Reputation once mattered in American journalism. Any reporter worth their salt was consumed with three nagging fears: Being wrong, being perceived as biased, and being seen as beholden to powerful government, corporate, or special interests. The profession was imbued with a certain humility, as the best reporters dismissed themselves as “ink-stained wretches” whose mandate was to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

Taylor Lorenz/Twitter

Taylor Lorenz, formerly of the New York Times and now at the Washington Post, is representative of the modern-day journalist. Lorenz is on record as saying that journalists are “brands” and she views the Post as a vehicle for her self-promotion. Although Lorenz grew up in lily white Old Greenwich, CT, and attended a Swiss boarding school, Lorenz criticized mainstream media as being “pretty homogenous” and having a “cisgender, white, privileged kind of outlook.” Lorenz lacks the depth of thought required to appreciate she’s the embodiment of what she criticizes.

Publishing false information, even when widely rumored as suspect to begin with, is no longer a career killer, providing the falsity promotes a preferred media narrative. Ben Smith, when he was editor of BuzzFeed, published details of the so-called Steele dossier, which contained damning and unproven allegations of Trump-Russia coordination to defeat Hillary Clinton, as well as salacious sex acts performed on Trump in Russia. After Smith reported on the contents, other media outlets reported on the dossier’s contents, arguing the details were already public.

There’s conclusive evidence linking Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to the dossier’s production. Bob Woodward of Watergate fame is on record as saying the networks and publications that reported on the dossier “cheated” their readers and viewers. Despite another incident of publishing false news and being mocked on Saturday Night Live, Smith was hired by the New York Times to become its media reporter. Smith has since co-founded his own publication, whose seed investors included alleged crypto fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried.

A Gallup poll last July revealed that most Americans have little trust or faith in the corporate-owned media; newspapers and broadcast outlets are only marginally more trusted than the pols in Congress. But the corporate owned media isn’t humbled or alarmed by how their audiences view them. Indeed, they plan on doubling down on the dishonesty that’s possibly forever blown their credibility.

As noted by legal scholar and George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley, a just released survey conducted by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward found that today’s journalism industry leaders believe objectivity is harmful and the public is better served by reporters serving as “activists” promoting the causes they deem most important. The view is consistent with that expressed by NBC News anchor Lester Holt who declared last year, “fairness is overrated.”

FOX News

Journalism at corporate owned publications has morphed into promoting narratives, and errors, inaccuracies, and outright lies are deemed acceptable, and sometimes desirable, if they serve a worthy cause. To witness the trend first-hand, I encourage you to view the video embedded in this FOX News article of a montage of CNN and MSNBC anchors and guests validating the information in the Steele dossier, when it fact the most noteworthy items were false.

America’s democracy would be under great threat if the corporate media remained unchallenged. Fortunately, a new information source has emerged of former journalists and authoritative experts from ever increasing fields and walks of life willing to speak truth to power and alert their audiences about lies and misinformation the corporate media routinely spreads. Many of these experts have been vilified by the corporate media as misinformation spreaders and their views suppressed or censored by Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter prior to Elon Musk’s acquisition of that social media site.

The information source is called Substack, an online platform that provides an infrastructure for writers to publish and distribute newsletters and share in the profits if they develop an audience. Reading Substack writers has become increasingly important in my understanding of the world.

I’m not alone. A neurologist at a top-tier hospital system shared with me more than a year ago that Substack writers had become her primary sources of information. I don’t have the analytics to support this claim but judging from the Substack reader comments I see posted, writers on the platform attract an audience that’s very educated and thoughtful – a community of people that don’t want to be deceived or lied to. The reader discourse is respectful and far superior to what one finds on Twitter and exceeds that of LinkedIn because Substack doesn’t censor content.  

Maryanne Demasi

Allow me to provide some examples of meaningful information I’ve learned in recent days reading Substack writers. Dr. Robert Malone, who the corporate media has vilified but I recently noted has been vindicated, on Tuesday republished a Substack column by Dr. Maryanne Demasi, an Australian investigative medical reporter and producer with a PhD in philosophy, that contained verifiable information I found alarming.

As part of its post-marketing requirements, Demasi said Pfizer was legally obligated to complete by 2022 year-end a Covid vaccine study involving people aged 16 to 30 to evaluate rates of subclinical myocarditis, which is when there is non-symptomatic damage to the heart muscle. Demasi asked the FDA for the study but was told she’d have to file a FOIA request or ask Pfizer for a copy. Pfizer ignored Demasi’s request.

Turns out, the deadline for the study was extended six months, a detail Demasi learned from Jessica Adams, an expert in drug regulatory affairs.

Demasi isn’t alone in having trouble getting vaccine safety information that should easily be publicly available. Josh Guetzkow, a sociology professor at Israel’s prestigious Hebrew University, recently published in his Substack newsletter about how the CDC jerked him around when he filed a FOIA request for that agency’s vaccine safety information. Guetzkow eventually got the safety information, and the results weren’t pretty.

Demasi also disclosed in her column that doctors are “coming out in droves, refusing to have any more covid shots until the FDA demands better studies.” One of those doctors is Vinay Prasad, haematologist-oncologist at the University of California San Francisco, who has published more than 350 scientific papers.

Prasad recently posted a Substack commentary dismissing the New York Times’ pandemic coverage and warning that the best available evidence contradicts the narrative from the corporate media and many public health officials. Prasad said the precautions being recommended are essentially unproven— “akin to burning an incense stick, or wearing garlic to ward off vampires.”

I also learned from Demasi that Dr. Marty Makary, a best-selling author and possibly the most prominent surgeon in America, has been publicly critical of the FDA. In late December, he published a damning Substack commentary about Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Malone today published a Substack commentary about a meta-analysis by The Cochrane Library of all available studies on masks as a preventative measure, which concluded that it’s far from certain they meaningfully interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. Here’s a snippet from the NIH’s website about The Cochrane Library: “This resource is a valuable tool for a broad range of people interested in evidence-based health care, including clinicians, consumers, policy makers, researchers, educators, and others.”

Matt Taibbi, a Substack writer I’ve previously profiled, continues to put the corporate media to shame, most recently with this eye popping disclosure about Hamilton 68, a neoliberal think-tank and popular go-to source for the corporate media that Taibbi convincingly demonstrates was responsible for hundreds of fraudulent headlines and TV news segments and “may go down as the single greatest case of media fabulism in American history.” 

The corporate media continues to trash Taibbi for the embarrassments he’s causing them, particularly the folks at MSNBC. Taibbi’s takedown of the Comcast Joe Biden network makes clear MSNBC is a dumping ground for the “shadiest conceivable military and security officials.”

America’s corporate media journalists fashion themselves as the protectors of America’s democracy. In fact, they are looking to destroy it peddling their false narratives with abandon. The real truth tellers can be found on Substack and if you want government and corporate interests held accountable, many of these writers are deserving of support.

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