Last rites for American journalism

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

America’s mainstream journalism is on its death bed.

Amelia Island, Florida resident Ken Timmerman was an international reporter some 30 years ago when the media administered its initial self-inflicted wound. He’s publicly chronicled its demise ever since.

Today national media pretenders are no more than cheerleading squads for the Democrat Party and its progressive programs. It mimics the Democrats’ far left ideology by advocating for the relocation of citizens’ wealth according to party ideals and for regulating private economic behavior; dictates to local communities how they should govern themselves; crusades for codes of “correct” speech and behavior, among so much more.

Recent setbacks that have activated a “Do not resuscitate!” warning range from a revelation by former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss that she was instructed to “check with” Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) before running an op-ed from Republican Senator Tim Scott (SC) to the media’s complete silence about the southern border crisis and cheerleading the unprecedented raid on President Trump’s Florida home.

Timmerman was there at the beginning of the end in 1994 when he was unceremoniously fired by Time Magazine for his investigative reporting about the Clinton administration.

His credentials are impressive. The veteran reporter covered wars and political upheavals for major news organizations in the United States and around the world, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, CBS’s 60 Minutes, ABC News, and Le Monde, L ’Express, Le Point, among others.

“That was when these organizations still tried to be “mainstream” and did not hold back, self-censor and lie to protect their political allies,” says the former political liberal and 2006 Noble Prize nominee, whose new book “And the Rest is History: Tales of Hostages, Arms Dealers, Dirty Tricks, and Spies,” (Post Hill Press), will be released August 30. It’s his 12th book of nonfiction.

Time fired him when he uncovered secret information on the Clinton Administration’s clandestine transfer of defense manufacturing technology to China. Time rejected the story and as a result, he made a political transition from a liberal Democrat to a conservative Republican.

“When I was fired by Time in 1994 for investigating a story that threatened President Bill Clinton and many senior officials in his administration I began to understand that the mainstream media was dead,” says Timmerman.

He was alerted to the scheme when sources in the AFL-CIO Machinists Union tipped him off to strange doings at the B-1 bomber plant in Columbus, Ohio, midnight visits by Chinese intelligence officers, and frustrated US Customs agents.

“As I investigated, encouraged by Time editors, I uncovered and documented a massive effort by China to buy sensitive military production gear from US weapons plants, seemingly with the benediction — or at least, a blind eye — from Clinton administration officials,” he relates.

Eventually, he and other reporters put together a four-page story on the scheme that was scheduled to run in mid-July 1994. “After a Friday lunchtime staff meeting, the Washington, DC, editor, came into my cubicle. ‘You’ve pissed off people in the administration with your questions,’ he said. He was fired on the spot and the story was spiked.

A year later the article ran under the title “China Shops” in the conservative American Spectator magazine.

“Three years after I was fired, the exporter, McDonnell Douglas, was indicted for export violations, and Sen. Fred Thomson and Rep. Christopher Cox launched massive investigations into the Clinton sell-off of sensitive US technology to Communist China that led to the creation of the US-China Security Commission, which continues to investigate Chinese misdeeds today.”

“A source at the Commerce Department later showed me the complaint that his predecessor, an assistant secretary, had faxed to the editor-in-chief of Time magazine the day before I was fired,” he says. “It was explicit and called for them to pull the story.”

Timmerman doesn’t pull punches detailing the media’s shift from neutral observer to its alliance with the Democrat Party and the far left.

“Time’s editors showed in July 1994 that they believed their job was not to uncover the truth but to provide political cover to Democrats in Washington,” he relates. “It’s only gotten worse since then, but I believe this incident formally marks the end of the “mainstream media” as we once knew it.

“Like many other countries in Europe and elsewhere, we now have a politicized media in the United States. But unlike other countries, in all but a few cases, our media refuses to acknowledge its ideological affiliation. So added to bias, you have hypocrisy.”

Today, a once proud, self-confident, independent mainstream media is a pale gasping incurable patient awaiting last rites, ministrations dispensed to those nearing execution, mortally injured, or terminally ill.


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