28 Jul, 2023 Independent news – an essential for freedom
Independent news – an essential for freedom
There can be no freedom of conscience, thought or choice without good INFORMATION! This article expresses concern at the corruption of public media, gives examples, then suggests alternative sources of information, to enable a balance of information.
Like many, I continue to feel concerned about what I view as the continuing death of journalism. A state-funded media, who are primarily ‘Left’ by persuasion, is not a balanced media!
In terms of effect, the personal bias’ of those placed in positions of influence is feeding a culture of negativity toward our nation’s history in the Christian faith, specifically undermining (1) family values that are known to bring broad wellbeing and security to people, (2) the ‘value of life’ – because all life is just an accident of chance anyway, and (3) with that the removal of a rational basis for sustaining the idea of human rights and freedoms.
A key revelation
The starting point for that change is INFORMATION. This is a significant understanding to capture.
This is why free speech is then so important.
- Without the freedom of information there can be no freedom of conscience.
- The free-flow of a balance of information(‘news’) is essential to democracy – because an intelligent vote means nothing if a person doesn’t first have access to a fair balance of information!
- The desire for power and control is therefore what sits behind the control of media, and education.
To note it – those with power will allow a certain ‘scope’ of perspectives and discussion, if they are wise. If communism (or similar tyrannical Government) is controlling people by force, socialism is controlling them by vote. Note that even communist nations have elections these days. The façade of freedom keeps a population passive. If follows that being a democracy doesn’t necessarily mean you are free. The more important question is, do you actually have a freedom of information – and therefore of speech (because without free speech there is no freedom of information).
This is well illustrated by considering the illusion of a free press in America. For example, CNN and Fox News in the US both have the same funders! This despite representing opposite political viewpoints. A certain scope of discussion is permitted – to maintain order.
Faith and a free press
I suggest that a truly free press will only exist where Christian (or similar) values are held. It was Christianity in history that gained us a free press – to note that.
- Public news media is sometimes called the ‘fourth estate’.
- The point is that they are supposed to be separate to and independent of those in the seats of power – whether Government, or the wealthy elite who might otherwise buy off the politicians – as also the journalists.
- Journalism is therefore supposed to be about calling out injustice. It’s a protection mechanism for the public. It brings accountability to those in power.
- With huge media ‘conglomerates’ now controlling most news in the Western world, the ‘fourth estate’ is now falling over.
At the core of true journalism (and related democratic freedoms) is the ‘fear of God’.
- The journalist needs a moral ‘compass’ in the heart as much as the politician does.
- Without this, what is there to stop the journalist – or politician – being ‘bought out’?
- International power-players in our times are stating their globalist goals openly these days. Listen in for a while to speeches by key people at the UN, EU, WEC and WHO. Some directly and openly state their intent to support efforts at a global Government, with the sovereignty of individual nations subjugated – all ‘for the greater good’.
- Those in power always believe their ‘plan for good’ is actually good.
- Previously called the ‘new world order’, since about 2000 it’s been rebranded as ‘sustainable development’. Same thing – different name. The ‘global reset’ vocabulary has then been added more recently – and it is all, of course, for our good. They get complete economic control, and ability to control all parts of our lives also – but be assured, we’ll be better off!
- It’s human pride at play – no different to any other attempted power grab in history.
- It’s seductive to those wanting more power or affirmation.
- It’s hard for a political leader in our own nation to stand against it also. They have a lot of power, and tactics for winning over ever-changing politicians to their wider agendas!
- Without the kind of selflessness, servant-heartedness and integrity the Christian faith brings, almost anyone can be bought out!
Our news media / programmes are therefore something of a performance. They own and control the ‘stage’ upon which the performers – like our politicians, get to dance. The media also control the curtain, the props and the lighting. They get to decide who is seen, what question they are asked, and which part of what they say gets heard.
- There is very little they cannot control.
- ‘Freedom of information’ is a farce if the fourth estate is compromised!
- This has all been well articulated by teachers of socialism like Machiavelli, Hegal, Marx and Alenski (who all promote this kind of behaviour as being good – for those in power).
What if we had a conservative news channel? What if this were independently funded – separate to Government? It would make a difference – because so much news is ideological, representing a bias – and so much news around the world never gets mentioned. The media owners, with their editors and journalists, are the ‘lens’ through which we understand what is real and true!
