Supreme Court’s increasingly dim view of the press | Newsmax’s new addition | Stop vilifying whistleblowers

Supreme Court’s increasingly dim view of the press: It has been over a decade since the Supreme Court positively referenced the trustworthiness of the press, says Adam Liptak in the New York Times. There’s been a big change since then. A new study to be published soon found  “a marked and previously undocumented uptick in negative depictions of the press by the U.S. Supreme Court,” wrote Liptak, quoting the report. This goes along with a federal judge’s attack against the media, especially the New York Times and Washington Post, accusing them of liberal bias. Unfortunately the judge does not seem to be an outlier. It’s no longer about ideology, says Liptak. A negative view of the press is coming from all ends of the political spectrum in the judiciary. 

Newsmax’s new addition: Just what America needs — there’s another new one-dimensional far-right talk show on Newsmax, called the Gorka Reality Check, hosted by Dr. Sebastian Gorka. Right wing television has been trying to win over the Trump base since he left office in January, writes Jack Shafer in Politico. Gorka contributed to Fox between 2017 and 2019, before he was ousted due to his repetitive and predictable routine of providing an unambiguous pro-Trump, anti-Democratic message. “When Fox news producers dismiss you as a mere Trump propagandist, it makes sense to move your act to a lesser network like Newsmax where that’s an asset,” says Shafer.  

Stop vilifying whistleblowers: Sources who help investigative reporters are increasingly in danger from the federal government, says James Risen in The Intercept. Over the past two decades, the federal government has used their unlimited surveillance powers to find and prosecute individuals who have leaked information to the press, says Risen. But that doesn’t mean journalists should stop using whistleblowers, or whistleblowers should stop giving intel to journalists. The upside to reporting on national security issues is the value in educating the public about national security, while the downside is the danger sources find themselves in. Often, stories about the prosecution of whistleblowers are presented by the media as an unpatriotic delinquent leaker versus the heroic FBI, but this narrative needs to change, he said. “The press must stop covering leak investigations like bank robberies and start covering them for what they really are: threats to press freedom,” says Risen.

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