June 15, 2021

GERARD BAKER: Jeffrey Toobin, the ‘1619 Project’ and the Journalistic Reign of Error: As long as you further the narrative, no bad behavior or corruption of the truth will go unrewarded.

Even if Jeffrey Toobin is in fact the indispensable legal mind CNN evidently believes he is, his reinstatement last week must surely fill some of his colleagues with misgivings. “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” the great Aretha Franklin once asked. It’s a valid question that may take new form in the minds of participants in future video calls with the easily distracted Mr. Toobin.

But his restoration to a more salubrious on-camera role is a helpful reminder of the rules that now govern news. The medium is no longer the message: The new reality is that the mission is the message. As long as your work furthers the mission, no failure in behavior, no error in reporting or editing, no corruption of the truth or the evidence will go unrewarded.

All data and facts, all judgment about stories and the people who produce them, are subordinate to the mission. In one of the more ironic developments of this age of progressive hegemony, this is called “moral clarity.”

As CNN was being restored to its full complement of progressive missionaries, the same message in service of the same mission was more powerfully conveyed by the authorities who every year emerge from the temples of Columbia University to bestow on another crop of journalists the mantle of Joseph Pulitzer.

The steady conversion of these “prestigious” awards into Hero of the Soviet Union-like ribbons for full-time advocacy of approved causes was nearly complete this year, with almost all the prizes in journalism and literature going to works that fit within the approved range of writing.

Indeed.

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