This is a question I’ve asked a lot of people throughout my life, and while some exuded certainty in their replies, I can’t say that anyone has sufficiently resolved this matter for me. Sure, I’ve also read the opinions of people far smarter than I, and in the process arrived at similar conclusions (most are obvious), but I guess that what are likely the correct answers, I still find unsatisfactory.

It can be hard for conservatives to stomach the malfeasance of the liberal media, but for some, like me, what’s more interesting than their deception is the reasoning behind it. Not a day goes by where we aren’t treated to a shameless display of media malpractice, oftentimes so brazen and absurd that words are rendered nearly useless in describing what has occurred. The poor souls at NewsBusters most definitely have my respect, as I would be searching for the nearest cliff if I had to sift through the media garbage to find these farcical moments. But even though the mountain of evidence against those in the media continues to grow, they still have the audacity to claim their bias is nothing more than the paranoid delusion of the right wing, or, that it only appears that way because reality, as we know, has a healthy liberal bias.

Those of us with an IQ above room temperature know better, which only makes what they do more appalling, because they actually think people are so gullible that they can get away with it. Unfortunately, they are correct in this assessment, at least, mostly, or else they wouldn’t so unabashedly act like charlatans everyday, nor would the Capitol be standing.

It’s hard to imagine that someone who’s supposedly been trained to search for the truth and made it their career would be so incapable of objective thought. Of course, one explanation is that they know nothing else, that they’ve been insulated from contrary thought (much like they claim Southerners and religious folk are) their whole life. I think it’s pretty safe to say that many of these journalists have rarely, if ever, had any sort of relationship or dialogue with those who hold opposing views, at least not until their minds were already made up. One of the liberal persuasion certainly isn’t exposed to any challenging ideas in college, where their preconceived notions are only reinforced.

So, just like the Southerner who never left his tiny rural town, it’s not too surprising that both circumstances might render a person unreceptive to new modes of thought. However, the glaring and damning difference is that the person on my television screen or who writes for a major publication is supposed to know better (they often claim this themselves). Presumably, they have the education, the mind-opening experience of university, and the desire to uncover the truth, whereas the country boy, while not excused of his ignorance, isn’t concerned with such things, or, isn’t pretending to be.

Returning to the all-important question, when watching the performances of these “journalists” I can’t help but ask, what’s in it for them? Do they actually believe what their saying? Are they just following the party line, in that, they’re just doing what their bosses expect of them? Are they seeking some kind of approval? And if so, whose, and why does their approval matter? Is it nothing more than being liked and getting invited to cocktail parties? Is more sinister and about power and control, and if so, what do these mouthpieces think their reward will be?

I feel the most digestible explanation is that they’re simply true believes, that they’ve drank the progressive kool-aid, taken the blue pill. While I still believe their ideology and general political beliefs are incredibly misguided at best, zealous belief can cause people to do strange things, and at least they’d be doing it because they believe in the liberal cause. Yes, yes, people’s true belief in causes have led to some terrible things, but I think most would agree it’s less abstruse than the reverse psychology, that acts not out of belief but material gain, approbation, or indifference.

Although the first is pretty easy to understand, there’s still the whole circus act that must be tolerated in order to receive the desired reward. For the second, everyone likes it when they receive recognition and praise, so that isn’t too difficult to fathom, but, again, it still requires one to sell their soul so to speak, assuming they don’t really believe in the cause. While the nomenclature might not be the best, the last, or, the reasons other than the three mentioned, are the most difficult to understand.

If a person is so insecure in their beliefs that they have to do everything in their power to disrupt the marketplace of ideas, which is what the media does, is that some sort of self-admittance to being wrong or potentially wrong? Or are they so deluded that they’re unaware they’re trampling on opposing thought? If they do realize they’re stifling discourse, is it because they think all other ideas are wrong, or because they don’t want to be challenged? If it’s the latter, then that must mean they’re bias is borne not out of belief, but something else, which is what is incomprehensible to me because it’s not like there aren’t people on the other side of the ideological coin who wouldn’t heap praise or compensate them in the same way progressives do.

Yes, leftists control almost all levers of media, so they’d still have all those people mad at them, but if belief isn’t what drives them then what is stopping journalists from actually being objective and truthful in their coverage, when, theoretically, there are outlets that are actually okay with those things? They can’t be so obtuse that they don’t see at least half of America doesn’t buy what they’re selling, so shouldn’t that encourage honesty instead of hyper-partisanship? (Actually, it’s probably easier to pander to the fringes rather than incur the wrath of both sides, although I’d like to think Americans would tune-in and respect a media outlet that minimized bias)

They can’t all be fired, at least not without drawing significant attention to their already glaring bias, and if someone on CNN or from The New York Times was canned for standing up for truth, I’m sure Fox or some other outlet would love to parade them around on their network to expose their rivals transgressions (like Sharyl Attkisson). So while most may very well believe that what they’re doing is right (which seems most likely), those that aren’t still perplex me, which may mean they all are true progressives. It’s hard to know the intent of another’s heart. And at this point, I’m not sure what motivates the liberal media really matters.

While “journalist” is a pejorative to many conservatives (rightly so), the position itself is one that begs for someone with integrity and character, as they are the arbiters of truth, the gatekeepers of information, which we all know is power. I’m usually not one for quotes, but one of my favorites is apropos to screed above. I heard it while listening to Ravi Zacharias and I think he attributed it to British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, not himself, but I could be wrong. It goes, “In any interplay between a person and information, the first test is not the veracity of the information, but the truthfulness of the person.” I think we could use a little more honesty in society, especially in our politics, but it’s not a quality I think we’ll be seeing much of anytime soon.