Tom Lipscomb: “How do you know they’ll print it?”

Investigative reporter/editor Tom Lipscomb is a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for the Digital Future (USC) and the founder of Times Books. He broke stories on questions about the military records of both John Kerry and George W. Bush in the 2004 election in the Chicago Sun-Times and the New York Sun. Tom argues that the media’s allegiance to the Democratic Party is suppressing news:

In one of the most egregious violations of American pretensions to an independent press, John Kerry conspired with the Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the Los Angeles Times organizations to set the ground rules for the long awaited release of his papers after his defeat in 2004.

No one has revealed what the agreement was, but there had been eager anticipation by the public and news media punctuated by lies and promises by Kerry to release them for years before.

When they were finally “released,” the receiving news organizations, none of which had shown any ability or interest in pursuing the numerous discrepancies in Kerry’s claimed war experiences as shown by other records and witnesses, preferring to characterize them as “not proven,” proceeded to put out one to two days’ brief extracts from the papers which contained little of note besides Kerry’s inferior (to George Bush’s) college grades.

When I pressed those news organizations, and others for access, they refused. I reminded them I had run the book publishing company that published The Pentagon Papers in their entirety and at considerable expense, and that today with Internet publishing, it would cost practically nothing to put them entirely online in the interest of answering the public’s many questions about Kerry. And I asked, as with the Pentagon Papers, wasn’t it in the public interest to do so?

They still refused to give access to anyone.

It seems highly likely to me, from what I had already learned about the many fraudulent statements in the material I had been able to see, that had they done so, Kerry would never have become our Secretary of State.

It was the first case I know of showing the press as an outrageously partisan player in American politics, far less interested in its traditional role of informing the public what it wished to know and ought to be aware of than protecting their political allies. And interestingly, circulation and advertising in newspapers and magazines suffered a catastrophic drop about the same time from which it is not recovering.

The strange case of the invisible Hillary Clinton-Sid Blumenthal correspondence might well be in that tradition. Only this time it is worse.

The coverup on Benghazi is one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the American Presidency. There can be little doubt that the details of that scandal which may well have affected a Presidential election, were carefully left in doubt by mainstream media journalists, more than 80 percent of whom were in support of the Obama administration.

We don’t know which members of the American press are refusing to publish or even reveal what they know about the copies of the Clinton-Blumenthal e-mails “Guccifer” claims to have supplied them, but if there is one thing we do know now it is that we can no longer trust the mainstream media to report in the tradition of Adolph Ochs’s instruction to his New York Times: “without fear or favor.”

“Guccifer” should be smart enough to give them directly to “Thesmokinggun” or other investigative internet media, if he wants to get these emails to the public.

As Forbes points out in a fine and well-balanced account, left hanging by their own mainstream media, Americans only have access to what is claimed in the “Guccifer” material are Russian sources like Pravda, Moscow Times, and RT. Those are hardly sources without major political spin games of their own.

Some may remember the question hanging in the air at the end of the of Sydney Pollack’s film Three Days of the Condor. A CIA agent challenges whistleblower Robert Redford who has just given classified material on a scandal to the New York Times. “How do you know they’ll print it?” he asked.

It seemed a ridiculous question back in 1975, still a year before America’s bicentennial celebration. Of course they would publish it. As Abe Rosenthal said to me one day about some hot manuscript: “If I get my hands on it, it is going in the paper.”

Now, it is a valid question. News media are no longer media. They are active partisan players in American politics. And it appears they decide what the “news” is according to what fits their scenario, rather than what’s fit to print.

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