By Noel Sheppard
"The greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession, or another terrorist attack. The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias."
So said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) last week as he announced the creation of a new Media Fairness Caucus, telling NewsMax, "If the American people can't get good information, can't get the facts, and can't make good decisions, then we simply don't have a viable democracy."
Although folks in the liberal blogosphere predictably ridiculed Smith's comments, any honest assessment supports his concerns about the continually declining journalistic standards employed by today's news media.
All one need do is examine what happened during the 2008 presidential campaign, as well as since, and it is quite easy to conclude that not only is democracy being subverted by a relatively small number of people, but the net result could be far more long-lasting than the aftermaths of the 9/11 attacks and the Great Depression.
Before casting this aside as so much conservative posturing, ask yourself whether Barack Obama would be president today if the press had fully vetted him back in 2007 when he first announced his candidacy.
More to the point, would a junior senator from Illinois have beaten Hillary Clinton if the news media prior to the first primaries and caucuses had fully exposed his:
* Connections to domestic terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn * Connections to the Trinity Church and Reverend Jeremiah Wright * Connections to corrupt real estate developer Tony Rezko * Totally unimpressive tenure as an Illinois state senator and U.S. senator?
If the answer is "No," the press elected Barack Obama -- NOT the American people, which is indeed a far greater undermining of our democracy than any attack that has ever been made against this country as well as any economic calamity that's befallen it.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg, for the media weren't satisfied with merely placing their man in the White House; since Inauguration Day, they've done everything in their power to shelter him from criticism when he's deserved it while heaping praise upon him when he hasn't.
A perfect example is how the press continually allow Obama to blame the exploding deficits on former President Bush even though as senator he voted for the current budget, and subsequent to his inauguration authored the stimulus package, approved $410 billion in additional spending, and crafted the fiscal 2010 budget.
As Smith told NewsMax: "President Obama didn't inherit out-of-control government spending. He has presided over it."
Despite such incontrovertible facts, the vast majority of Americans believe Bush is to blame for the unprecedented growth in our national debt, and the Obama-loving media are complicit in fostering this ignorance.
Which makes Smith's new Media Fairness Caucus essential for the future of our democracy as an executive unrestrained by a skeptical and vigilant press can run roughshod over the population as he freely enacts policies the electorate blindly supports.
With additional agenda items in the queue such as carbon emission reduction and universal health care, a propagandized electorate could quite literally be marched into the river by their pipe-playing leader.
The only thing saving Americans from such a dismal fate is a far less dogmatic press adhering to principles of journalism rather than Machiavelli.
Since Democrats who owe their recent success at the polls to the advocacy of their media minions surely aren't going to bite the hand that feeds them, Republicans had better administer the press's much-needed enema not for their own salvation but for the sake of our children and grandchildren as well as the preservation of freedoms millions of our fathers and forefathers fought and died for.
Noel Sheppard is the associate editor of the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.