Upton Sinclair Perfected The Art Of The Misleading Media Narrative

Uh, Upton Sinclair lived a long time ago — conservatives have had plenty of time to figure out the information war but still are stumbling and bumbling and hiring political consultants to waste hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Here is C.C. Taylor writing at The Federalist:

Today is famed twentieth-century progressive muckraker Upton Sinclair’s birth anniversary. He continues to influence today’s liberal media.

We often act as if media bias is some modern development of our supposedly hyperpartisan world, but it has been the norm throughout human history. What is most different about modern media bias is that the media tries to hide it under a veneer of objectivity. It has been more common for reporters to disclose their political affiliations, either outright through long relationships with readers or early on in their writings, or implicitly by working for a newspaper that openly espoused a particular political view.

Today is the birth anniversary of the famed Upton Sinclair, who in the early twentieth century paved the way for much of today’s breathless political reporting from a progressive vantage point. Let’s give an example.

The road to Abu Ghraib began, in some ways, in 2002 at Guantánamo Bay. It was there that the Bush administration began building up a worldwide military detention system, deliberately located on bases outside American soil and sheltered from public visibility and judicial review. The administration shunned the scrutiny of independent rights monitors like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. It presumed that suspected agents of terrorism did not deserve normal legal protections, and it presumed that American officials could always tell a terrorist from an innocent bystander.

That was The New York Times’ editorial description, on May 7, 2004, of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, in Cuba. Titled “The New Iraq Crisis; The Military Archipelago,” the editorial characterized Guantanamo as the nexus of an American prison system located mostly at U.S. military bases that violated basic international norms of treating prisoners and condoned gratuitous physical and psychological brutality.

Read more: The Federalist

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