Left’s belief in free market of ideas honoured only in the breach

What is even more disturbing is the incestuous relationship between the left and vast tracts of the legacy media

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Bruce DowbigginThere’s a liberal truism that goes, people can believe anything they want – so long as it’s the same thing. As the Women’s March On Washington amply demonstrated, the left’s free market in ideas and opinions is honoured more in the breach than in the observance.

The robust turnout last weekend is a classic example of how the progressive left enforces conformity. Not only did organizers insist that marchers be pro-choice to get their Modern Feminism badge, they also had to accept a list of progressive positions on everything from Palestine to pollution. One-stop policy shopping!

Despite the fact that their enemy Donald Trump had won 42 per cent of all women voters and 53 per cent of white women, the enthusiastic paraders wearing their fake vagina costumes still insisted that they, and they alone, carried the hopes and fears of modern women.

To prove their seriousness Madonna revealed she’d thought of burning down the White House. And Ashley Judd compared Trump to Hitler and said her pussy ain’t for grabbin’…

Chacun a son gout.

This uniformity gives the left – stunned by losing to Trump – much comfort. While nominally believers in self-determination, the Washington marchers are far more comfortable outsourcing the hard job of thinking to towering intellects such as actors Lena Dunham and Shia LeBoeuf. It gets them invited to better parties, and it lowers the stress levels.

But that is allowed under laws of free assembly. What is disturbing is the willful partnering of the left with vast tracts of the legacy media. Outfits like the Washington Post or the Toronto Star now find common cause with the culture wars of political radicals and retreads like political activist Angela Davis. Their pages rapturously embrace the talking points. Metro newspapers, the subway fish wrap, screamed We Are The Resistance on A1.

It has not always been so. Many newsrooms even 20 years ago still traded in the exchange of ideas. (OK, the Toronto Star has been hopelessly wet for years, but it’s a business model that works for them.) Healthy scepticism came, in part, from the principle of fairness in journalism. But it also was a product of social diversity in newsrooms. There were grouchy old guys who’d covered the cop shop for years, grizzled reporters who used to see a lot of dead people and women who’d worked in the cynical sub-basement of politics. They were not easily seconded to global nostrums of equality and re-distribution.

They fought at editorial meetings and complained at late-night watering holes when their experience told them that a fresh-faced young assignment editor was full of crap. Their main focus was on getting a story right.

As we’ve seen in the last decade, the passion in newsrooms today is getting the dialectic right. For reinforcing the views of a closed society of journalists. How else to explain the collective amnesia accompanying the Trump inauguration? Suddenly a media pack that snoozed though eight years of Obama lies about the IRS, courts, Benghazi, Affordable Care Act, military, email servers etc. was now on a truth hunt against Trump.

Which is as it should be. Trump and facts are often distant relatives. But fairness requires noting that Obama, too, was a serial liar as he pushed his progressive agenda by phone and pen.

Obama took the backseat to no one in the art of bending the truth. To take just one corner of the Obama’s duplicity: Kimberley Strassel’s book The Intimidation Game painstakingly details the Obama government’s systematic use of the IRS, the Federal Elections Commission, the Freedom of Information Act, the State Department, the ACA and multiple other branches to harass and silence conservative groups. Private tax and personal information miraculously entered the public realm with absolutely no one in the left-leaning bureaucracies doing the leaking.

All using the cover of lies provided by President Smooth and his media sycophants. Which somehow escaped the laser scrutiny of the reporters who are now calling foul on every Trumpian claim.

Strassel shows how, after losing the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Obama’s operatives changed tactics, using the claim of transparency to target conservative donors. They also sought to change the First Amendment provisions on free speech. In this they were abetted by media that repeated the libels and lies against donors as being anti-gay or anti-abortion or anti-Islamic.

According to the Washington media pack, Trump supporters are the outliers, the Luddites and worse. The folks being stoked by Ashley Judd’s wild-eyed ravings on race and Susan Sarandon’s class resentment screeds – these are the mainstream voices in America. The Stepford Voters singing To Sir With Love on SNL – these are the patriots.

It’s a good thing legacy media is already in its death throes. It’s also nice to know that there are plenty of progressives willing to head to the ash heap of history with them.

Troy Media columnist Bruce Dowbiggin career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he is also the publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

Bruce Dowbiggin

Bruce Dowbiggin's career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. He is a two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster

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