Press Cowards’ Hypocritical Lament Over Media’s Lack of ‘Balls’ and ‘Swagger’

Terrified to challenge liberal narratives and facing a steep downturn in their financial fortunes, our mainstream media is having a yellow moment that is not lost even on their own friends and editors. Although they have had every opportunity to demonstrate their guts and show us their thick skins by occasionally challenging the Biden White House and the Democratic Party, today’s journalistic luminaries are afraid of offending the powerful and have lost the “balls” and “swagger” of the glory years. A spate of articles lamenting this reality is making the rounds now.

It started with Max Tani, the media reporter for Semafor. In a recent column he writes:  

In 2024, it’s harder than ever to get a tough story out in the United States of America. A landscape of gleefully revelatory magazine exposés, aggressive newspaper investigations, feral online confrontations, and painstaking television investigations has been eroded by a confluence of factors—from rising risks of litigation and costs of insurance, which strapped media companies can hardly afford, to social media, which has given public figures growing leverage over the journalists who now increasingly carry their water. The result is a thousand stories you’ll never read, and a shrinking number of publications with the resources and guts to confront power. 

“Very few owners have balls anymore,” former Vanity Fair and New Yorker editor Tina Brown told Tani. “A very sorry fact for journalism.”

Tani’s piece was amplified by Jack Shafer at Politico. “Wounded and limping, doubting its own future, American journalism seems to be losing a quality that carried it through a century and a half of trials: its swagger,” Shafer wrote. “Swagger is the conformity-killing practice of journalism, often done in defiance of authority and custom, to tell a true story in its completeness, no matter whom it might offend.”

Veteran Washington Post newsman Kevin Merida, quoted by Shafer, says: “It’s harder to be confident, and exude that confidence in newsrooms—given the state of our industry. But leaders should find their inner swagger.” He continued, “I don’t like to generalize, as every newsroom is different. But cautiousness, lack of ambition, being too quick to abandon experiments or being afraid to try them, all are signifiers. To quote the immortal [hip-hop group] A Tribe Called Quest: ‘Scared money don’t make none.’” 

Shafer hopes that “surely there is a path back from the milquetoastery of contemporary journalism to something approximating swagger.”

In reality, these would-be Mike Tysons are more like the quivering students in the movie School Tiesthe ones who hide in their dorm rooms when they are called out by Brendan Fraser.

Tani, Shafer, and Merida may talk tough about mixing it up, but none of them, and none of their epicene peers in the mainstream media, have come within miles of reviewing, or even mentioning the evidence I produced in my book about 2018’s corrupt Kavanaugh hearings. In The Devil’s Triangle: Mark Judge vs the New American Stasi, I show the way the left was attempting through extortion and bullying to end Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and, potentially, my life. To ignore it as if none of what I’ve revealed is newsworthy or historically important is insane.

Ask yourself: Would Woodward and Bernstein address my allegations? What about Washington Post legend Ben Bradlee, who Jack Shafer valorizes? Hell, Shafer doesn’t even have the stones to criticize National Public Radio. He will also go down in history for “Monkeyfishing,” the story he edited and greenlit for Slate which turned out to be totally false. I could have warned Shafer to not run the piece, but he was not taking my ideas at the time. My politics were wrong. Ironically, I could have saved his reputation. He preferred surrounding himself with fellow liberals. Now he wonders where the testosterone leaked out.

I am intentionally resisting comparing these guys to girls. The truth is the Irish-Catholic girls I grew up with are much tougher than these guys. They also have much better senses of humor. 

Consider: In 2018, when I was tossed into the political Thunderdome with Kavanaugh, the media were having fainting spells going through old things I had written. There was a piece I wrote in Splice Today—one of the last truly free media outlets—defending crime movies and male passion. There were the ribald jokes from my high school yearbook. They even got the vapors examining The Unknown Hoya, an underground student newspaper we did at Georgetown Prep. The media went full-on Stasi. They reached epic levels of hysteria but now they refuse to investigate my explosive and well-sourced claims that there was a criminal conspiracy funded and aided by the Democratic National Committee to destroy a Supreme Court nominee.

When it comes to revealing anything negative about the Democratic Party, all the tough-guy newsmen are now missing in action. The likes of wizened journalists of the caliber of say, Peter Hamill, have been replaced by Cowardly Lion avatars, who jump head-first out the window whenever I call them out.

Speak truth to power? These eunuchs are afraid of a book.

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