A very interesting case study
America is an interesting study. It would be true to say (as far as I can tell) that they have the most considered and ‘protected’ political systems in all of history. It’s central goal is the freedoms and resulting wellbeing of the people – in contrast to ‘top down’ Governments that represent basically everything else in history.
- Yet even Fox News recently fired Tucker Carlson!
To consider the brilliance of the American system, the US has (a) the US Constitution, with its (b) amendments, and its (c) Bill of Rights’. To understand the level of thought given to establishing this system, many of the founders declined to sign the US Constitution – despite the great things it affirms. Why? They believing it still too weak. Only with the Bill of Rights added did they sign – while warning in clear form that even that could be compromised. Without integrity in the heart of the leaders – like that coming from the Christian faith, any system can be corrupted.
- But there is likely no system of Government ever imagined – or attempted, than the American system! A study of its founders, and their thinking, leaves one with a profound sense of respect for the extent they went to, to establish a form of Government that might protect the people from tyrannical power – while knowing all people who are given power are then prone to tyranny (the increase of their power).
At its core, therefore, is a nexus of checks and balanced purposed to disable the ‘centralising of power’, to avoid the abuses of power that naturally follow. The British system had achieved much good in this area – but America took that much further!
- The system has checks and balances in it to ensure that the Government will always serve the people – not the other way around.
- The core idea is therefore the ‘limitation of powers’ – because it is the nature of power that it accumulates, and it corrupts.
- The American system therefore created competing branches of Government – who would fight with each other for power. To put that differently – knowing people would be selfish, they created a system that played selfishness against selfishness, to ensure no person with power ever got everything they wanted. They hoped they would avoid any one branch of power ever gaining all power – thereby sustaining human liberty and freedom.
- It is the most successful system in all of history in achieving this!
- It has produced one of the longest-standing systems of Government in history!
- It has also enabled the greatest of human freedoms, prosperity, equality and charity – despite the ever-present desire of selfish humans to corrupt it for personal gain!
- As much as our own Kiwi bias doesn’t like to admit there is much good in America (our ‘tall poppy syndrome’ maybe?), I believe these statements are fair and defensible.
- Their system is sadly now (I suspect) at its tipping point. There is corruption in the judicial system – though not entirely. The voting systems has been tampered with, with laws made that undermine its integrity – making the corruption of voting much easier. It’s like watching a very dramatic TV series painfully playing itself out.
About Tucker Carlson (a more specific – and very interesting – illustration)
If you need a shorter read, skip these comments about Tucker. To me – the current drama is intriguing, because within the mix of the things those with power are doing, we’re watching public culture change!
To understand who Tucker is – he’s the biggest news commentator in the world! That is no small statement – and one you’d never know from the impressions of ‘Fox’ given by NZ media.
- He has been fearless as a journalist in a way that is rare – even on Fox.
- He is also highly gifted as a communicator – with balance, articulation, grace, personal security (vs insecurity), clarity of thought and humour.
- His strengths make him intimidating to those he interviews where he suspects there is a corrupting of power – while his audience makes him a threat to those with power!
- I suspect he is probably a 1 in 100 million kind of person. His giftings and talent is that exceptional, and that rare!
- (I listen to him not merely to consider what he might say in the mix of my media, but to observe his manner, style, intellect, people skill, intuition and much more. He is truly remarkable!)
To understand the scale of his audience – his Fox News programme alone was 10 times bigger than CNN was in total (with its 3000 staff). That’s worthy of note.
- Again, you’d never know this listening to New Zealand news – the bias of which pours scorn upon Fox News, while esteeming news agencies that are actually small and dying by comparison (even though very well funded – because they support the agendas of the wealthy elite – who are a very different group to the wealthy, to note that. The issue is power!).
The problem with Tucker is therefore that he is doing journalism! While everyone else is bowing the knee to the powerful elite by comparison – saying only what they are told they are allowed to say, Tucker is dissecting events and media with fast-thinking insight, sometimes agreeing with the voices near him – but sometimes saying the very opposite!
- He is a critic of the Left and the Right.
