To think that two and two are four
And neither five nor three
The heart of man has long been sore
And long ‘tis like to be.
— A.E. Houseman, Last Poems, xxv
It has by now become glaringly apparent to all but the most obtuse or thoroughly indoctrinated among us that a majority of the members of the mainstream media (I call them cockroach media, but we’ll come back to that later) are socialists in outlook and practice. As Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote in an article for Pajamas Media on August 28, 2010, “We now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our formerly august mainstream media is replete with socialists.”
Well, excuse me. Not at all to diss Kyle-Anne, who does good work, but that information has been around for a long time and has been readily available to anyone who cares to look.
In the interest of clarity, though, let’s not use the word “socialists,” a term that has become somewhat socially acceptable in certain quarters and to that extent masks the radicalism of their ideas. Socialists are Marxists, so let’s call them what they are: Marxists.
How did the mainstream media get to be the way they are? To find the answer, let’s turn to an old source.
Helen MacInnes was a Scottish-born novelist whose writing career spanned nearly four and a half decades. Most of her 21 novels dealt with the struggle against totalitarianism. During World War II, she wrote stirring novels of the fight against Nazi Germany. After the conclusion of that war, while other writers were busily plotting stories of the threat of a reincarnated Nazism, she was among the first to understand that communism, with its subversive hooks already well set in the upper levels of many governments, including ours, represented a far greater threat to human freedom.
In her 1951 book Neither Five nor Three, she uses her writer’s skills masterfully to create a gripping and entertaining story that is at the same time a chilling description of the methods the left used to take almost complete control of a once-noble institution: the American media. By undermining, discrediting, and marginalizing honest reporters, writers, and editors, the left gradually replaced them with people who would oh-so-subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) parrot the Party line.
When did the subversion process begin? It probably began with the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 and was certainly well underway in the 1930s. A prime early example of the manipulation of U.S public opinion by the media was America’s sellout of China to the communists in the 1940s. James Perloff writes in The New American that “a plethora of books and news reports perpetuated the myth that Mao’s communists were ‘democratic agrarian reformers.’”
Soviet Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (of Molotov cocktail fame) outlined the strategy: “Who reads the Communist papers? Only a few people who are already Communists. We don’t need to propagandize them […]. We have to influence non-Communists if we want to make them Communists or if we want to fool them. So, we have to try to infiltrate in the big press.”
Perloff continues: “The most influential U.S. writers fulfilling this were probably Edgar Snow, author of the pro-communist book Red Star Over China, and Owen Lattimore, author of Thunder Out of China, a Book-of-the-Month selection that attacked Chiang Kai-shek. Writing in the Saturday Review, Snow audaciously told readers, ‘There has never been any communism in China.’”
In his book While You Slept, John T. Flynn exposed the media bias toward the Chinese communists. Between 1943 and 1949, 22 pro-communist books appeared in the U.S. press, and only seven pro-Nationalist ones. Reported Flynn:
“Every one of the 22 pro-Communist books […] received glowing approval in the literary reviews […] every one of the anti-Communist books was either roundly condemned or ignored.” He also commented that the New York Times reviews were almost indistinguishable from those in the communist Daily Worker.
(While You Slept, no longer in print, is available for download as a PDF file from the Ludwig von Mises Institute.)
It has now been 60 years since the publication of Neither Five nor Three, yet the book is still a good read and the information is as relevant as ever. It’s long out of print, of course, but is readily available in used paperback stores and at many libraries, as well as from amazon.com and abebooks.com.
Why do some conservatives wait and hope for the media to change their tone, to begin to treat the conservative viewpoint with at least some small amount of respect or fairness? We will wait and hope in vain. They cannot even acknowledge that conservatives have a viewpoint that is worthy of consideration because they are Marxists, and to a Marxist truth is whatever advances the cause of Marxism. Whatever does not advance the cause of Marxism is an untruth, not to be refuted but suppressed and stamped out.
This is not new news: in fact, we’ve known this about Marxism for many decades. But normal, reasonable people have difficulty receiving the truth about Marxism, even with multiplied evidence, because Marxist reasoning is so foreign to us that we cannot imagine someone thinking that way.
And what is all this talk about civility? Civility, as they define it, only means that conservatives have to be civil to leftists. Leftists are free to say whatever they want about conservatives, because after all, they are right and we are wrong. To be on the left is to be in the right. Get it?
Beats me how people who reject the very idea of absolutes can be so absolutely sure they’re right.
Why do I call them the cockroach media, you ask? They hide from the light and only come out in darkness to spread corruption and disease. When the lights come on, they scuttle back into their hiding places to wait for another round of darkness.
But as Ed Morrissey wrote on the Hot Air site, “As long as poverty and perceived injustice exists, there will be people who believe that the only way to address it is to spread both over the nation equally through government redistribution, and to address poor personal choices with nanny states designed to prevent every bad outcome by mandating mediocrity across the board.”
In other words, there will always be people who try to put two and two together and make them add up to five or three. Could it be that leftism really is a mental illness?