Mark R. Levin’s very informative book “Unfreedom of the Press” may surprise many readers when they discover that the book is filled with eye-opening fascinating information that is written in clear easy-to-read English. Levin covers many interesting subjects relating to the press, newspapers, TV, radio, attacks on the president, and all kinds of communications that impact our thinking and hence our actions, as well as the people and organizations involved. He gives readers mountains of evidence for the points he makes – and this too is presented in an interesting manner. He includes the views of experts, scholars, statistics, and examples.
He writes about the political and ideological bias of reporters. I can attest that this is true. I worked in the Pentagon in the 1980s at a relatively high position and heard the military explain items to reporters. In almost every instance, what I read in the paper the next day was different than what the reporters were told. I stopped reading newspapers at that time and do not subscribe to any today.
Part of the problem, of course, was that the reporters were insufficiently educated on what they were reporting. But there was and is a strong feeling among too many of them that they have an obligation to promote their understanding of the world to the general population and change their opinions. There is elements of arrogance, disrespect, and immorality in their distortions, omissions, and lies; and it is contributing to the possible destruction of our country. To hold people with whom one disagrees as “beneath contempt” is a violation of what all good people – clergy, philosophers, scholars – consider a basic human wrong.
Levin has an intriguing chapter in which he tells us about the improper behavior of the press since before the onset of our country, the improper behavior of some of our presidents, and the lies said about the presidents, Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and others. Reading this chapter made me think that many commentators who harangue President Trump may have obtained their ideas from history, not from the true behavior of our current president. This chapter will without doubt change the understandings of readers about the history of our country.
(Interestingly, there is a recently published book “Presidential Misconduct,” edited by James M. Banner, Jr, which is the only comprehensive study of American presidents’ misconduct, containing essays on all of the president from George Washington through Barak Obama, with essays on each president by leading presidential historians. The historians reveal that every president has been accused of misconduct, including the well-liked hero George Washington, with the sole exceptions of William Henry Harrison who served less than a month, and Gerald R. Ford, Jr., who followed Richard M. Nixon for a short term. They also describe how each of the presidents was attacked by politically-motivated journalists. Levin does not mention this book published after his own book.)
Levin also speaks about the modern Democratic Party and about the real threat to press freedom, which is not what most people think.
There is also a chapter on how the New York Times betrayed millions in the past and continues to do so today. For example, the owners of the New York Times are Jews. They spent money, time, and effort to save their relatives in Europe from the Holocaust but hid the Nazi murders from their readers. President Roosevelt also hid the Holocaust from the citizens he represented, as did Churchill and Stalin.
The book will inform and astonish many readers, as it should.