- He interviews and gives praise to Democrats as readily as Republicans – if he believes their cause is just and fair.
- But this is where the problem comes. He is a free thinker – and therefore not submitted to the expected ‘narratives’.
- For example, he sees the Western narrative that says ‘Putin Bad – Zalinski good’ , and points out that ‘that’s only half a picture!’ (Our Western nations broke treaties made with Russia after WW2 – not the other way around. This catalysed the Russian response – which is this current war. Nigel Farage was vocal in warning the UN of this as far back as 2008, saying they’d create a war. If you back an angry dog into a corner what do you think is going to happen – and especially when you are breaking your agreements by being there?)
- So Tucker is accused of Russian collusion!
Regarding Covid and the jab people ‘had to take’ – Tucker called out discrepancies in claims and evidences, while holding no view on the jab itself except to point out where he saw evidences of the corruption in the information, coming from those with power.
- 70% of news media funding in the US comes from the pharmaceutical industry.
- Pfizers vaccination was the most profitable single product in human history.
- It’s not hard to see why a free press can be a problem.
However Tuckers biggest recent sin was to show the Biden administration up by single-handedly uncovering the dishonesty being the claimed January 6th insurrection.
- This reflects the power and importance of journalism.
- The claims were leveraged around cutting videos to show some bits that looked out of control and violent -and then burying the rest.
- Those very few video clips were then played on ‘loop’ via media outlets for over a year.
- 34,000 hours of video footage were concurrently withheld from the public.
- 34,000 hours of video footage were also withheld from the courts – so people were prosecuted without needed evidence – which often spoke in their defence!
- Tucker broke it open – getting that footage.
- Suddenly you see a largely peaceful demonstration by concerned citizens – though with a few ‘crazies’ in the mix.
- The majority protested outside, while a number toured their parliament buildings – though almost entirely peacefully!
- They even stood in lines – being escorted and shown around by police.
- They walked slowly, looking, talking, taking photos, praying.
- The ‘Sharman’ – hailed as the ‘leader of the insurrection’ – is seen at one time with 9 police around him, being shown around the building. He was no threat.
- The ‘Sharman’ then stops to pray for the police and Government, and then he (like the other) leaves the building peaceably.
- Jailed for a number of years for his role in ‘leading an insurrection’ the ‘Sharman’ (who is a war vet with psychological challenges) was released a couple of weeks after Tuckers reports – because the charges were so clearly false.
- (The four police officers that media also claims had been killed were also found to be quite ok. One is seen walking around showing protestors parts of the buildings… a day after his supposed death).
- A year of televised legal proceedings – creating an ‘insurrection’ narrative – were undermined!
If the fourth estate (the free press) becomes compromised, the public can be easily led to believe anything. (And the reasons Tucker had to go are clear).
Three big media conglomerates own most major Western news agencies – whether left or right leading. The image connected with this article is of this.
So, what about New Zealand?
As church leaders, I believe we need to understand the implications of the corruption of the fourth estate – so we can respond
- Debating issues is difficult – because opinions will be affected by a mixture of information and mis-information – even from those appointed to stop mis-information.
- I think the key thing we can do is to help people understand what is happening – and therefore how to read or interpret’ the ‘news’
- An interview on this topic by Bob McCoskrie with Brendan Malone is truly insightful (view here).
- We then could play a small role in helping them find a couple of alternative sources for good information – to enable a balance that will not be there otherwise.
As painful as it is to say, the most trustworthy news sources will likely be those that are NOT funded (a) by a Government or (b) by those connected in some way to the rising ‘global elite’.
- There can be benefit in explaining this point alone.
The way we view and trust ‘experts’ needs informing also. Experts exist in universities that are funded by global elites. Data doesn’t lie – but interpretation does, and bias can even exist in the data, depending how a study a study was conducted. There are certainly many examples of academic departments that are funded by members of the ‘global elite’ – with ideological bias’ coming through in their ‘expert opinions’ as a result. (I have examples – but refrain from giving details to avoid engagement around opinions on the topics this raises).
- What I can say is that even interviews with experts on TV are sometimes ‘bought and paid for’.
Some possible sources for a balance of information
- Family First
- The fact that they were deregistered as a charity by the Government assures an audience that they have no ulterior motive or funder.
