Jackie Calmes, a columnist with the deservedly failing Los Angeles Times, personifies the arrogance, self-absorption, and utter cluelessness of corporate media journalists. This past Friday, Calmes posted a thumb sucker column headlined, “Why journalists are failing the public with ‘both-sideerism’ in political coverage.” Here’s a taste of Calmes’ thinking.

Yes, it’s critical for political journalists to remain fair and balanced, in contrast with the right-wing network that cynically co-opted those adjectives. And, yes, variations on the word “lie” justifiably made it into the mainstream — something I never thought I’d see, let alone write — to describe what comes out of Trump’s mouth whenever his lips move. Sadly, that was progress.

Calmes goes on to argue that all that ails America is Trump’s and the Republican Party’s doing.

Democrats can’t be expected to deal with these guys like they’re on the level. Nor should journalists cover them as if they are.

Calmes’ column is based on the delusional premise that corporate journalism today is “fair and balanced,” which her commentary makes clear isn’t the case. Most Americans already know this. A Gallup survey released earlier this month revealed that 34 percent of Americans totally distrust newspaper, television, and radio reporting while 29 percent said they had “not very much trust.” Given the media’s business is predicated on trust, it’s safe to say the industry is virtually bankrupt.

Jackie Calmes

Corporate journalists like Calmes deceive their readers into believing that those who distrust or despise the corporate media are dumb and ignorant Trump supporters who just can’t handle the truth about their leader. There are certainly many people who fall into that camp. However, thanks to the corporate media’s dishonest and biased reporting about the pandemic, a swath of new media haters has emerged, and they are among the smartest and most educated people in the country.

Thanks to two women named Erin and Margaret, a German academic named Tadeusz, and other astute people I follow on LinkedIn, my feed is overrun with posts from people who have serious reservations about the safety of Covid vaccines and their effectiveness in curbing the pandemic. What strikes me about these people are their education levels: Overwhelmingly they have advanced degrees in medicine, science, infectious diseases, molecular biology, and other areas well beyond my understanding and knowledge.

Discover last year took note that many “anti-vaxxers” live in educated and affluent areas. The media mistakenly labels everyone who questions the safety of Covid vaccines as being an anti-vaxxer, when in fact many support vaccines whose overall safety and effectiveness is well established.

Dr. Christina Parks, who holds a PhD from the University of Michigan’s medical school in cellular and molecular biology, in testimony before a Michigan hearing offered some insight as to why those with advanced degrees are among the loudest Covid vaccine critics. Parks testified that two groups who disproportionately avoid the Covid vaccines are PhDs “who understand how they work” and those lacking a high school diploma who “know what they don’t know.”

Parks has reservations about the Covid vaccines, and her explanation as to how they were intended to work was among the best I’ve seen or read. Parks, who is Black, also gave a passionate explanation as to why Blacks are especially fearful of vaccines. “1970 wasn’t that long ago,” Parks testified, referring to the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in Black males the CDC and United States Public Service conducted between 1932 and 1972.

The local NBC affiliate in Detroit labeled Parks testimony “misinformation,” despite her advanced degree from one of the top medical schools in the country located within about 60 miles from the station’s studio.

Censorship of Covid vaccine criticisms is quite pervasive on LinkedIn, fueling a lot of anger. Covid vaccine critics are appalled that the corporate media is allowed to publish what they argue is government propaganda and narratives, while their attempts to provide insights and set the record straight are shut down. The situation has reached a boiling point.

Joe Rogan, a comedian the corporate media labels as “controversial” because he allows people with unpopular views to appear on his popular podcast, knows first-hand about the media’s Covid bias. He recently came down with the disease, and disclosed that ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug the FDA and other government agencies insist is of no benefit treating Covid, was part of his treatment that led to a speedy recovery.

CNN was among the corporate media who derided Rogan, dismissing ivermectin as a “horse dewormer.” The drug indeed comes in a veterinary formulation, but it was originally developed for humans and the scientists responsible for the drug were awarded a Nobel Prize for Medicine. Rogan recently invited Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, on his show and lit into him for the network’s dismissive references to ivermectin as being a drug for animals.

“It’s a lie on a news network … and it’s a lie that they’re conscious of. It’s not a mistake. They’re unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine,” Rogan said.

“Yeah, they shouldn’t have done that,” Gupta admitted after Rogan’s considerable pestering.

The “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast is among the most popular in the U.S. reaching an estimated 11 million people per episode. Rogan has a very loyal following, and his grilling of Gupta was widely applauded by LinkedIn users. Here’s a representative comment:

Journalists I used to respect, all over the map, have so let me down. And must by now know they are causing great harm and anguish. I am really curious about the power and some rudimentary success that Joe Rogan had in trying to crack open the thought process of Sanjay Gupta. Outreach to some of these key people in lengthy, in depth, more human and interactive interview may make a difference.

The author of the comment holds a PhD in clinical psychology.

Increasingly, the corporate media is becoming a punch line. At sports events and other large scale gatherings crowds are chanting, “Let’s Go Brandon,” mocking NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast. During a recent interview with racing car winner Brandon Brown, Stavast declared the crowd was chanting, “Let’s Go Brandon” when they were actually shouting, “F**k Joe Biden.”

Another manifestation of the public’s anger with the corporate media is Dave Chappelle. His refusal to apologize to gay, transgender, and other communities who took offense to some of his insights and observations in his latest Netflix special sparked a slew of critical stories in the corporate media. During a recent appearance in Los Angeles, Chappelle was given a standing ovation.

Corporate media journalists like L.A. Times columnist Jackie Calmes are oblivious how the majority of the public regards them and mistakenly believe it’s their job to determine and report the truth, rather than objectively report facts and let readers and viewers to decide for themselves. The misguided conceit that they are smarter and more knowledgeable than the public is why corporate journalists have lost their credibility.

Joe Rogan is typical of old-line journalists, who viewed themselves as “ink-stained wretches” responsible for comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Rogan doesn’t even take himself that seriously.

Said Rogan: “I am a fucking moron. I am a cage-fighting commentator . . . I am not a respected source of information even for me. But I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”

That humility explains why Rogan has an audience of 11 million people and the L.A. Times is a failing publication said to be losing $50 million a year.

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