That was generally understood to mean that the constitutionally protected free press would hold the powerful in government to account.
The concept worked for a while, but today, our 'mainstream media' has long since forgetten its founding role and instead behaves more like King George's media, reporting in a manner that protects the regime as well as the deep state apparatus behind it.
The latest case in point: The New York Times.
Two whistleblowers from The New York Times have told The Spectator that senior editors at 'the paper of record' intentionally killed any story that sought to uncover the true origin of the COVID-19 virus because early reports seen by those in the know indicated strongly that it leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, meaning it was manufactured and did not occur naturally in nature, as the world was told. Looked upon another way, the Times became a propaganda organ of the Chinese Communist Party because obviously its editorial staff align more with that authoritarian regime than with our own president at the time, Donald Trump, who suggested the lab-leak theory very early in the pandemic.
"In early 2020, I suggested to a senior editor at the paper that we investigate the origins of COVID-19," the source told Spectator writer Dominic Green.
"I was told it was dangerous to run a piece about the origins of the coronavirus. There was resistance to running anything that could suggest that [COVID-19 was manmade or had leaked accidentally from a lab]," the whistleblower added.
But Trump wasn't the only official in his government or others who did more than simply speculate where the virus came from, as the Spectator reported:
The global pandemic was then in its early stages. Donald Trump was running for reelection and calling SARS-CoV-2 the ‘Chinese virus’. His secretary of state Mike Pompeo had told ABC’s This Week in May 2020 that he had seen ‘significant’ and ‘enormous evidence’ of the virus originating in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. A few weeks later, Sir Richard Dearlove, the ex-head of Britain’s MI6 spy service agreed: ‘I subscribe to the theory…that it’s an engineered escapee from the Wuhan Institute [of Virology].’
"It was considered a conspiracy theory," a second Times reporter told Green, which is complete BS considering that the Times pushed the mother of all fake news conspiracy theories, and for years -- that the Trump campaign "colluded" with Mother Russia to "steal the election" from Hillary Clinton. The real reason is that the Times editors are ideologically aligned with Chinese authoritarianism and they didn't want to give Trump any sort of 'win' while they continued to make him the focus of the pandemic.
"It was untouchable everywhere. The fact that Trump embraced it, of course, also made it a no-go," the second whistleblower said.
"The idea was considered dangerous," the first source agreed.
Green went on to say that the editors' motivations weren't anti-Trump or political in nature, but that doesn't wash, especially given that the Times and virtually every other major news outlet ignored a bombshell report from Republicans this past week that confirmed the lab-leak theory is not a theory but a fact.
The mainstream media was silent on alarming findings from the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans' probe into the possible origins of COVID-19 on Monday, despite one lawmaker calling it the "greatest cover-up in human history."
The bombshell findings made the most detailed case yet that the coronavirus pandemic resulted from a leak from a Wuhan virology lab, but CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News and CBS News all failed to cover the report.
We don't really have a free press in America anymore; we have a gaggle of propaganda outlets.