- They’re also almost entirely ignored by public media now – who don’t want to even give them name recognition if possible – due to their own bias (‘cancel culture’).
- They ironically produce reports based data – often including the Governments own data. It’s ironic!
- Of note, they supply in a few forms of media – including social media articles, articles written that public media could pick up on, McBlog video news reports, and also the ‘Straight Talk’ one hour long news panel discussions
- Free Speech Union
- Again, many in Government don’t seem to like them a lot – which speaks positively of their integrity and role.
- Public media are suspicious of them, which sadly reflects in their favour again.
- They’re also not getting Government funding, or funding connected with the growing global elite – unlike many others, who are funded to create reports, and give opinions, that are then explained to the public as the reasons certain decisions need making.
- From overseas
- Sky News Australia – They are funded by the same groups as Fox, Time and CNN – but are ‘permitted’ to give a certain scope of balancing content. This is important.
- I occasionally enjoy JP Sears – an American comedian and political commentator
- I enjoy Babylon Bee for their satire
- Fox News engage with real issues – letting the public hear a range of perspectives. This remains true, despite the bias of NZ public media against them – therefore seeking to ‘tarnish’ their reputation so people will never think to tune in to actually hear and consider what is being said.
- GBN (Great Britain News) is a remarkable story. Started just two years ago, I understand it now has the highest news ratings in the UK, and Nigel Farage was voted the most popular news commentator in the UK. All this happened within two years – reflecting a grassroots desire for a restoration of balance to public journalism.
- Channel News Asia – This is based out of Singapore, where I previously lived. Their interest is personal (national) and economic wellbeing – so they analyse all matters through that lens with a view to future stability. This is refreshing – because it is largely free of the ideological (ideas based) bias we are bombarded with here – even in the middle of sentences on unrelated topics (or in the illustrations used in our children’s math questions). This results in a very ‘clean’ news.
- WION from India is, however, a favourite. I’ve especially enjoyed their programme ‘Gravitas’. The journalist Palki Sharma – previously of ‘Gravitas’, now heads up a news programme with ‘VANTAGE on Firstpost’. That is refreshing here is that they don’t have the strongly globalistic / left-leaning bias of Western media – nor are they particularly great friends with the likes of Russia and China. They are instead, proud Indians. The result is this strange thing called ‘Journalism’ – where they will comment on various events in international news – without much of a bias!
- Recommended by some friends of mine (who I asked)
- The Daily Wire – based in the US this is big and growing news ‘channel’, with excellent presenters – most notably including voices like Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson and Candice Owens. It is very US focused, but is engaging with the same ‘culture wars’ we’re all up against.
- Bill Muehlenberg in Australia – is actually an American, but a prolific writer with thousands of articles on his website – ‘CultureWatch’. A daily email that can be subscribed to.
- Martin Isles is known for his insightfulness. He recently moved away from the ACL in Australia to join ‘Answers in Genesis’. It is likely that he will continue to comment on current national and global issues – because he is a very clear thinker.
- It will also be interesting to see what Tucker Carlson ends up doing – noting he’s been the biggest news presenter in the West.
- Let’s discuss with our members the importance of needing to learn how to ‘read’ (or interpret) the news. We cannot believe everything we hear. (Again, please note this very insightful interview by Bob McCoskrie with Brendan Malone on this topic)
- Let’s encourage them to seek out a balance of information before truly believing, promoting or voting for something or someone.
- And if you see an initiative come about that could become a healthy basis for a competing news agency – bringing a balance to what we currently have, support it. It’s vital – for the sake of the freedoms and wellbeing of everyone!
DAVE MANN. Dave is a networker and creative communicator with a vision to see an understanding of the Christian faith continuing and also being valued in the public square in Aotearoa-New Zealand. He has innovated numerous conversational resources for churches, and has coordinated various national nationwide multimedia Easter efforts purposed to open up conversations between church and non-church people about the Christian faith and its significance to our nation’s history and values. Dave is the Producer of the ‘Chronicles of Paki’ illustrated NZ history series created for educational purposes, and the author of various other books and booklets including “Because we care”, “That Leaders might last” and “The Elephant in the Room”. Married to Heather, they have four boys and reside in Tauranga, New Zealand.