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Has the US media given up on the truth?

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Getty

I pity the editors of America’s mainstream media, says Andrew Sullivan in The Weekly Dish. Under relentless pressure from “young, super-leftist staffers”, they have “slowly and then precipitously” dropped the goal of objectivity. Why? Because the struggle against racism has become too urgent for stories that don’t advance “social justice”. As one New York Times staffer put it in an internal meeting, white supremacy is “the foundation of all of the systems in the country”. Former Washington Post editor Len Downie says there is now a consensus among colleagues that, in the words of one editor, “Objectivity has got to go!” White supremacy, it seems, is now the “core truth of the world”.

So what happens when news stories seem to refute this? Columnists just fit the facts to the dogma. Take the horrific murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tennessee. The five black cops responsible, we are told, killed another black man because they had “internalised white supremacy”. The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill wrote that the murderous cops were non-white people “carrying water” for whiteness. By the tenets of critical race theory, the black officers didn’t actually kill anyone; whiteness did, “by infesting their brains and souls”. Yes, it’s true that traditional prejudices linger, and help define the present. But it’s silly always to see the world through “the neo-Marxist vision of permanent, zero-sum group warfare”. Journalists used to search for truth, not try to twist it into some preordained narrative. Now the press’s reputation has fallen off a cliff. No wonder.