Writing in a joint op-ed yesterday in The New York Times, after a weekend that saw four Islamist terror attacks in the U.S., the mayors of New York City, London and Paris made an astonishing statement: “In our experience, they wrote, “militant violence is vanishingly rare.”
Only they didn’t write that. A correction appeared today at the end of the article noting that the phrase was added by an editor without the approval of the authors.
In the article, titled “Our Immigrants, Our Strength,” Bill DeBlasio, Sadiq Kahn and Anne Hidalgo, mayors of NYC, London and Paris respectively, argue that, “Investing in the integration of refugees and immigrants is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do. Refugees and other foreign-born residents bring needed skills and enhance the vitality and growth of local economies, and their presence has long benefited our three cities.”
Just to make sure the Times’ readers didn’t get nervous about an influx of refugees, a zealous editor added the sentence about vanishing “militant violence” (code word for Islamist terrorism).
While one can argue the point the authors are making — that “policies that embrace diversity and promote inclusion are successful” (ask voters in Germany who recently gave Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door policies an enormous thumbs down) — no one can say that “militant violence” in the world is vanishing.
In fact, London’s Mayor Kahn said the day after the NY/NJ bombings that urban dwellers might as well get used to terror attacks, because they are now “part and parcel” of city life.
The Democratically-aligned mainstream media’s desire to shape world events by whitewashing reality or by shockingly adding words, opinions or (in this case) entire sentences to falsify the narrative seems to have gotten out of control this election season.
Consider the following facts (which are not an endorsement of any particular candidate, but rather an indictment of the mainstream media):
When Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump expressed his support for profiling to weed out terrorists, CNN added the word “racial” to Trumps comments. Headlines on CNN screamed: “Trump says ‘racial’ profiling will stop terror” and “Donald Trump defends racial profiling in wake of bombs.” (Trumps actual words were: “As you know in Israel they profile, they’ve done an unbelievable job — as good as you can do,” Trump said. “And they’ll profile, they profile. They see somebody who’s suspicious, they profile, they will take that person and they’ll check [them] out.”)
When Trump called the bombing in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan a “bombing,” the press blasted him for not calling it an “explosion” in the early stages." When Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton did the same thing (called out the explosion as a bombing), CNN removed that sentence in her statement.
Speaking on Meet the Press, NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd said, “My friends won't even read any — if I do interviews with Trump. They won't read them. And basically, they would like to censor any stories about Trump and also censor any negative stories about Hillary. They think she should have a total free pass because as she said at that fundraiser recently 'I'm the only thing standing between you and the abyss.'”
On PBS newsman Bill Moyers’ website, acclaimed journalist Neil Gabler wrote of the media bias against Trump, “Call it partisan bias if you like. I call it journalism.”
Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos, who is against Trump, advocated that journalists be partial when it comes to covering Trump. “Neutrality is not an option,” he said.
CNN contributor and progressive activist Sally Kohn argued that the atmosphere on college campuses that has prevented those from expressing views that run contrary to the “progressive agenda” is a good thing. Kohn was commenting on tactics such as disruptive protests and hostility from peers and professors. “If they feel like they can no longer speak against positive social change, good,” she said.
A society and its press that makes it its project to distort reality and stomp on the free expression of opinions will end up being tyrannized by those very concepts.
Lack of free speech and expression are the hallmark of fascism and totalitarianism. But before a society gets to that rock bottom, a lot of blood can be shed.
Ironically, today marks the 34th annual International Day of Peace. While the world today is far from attaining international peace, a small step in that direction would be a commitment to honesty and fair play by the media, on college campuses and in our country at large.
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org