ICYMI: Recent Court Opinions Highlight Media Bias

Judges on two different courts have recently highlighted problems with media bias. The first is a dissent written by Judge Laurence Silberman in partial opposition to the D.C. Circuit's decision to dismiss a defamation case. As Fox News reports:

The case centers on a 2018 report from Global Witness Publishing that accused Liberian government officials Christiana Tah and Randolph McClain of accepting bribes from Exxon. Tah and McClain sued Global Witness alleging defamation and their claims were dismissed in Friday's ruling. 

However, in the course of his partial dissent, D.C. Circuit Court Judge Laurence Silberman went on an unprecedented written tirade against the press, in which he argued that the Supreme Court should revisit the landmark 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan ruling that granted the media broad First Amendment protections from being sued by public officials.

In his dissent, Judge Silberman notably opined on the bias that exists in the media against the Republican Party: 

"The increased power of the press is so dangerous today because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions," said Silberman, who was nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan and has been a senior judge on the D.C. Circuit Court since 2000.

"Although the bias against the Republican Party—not just controversial individuals—is rather shocking today, this is not new; it is a long-term, secular trend going back at least to the ’70s," Silberman wrote. "Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets. And the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction. The orientation of these three papers is followed by The Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe). Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along."

The Reagan-appointed judge accused Silicon Valley of filtering news "in ways favorable to the Democratic Party" and fueling censorship, citing the suppression of the New York Post's bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden in the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election. 

"It is well-accepted that viewpoint discrimination 'raises the specter that the Government may effectively drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace,'" Silberman said. "But ideological homogeneity in the media—or in the channels of information distribution—risks repressing certain ideas from the public consciousness just as surely as if access were restricted by the government."

The dissent also addressed the leanings of specific news networks and the influence of Big Tech:

Judge Silberman's dissent in its entirety can be read here.

Later the same week, Project Veritas survived a motion to dismiss in the New York State Supreme Court brought by The New York Times as part of an ongoing defamation suit against the Times for articles written about one of Project Veritas' projects. As explained by The Federalist:

A New York judge slammed The New York Times for blurring the lines between news and opinion. The paper had attempted to get a defamation lawsuit against it dismissed on the grounds that, among other things, its reporters were just expressing their personal opinions when they disparaged the investigative journalists at Project Veritas.

The judge ruled the lawsuit can go forward, finding that Project Veritas showed sufficient evidence that The New York Times may have been motivated by “actual malice” and acted with “reckless disregard” when it ran several articles against the investigative journalism outfit.

In his ruling, Judge Charles Wood called out The New York Times for its shoddy reporting: 

While The New York Times alleged that the Project Veritas journalism was “deceptive” or “disinformation,” Wood said that better described their insertion of opinions into their news stories.

“The Articles that are the subject of this action called the Video ‘deceptive,’ but the dictionary definitions of ‘disinformation’ and ‘deceptive’ provided by defendants’ counsel certainly apply to Astor’s and Hsu’s failure to note that they injected their opinions in news articles, as they now claim,” he added.

Judge Wood's ruling can be read in its entirety here.

It's no coincidence that the media's bias was brought up by the courts so close in time to each other. The mainstream media's bias continues to get progressively worse as it seeks to push the narrative of the Left regardless of what the truth is.