Scathing Dissent: Federal judge blasts the media for being a ‘Democratic Party trumpet’

Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman called on his fellow judges to overturn a Supreme Court landmark decision protecting the press on March 19, 2021.Corbis via Getty Images

A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court judge has slammed The New York Times and Washington Post as “virtually Democratic Party broadsheets” in a withering case dissent that accuses the media of no longer serving as journalists but as merely stenographers for the Democratic Party.

In the dissent, senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman also called on his colleagues to overturn a Supreme Court landmark decision that protects the press, according to The New York Post, to which Silberman referred as an exception to a dangerous lack of diversity in the media.

Silberman, a 1985 appointee of President Ronald Reagan, stated that conservatives are being targeted and persecuted by overwhelmingly liberal news media, academic institutions and big-tech companies that have created “a frighteningly orthodox media culture.”

The opinion was in response to a decision on March 19 to thrown out a libel suit filed by two former Liberian officials against human rights group Global Witness, over a report that implied they had taken bribes from an oil company.

Silberman was the only dissenter in the case, which found the plaintiffs could not prove “actual malice”, under New York Times v. Sullivan 1964.

The 85-year-old judge blasted the legal precedent in his dissent for enhancing the power of the media, which is “so dangerous”, “because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions.” He went on to attack media organizations as well as Silicon Valley, pointing to an increasingly anti-conservative bias in the news.

Along with scoring the newspapers, Silberman wrote: “Nearly all television—network and cable—is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”

“One-party control of the press” poses a threat to a “viable democracy,” the judge warned.

The “few notable exceptions to Democratic Party ideological control” of the nation’s “news” are Fox News, The New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal, he said, but pointed out that these organizations are controlled by News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan.


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