The Escalating Assault on Citizen Journalism

Monday, November 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

By Jack Cashill
November 26, 2018

In December 1997, after the FBI arrested independent journalist James Sanders for investigating the destruction of TWA Flight 800, not a single reporter at a post-arraignment press conference managed to frame even one First Amendment question.

In fact, the Newsday reporter argued the government’s case, insisting the Justice Department found insufficient evidence to declare Sanders a journalist. The fact that Sanders had already written two successful investigatory books did not count. By challenging the media’s defense of a Democratic administration, Sanders all but sacrificed his First Amendment rights.

At the time of Sanders’s arrest roughly 40 percent of America was using the Internet. Within 20 years that figure would approach 90 percent. The Internet was the great equalizer. It enabled citizen journalists to report stories that the major media underreported or failed to report at all. As the reach of the Internet grew, the apprehension of the progressive establishment grew along with it. Sanders’s conviction on a bogus conspiracy charge was a sign of payback to come.

Here I use the phrase “progressive establishment” broadly to include any institution, private or public, which works to mute the voice of independent conservative journalists. In Sanders’s case, the active institution was the FBI aided and abetted by the mainstream media.

This past week, the progressive establishment attempted to silence two more independents. In the first case, Twitter and Facebook conspired to deny the audacious 25-year-old journalist Laura Loomer her rapidly growing audience. In the second, Special Counsel Robert Mueller lowered the boom on Jerome Corsi, a 72-year-old Harvard Ph.D.

An all too typical headline this week from ABC News — “Conspiracy theorist becomes key figure as Mueller builds case” — delegitimizes Corsi even before the article begins.

Corsi is not a journalist; he is a “conspiracy theorist.” The media are not opposed to conspiracy theorizing in general — Michael Moore did win an Oscar — but rather to theorizing that has the potential to harm the progressive establishment.

Corsi is said to be cutting a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. According to ABC, Mueller and pals believe that “Corsi may have had advance knowledge that the email account of Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, had been hacked and that WikiLeaks had obtained a trove of damning emails from it.”

Even if true, it is not at all clear why a journalist should have his career destroyed because of his “advance knowledge” of anything. If Corsi worked for ABC, the media would be howling in unison as they did upon the murder of “progressive” Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Corsi’s case is instructive. The first major “conspiracy” he helped bring to life was the media conspiracy to suppress John Kerry’s dubious war record. What prompted Corsi’s partner, John O’Neill, to launch the Swift Boat project was the Kerry campaign’s use of the “band of brothers” theme to position Kerry was a war hero.

The Rest…HERE

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