Contributed by Vic Kohring
"Anyone who uses means of communication to defame someone is committing a sin," Pope Francis, December 7, 2016.
Pope Francis has weighed in on widespread evidence that "fake news" has become commonplace. He bluntly condemned the press for spreading misinformation and for focusing on "ugly things" as he put it. It was abundantly evident this fall as the mainstream media was so dogged determined to elect Hillary Clinton, that they routinely lied about Donald Trump as part of a smear campaign. Lies about abusing women. Lies about alleged racism and KKK connections. Lies about reasonable proposals to help the working class and energize the economy through lower taxes and less regulation. Even lies about his faith.
Closer to home, we have our own corrupt press writers who likewise don't hesitate to spew venom as they attempt to emulate their mentors in the national mainstream media. I see it nearly every day on TV, in the papers and online. Desperate editorialists and guest columnists pen their contorted view of politics as part of the new norm among journalists. They jumped on the same Trump Islamophobia, Xenophobia, Homophobia, phobia this and phobia that bandwagon, hoping to scare Alaskan voters into backing a Democrat presidential nominee over a Republican for the first time since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. I was subject to this same sleaze and manipulation during my years as a state legislator.
I was falsely accused of usurping local government control with gas drilling legislation that would supposedly scar Alaska's environment from corner to corner. I was maligned for allegedly being "anti-children" and "anti-education" simply because I promoted school vouchers to give parents a choice when selecting the best school option for their kids. Both blatant lies designed to harm my standing with voters. Simply because I was a devout and proactive conservative and Christian, I became a target of frenzied journalists exhibiting a shameful display of partisanship.
The old Anchorage Daily News was the biggest offender, but KTUU TV was a close second followed by public radio and other media including the silly little Anchorage Press and at times our local Frontiersman.
After this year's sorry display by wannabe journalists and shills for Hillary, much of the public has become wise to the press and no longer allow themselves to be led by the nose and spoon-fed junk news. Thanks to the internet, talk radio and the proliferation of alternate legitimate news sources, we're no longer forced to rely on the NBCs and Washington Posts of the world who've repeatedly violated the public's trust. Objective, accurate news is now readily available for those who take time to look. And many have.
Years of press shenanigans, lies and distortion of the truth have taken its toll on the traditional, mainstream media. Readership and viewership is down all over. The ratings of MSNBC and CNN (aka the “Clinton News Network") crashed in 2016 and flagship newspapers such as the New York Times have been tanking for years. There's nothing wrong with a reporter speaking the truth and challenging others to set the record straight. It's when deliberate falsehoods are spread that the line is crossed. When you're an elected official or a conservative candidate seeking office, the press believes they have a constitutionally guaranteed license to trash and destroy you with little semblance of truth or adherence to honesty.
After I left office, I remained the target of abuse by angry leftist writers who continued to torch me regularly. While in the crosshairs of the FBI and cheating prosecutors years ago, seldom did the press report things with integrity as they frequently took facts out of context. When it was disclosed that the judge assigned to my case had a blatant conflict of interest requiring by law that he recuse himself (his wife lost a high-paid, cushy government job at my expense), it was twisted into supposedly a minor non-issue. I challenged an Anchorage TV station with potential legal action over defamation if they refused to cease and desist over the matter. I'm surprised others don’t take legal action when they're likewise slandered. If they did, the courts would be full of lawsuits. But it takes a lot of guts to take on a press that buys ink by the barrel.
The Ten Commandments state, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," a principle ignored by the former Daily News and other liberal "news" outlets. I've learned that most media people are progressive sympathizers including many who are fiercely anti-Christian that largely laugh off the Bible's moral teachings. So it's no surprise that they seldom give a second thought to speaking ill of another. So long as they accomplish their political objectives by refusing to scrub their leftist opinions from their writings intended to further a pro-big government control agenda, who cares if rules of ethical and moral conduct are abandoned and the truth jettisoned?
Good riddance mainstream media. You are collapsing before our eyes. “Go and sin no more," as Jesus said in John 8:11.