In the age of Trump, the arbiters of ethical press behavior show more bias.
Despite upheavals in the way Americans consume news, liberals still control powerful perches overseeing much of the U.S. media, and still dominate the levers of control of journalism education, and influence over direction.
Within this sector, dissent is not well tolerated.
“It’s infuriating to see journalists at the Trump press conference acting as if they should be treated as neutral when no one in America believes they are.”
LifeZette itself has been targeted by powerful liberals who consider themselves among the keepers of journalistic integrity.
President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted a LifeZette report Tuesday night explaining the unprecedented decision by liberal digital outlet BuzzFeed to publish salacious and unverified allegations about Trump and some of the resulting backlash from journalists.
The 35-page memo, which BuzzFeed itself admitted is unsubstantiated, was passed on by major news outlets when it was first circulated last fall.
Trump appeared to agree with LifeZette’s reporting that BuzzFeed’s publication of the unverified dossier was “a shocking breakdown of journalistic ethics. Even Mother Jones declined to publish the full details and dossier.”
The Left reacted very poorly to the upbraiding of their favorite new media outlet, BuzzFeed, run by Editor Ben Smith and founded by Jonah Peretti, an avowed Trump foe who, perhaps in a fit of electoral desperation, accused Ivanka Trump of crude racism without a shred of evidence weeks before the election.
BuzzFeed got some backup from Ann Marie Lipinski, the former Chicago Tribune chief editor and the curator (read: director) of Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation, a journalism fellowship program founded in 1938.
Lipinski was quick to bash LifeZette after Trump tweeted the story critical of the liberal outlet’s decision to publish the memo.
“This is the web site @realDonaldTrump is retweeting to debunk @BuzzFeed Russia story,” Lipinski tweeted on Jan. 10 with a link to a smear job on LifeZette written by a former ThinkProgress staffer. ThinkProgress is a liberal activist organization founded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta.
The activist liberal author of the baseless anti-LifeZette smear, somewhat ironically, has a history of writing stories of questionable veracity .
But none of that seemed to matter to Lipinski in her rush to condemn a report critical of a liberal news site tweeted by the president-elect.
Lipinski did not immediately return an email sent to her staff by LifeZette.
One of the questions Lipinski was asked is if right-leaning professional journalists would be welcome at Nieman, one of three major journalism fellowship programs in the United States. (The others are at the University of Michigan and Stanford University.)
Lipinski’s tweet is Exhibit A in how the journalism sector crafts a leftist worldview within the industry, by churning out fellow believers and young Turks at journalism schools, journalism fellowship programs, and news institutions themselves.
The sector does so by repeatedly crafting narratives within their programs that stress not just liberalism, but open hostility toward Republicans, the business sector, and conservatives.
At the home page of the Nieman Foundation, the word “Truth” has been altered, with the letters “M” and “P” blotting out the last two letters of “truth.”
The gag: Trump has trumped the truth; he’s a liar.
It’s a decidedly slanted view from an otherwise vaunted journalism program that was established for professional journalists in 1938.
The program has $130.7 million in assets, according to a Nieman staffer. Annually, the program furthers the training and experience of 2,000 journalists from all over the world.
Yet Lipinski’s tweets and a sophomoric graphic on the homepage aren’t the only evidence the program is riddled with left-wing slants. Nieman’s 2016 seminar speakers included such left-wing intellectuals (and non-journalists) as Noam Chomsky, the famous anarcho-socialist from MIT, and Harvard’s own Lawrence Lessig, the Democratic attorney who tried to flip electors away from Trump.
Nieman’s bias could be a Harvard University problem. The Ivy League school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is famous for its snooty liberalism.
“When recruiting for the College Republican club, we say we’ll take anyone to the right of Karl Marx,” said Kent Haeffner, Harvard CR president.
Yet the bias isn’t just evident at Harvard’s Nieman programs.
Lipinski is on the board of the Poynter Institute, an influential journalism school that owns the liberal Tampa Bay Times.
Poynter has been recruited by Facebook as an arbiter of what is fake vs. real news on the social media outlet, generating alarm among some conservatives fearful of partisan motivations in Poynter’s refereeing.
And on Wednesday night, the Columbia Journalism Review endorsed BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the unverified, salacious allegations against Trump.
It was a surprise endorsement from the magazine, which is published by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Ivy League school is considered one of the best schools of journalism in the nation.
Dan Gainor, vice president of Business and Culture at the conservative-leaning Media Research Center, said many storied journalism institutions are not politically neutral.
Gainor blasted outlets like CNN for expecting to be called on during Trump’s Wednesday press conference. CNN was first to publish a story on the dubious Trump memo, but did not publish the 35-page report.
“It’s infuriating to see journalists at the Trump press conference acting as if they should be treated as neutral when no one in America believes they are,” Gainor said.
Social media has further helped show just how biased liberal journalists are, Gainor said. Indeed, in Lipinski’s case, social media has enhanced her ability to openly celebrate her liberal values.
“God bless Meryl Streep,” Lipinski tweeted on Jan. 8, endorsing the speech Streep gave attacking Trump.