Gannett Strikes Again by Tom Reynolds
In newspapers, the article positioned ‘over the fold’ is meant to be the leading article placed in the most prominent position in the newspaper. It’s usually reserved for the most important article - although the other old saying, “if it bleeds it leads” may also find its way ‘over the fold.’
Not so with the Gannett / USA Today’s newspaper chain, which is the largest newspaper chain in the U S A. In Gannett, the “over the fold” position is reserved for the latest piece of Democrat Party propaganda. So, no one should have been surprised when that lead position on November 2nd headlined, “Trump judges steer law to the right.” In fact, the article was so sensational that it went both above and below the fold and ran over into much of page 2.
Although not about the 2nd Amendment, this article (in reality a thinly disguised op-ed) is a great example of what we are up against when we try to get balanced and accurate 2nd Amendment information out to the general public. (Or any information on our rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion and gun rights, not in line with the Left’s narrative.)
“Trump judges steer law to the right” is about the New Orleans based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court is one step below the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
Gannett first labeled SCOTUS as “the most right-leaning in decades”.
Then, the premise of the article is that the out-of-control conservative judges of the 5th Circuit, with 12 of 16 judges appointed by Republican presidents, are so far right that the even the far-right SCOTUS has to reel it in.
There was a token effort by Gannett to give the illusion of fairness. Buried two thirds of the way into the article, after pointing out the damning statistic that SCOTUS “at least partially reversed seven of the nine appeals from the 5th Circuit” there was one sentence…one sentence…which said: “By comparison, last term the Supreme Court reversed 10 of 13 decisions by the San Francisco based 9th Circuit, widely viewed as the nations most liberal appeals court.”
Perhaps the article should have been about the 9th Circuit’s extreme liberal judges, instead. A detailed study in 2018 reported by Brian T. Fitzpatrick, (a law professor at Vanderbilt University), looked at how often a federal circuit court was reversed by SCOTUS on the merits, during twenty-one years between 1994 and 2015. The 9th Circuit's decisions were reversed at the highest rate in the country and were unanimously reversed more than three times as often as the least reversed circuits and over 20% more often than the next closest circuit.
Gannett failed to mention that little tidbit as it would switch the highlight to the decisions of extreme liberal judges and destroy the point of the article, which was to make conservative judges seem extreme.
The reality is that what was said about the 5th Circuit could have been more accurately stated about the Left Coast based 9th Circuit. For instance:
Gannett stated that: “The 5th Circuit hears appeals…from deeply red states where Republicans control legislatures and attorneys general can draw national headlines with culture war suits…”
The article could have just as easily and accurately said: “The 9th Circuit hears appeals…from deeply blue states where Democrats control legislatures and attorneys general can draw national headlines with culture war suits…”
The casual person who read this article will only get the incorrect impression that conservative judges, who believe in the U S Constitution as it was written, are making erroneous, extreme decisions that are so extreme that even SCOTUS cannot abide by them. Which is, of course, the exact purpose of the article; misinform the public.
If Gannett were producing anything closer to balanced reporting – and that’s a big if - it could have done an article on how two courts with opposite philosophical viewpoints are being reversed by SCOTUS. Gannett could have still maintained its Democrat propaganda purpose and not mentioned that the leftist 9th has been the most reversed for decades. Of course, that might make SCOTUS look like a balanced arbitrator and that would have never been acceptable in Gannett editors’ offices.
If a tree falls in the forest an no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
We have truth and adherence to the U S Constitution on our side. But if none of our statements make it to the general public, have we communicated? The Gannetts of the world are not going to use those fallen trees to make paper which publicizes the truth. Their business is propaganda. It’s up to SCOPE and others to call the Left on these issues and it’s up to you, the readers, to pass this information on.