national accrediting agencies for its healthcare and programs. Independent consultant also verified that the prison was the lowest-cost prison in Southeast Pennsylvania.
To counter the local censorship, a new vehicle needs to be created, one that meets them head on by breaking their monopoly on information.
All this information was given to the activists, and they ignored it. It was also given to the Inquirer and other media outlets; unfortunately they also ignored it. The public was the victim of the inherent bias of the media. The Democrats have taken control of the county council and the prison will now be returned to government control. Not only will taxpayers be socked with additional taxes, but the prisoners will also pay the price.
We are in a war of ideas, one in which the enemy has significant advantages. The control of the legacy media and social media by “woke” sycophants has effectively censored information available to the public. On a national level they are meeting some resistance; on the local level not so much. To counter the local censorship, a new vehicle needs to be created, one that meets them head on by breaking their monopoly on information.
I believe that Broad + Liberty is that vehicle. The issues discussed above have been covered by Broad + Liberty, and in each case we disseminated information that would otherwise be hidden by the legacy media. In many cases they helped bend the curve, unfortunately in some cases not enough.
As a startup, Broad + Liberty is building momentum quickly, its monthly count of discrete visitors increased dramatically in a short period of time. Much of the growth is due to the decision by Broad + Liberty to hire an investigative reporter. Rather than be another website with essays and op-eds, a hard news dimension was added.
Since the addition of an investigative reporter Broad + Liberty has broken stories that have not only local impact but also national impact. One need only to read the stories on Mark Zuckerberg’s interference in the 2020 election to see the importance of having an independent news source.
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They need the resources to hire more reporters and staff to back them up. Every rock we turn over seems to have a snake under it, so many more rocks need to be turned over. Reporters who work for the legacy media will not report information that they consider contrary to their chosen narrative. On those occasions where something must be reported, they add their own slant. Think of how parents who challenge local school boards are depicted. Those parents need the truth to be told as to what they are about.
Expanding staff, while critical, is not their only need. They need to expand their digital footprint. As successful as they have been, they have only scratched the surface. With access to the right talent and money for advertising, Broad + Liberty could become the force in the region that will push the legacy media off the cliff they are standing on.
Wally Nunn is the former Chairman of Delaware County Council and Delaware County Jail Oversight Board Member.