But something happened to the media as then-GOP presidential contender Donald Trump first began to gain a lot of ground during his 2016 campaign and quickly rise to the top of the crowded Republican field, eventually winning the presidency unexpectedly.
At that point, the corporate media threw off all pretenses of even appearing to try to be unbiased but did so in a way that made it appear as though they were doing their jobs 'on behalf of the people.'
A stunning new report from The Gatestone Institute reveals that the corporate media, working in conjunction with social media behemoth Facebook, created a "news cartel" echo chamber of propaganda using the lie that Trump and Vladimir Putin 'conspired' to "steal" the 2016 election from the 'rightful' heir to Barack Obama's nightmarish regime, Hillary Clinton.
Gatestone's Daniel Greenfield notes:
The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook paid over $20 million to the New York Times and $15 million to the Washington Post in annual fees. Even more valuable than the big checks was Facebook's ability to push media content to its users. Last year, sources at several publishers were crediting Facebook News with massive traffic surges, but not everyone was equal.
"Many other U.S. news publishers are getting payments from Facebook to have their content featured in its news tab, but they only get a fraction of the sums paid to the Washington Post, the New York Times," The Wall Street Journal reported.
What happened, Greenfield noted, is that Facebook and certain major corporate media created a "cartel in which media sites created paywalls to raise the value of their content" and thereby garner better deals with Facebook, which is essentially a monopoly in that particular social media space. Mark Zuckerberg's company offered and then handed out big checks to some of the platform's biggest critics that were claiming the platform was 'used by Russia' to essentially help Trump win (there were a few Russian troll farms on Facebook but not nearly enough to do much of anything). At the same time, Facebook handed those media critics exclusive deals and both were able to then claim they were "fighting misinformation." But it was really a shakedown by a media cartel.
"When the media accused Facebook of spreading conservative misinformation, the only defense was providing special privileges for the media," Greenfield wrote. "Despite the fundamental illegality of such cartels, Democrat politicians and the media openly pressured Facebook to promote 'responsible' journalism, by which they meant their own political content, at the expense of 'misinformation,'" which, of course, was defined as just about anything that came from conservative or independent publishers that merely leaned right.
The biggest casualty was the truth, of course; the far-left Democratic Party and its media allies push the lie that they are the only purveyors of "truth" and that any sites even remotely complimentary of Donald Trump's highly successful four-year term are the real disinformation outlets.
The biggest example of this cartel in action was when, shortly before the November 2020 election, the social media giants got together with corporate media to squelch damning revelations about Joe and Hunter Biden reported by the New York Post; the outlet was shut out of its Twitter account, the story was censored by Facebook, and the left-wing Democrat media refused to report it (and called in 'Russian disinformation').
"The two interlocking cartels, Big Tech and the media, became politically and then economically interdependent in a way that was both illegal and deeply dangerous to a free society," Greenfield noted.
"The lies, the conspiracy theories and the censorship are products of technopolitical collusion between two sets of corrupt companies that have devastated our politics, our culture and our country," he added.