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Lester Holt’s ‘Fairness Is Overrated’ Monologue Accents Journalism’s Corruption

Lester Holt

In accepting the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism on Tuesday, NBC News anchor Lester Holt gave a monologue on why “fairness” in journalism is “overrated.”

“I think it’s become clearer that fairness is overrated,” Holt said. “The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in. That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention. Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of agenda, in fact, it’s just the opposite.”

Holt is squarely admitting what those on the right have recognized for quite some time. The left is no longer comfortable embracing liberal principles like equality of opportunity and instead has grown to be quite authoritarian. The NBC anchor’s embracement of censorship surely ought to take any constitutionally minded American or lover of freedom aback. In addition, his words align with a frightening sentiment brewing among Democrats that the other side must be muzzled at all costs.

While House Republicans continue sending letters to no avail to billionaire big tech CEOs demanding censorship initiatives be de-escalated, it is important to take note of what the other side is doing. Not only has the left encouraged social media platforms to continue removing conservative voices, but House Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote letters to 12 cable, satellite, and streaming companies demanding Fox News, Newsmax, One America News, and others be taken off the air due solely to the political views they host.

“The prolonged severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attack on our Capitol on January 6 have driven home a frightening reality: the spread of disinformation and extremism by traditional news media presents a tangible and destabilizing threat,” said Reps. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania.

Holt claimed that “providing an open platform for misinformation, for anyone to come say whatever they want, especially when issues of public health and safety are at stake, can be quite dangerous.” It’s worth noting that Holt said this before claiming the duty of a journalist is to “hold those in power accountable” and be “fair to the truth.”

If you notice, the anchor wholly contradicts himself in this statement. If in fact it is Holt’s understanding that journalism ought to be one-sided and organized solely by those he deems not spreading disinformation, it is incoherent for Holt to also claim journalism centers on being “fair to the truth.” Fairness is an apparently obsolete term in his twisted worldview, so why would he have any commitment to fairness when holding elected officials accountable and letting the American people search for truth in many places?

But the answer is quite simple, really. The legacy media—NBC, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, and so forth—are less concerned with searching for truth than being the arbiters of it. This could not have been better illustrated than when CNN’s Brian Stelter said “Freedom of speech is different than freedom of reach” and encouraged “reducing information pollution” in January.

It is not shocking in the slightest either that CNN White House Correspondent John Harwood would thank Holt for his monologue, or that Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy’s newsletter would plainly say “the NBC News anchor delivered a sharp critique of bothsidesism” as opposed to a critique on the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Holt is the same journalist who put on an interview for political theater with then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, asking her if “her feelings get hurt” when she gets in “political battles.” Holt said he “winced” when he heard a boy at a recent CNN town hall tell Clinton she was “dishonest.”

Why did Holt wince upon hearing not every American prescribes to his preferred orthodoxy that puts Democrats on a pedestal? He did so because of his assumption that he and his legacy-media allies are untouchable.

It turns out, gatekeepers do not much like being questioned because it inherently disrupts their purpose of crafting the eery narrative that there is only one side worth listening to in American politics. This side—the left—will do just about anything to ensure the show goes on, and the curtains never get yanked open.

“We need to hear our leaders’ views, their policies, and reasoning, it’s really important,” Holt said. “But we have to stand ready to push back and call out falsehoods.”

Holt qualifies that our leaders must be heard, presumably to sound as if he stands for democratic principles, and then moves to claim misinformation must be taken to war.

But truly, the NBC anchor by no means believes in giving leaders a platform to speak. If he did, he would have stood against his power-hungry corporate media allies in their support for censoring the president of the United States—the most powerful person in the world. The jargon about how “it’s really important” to “hear our leaders’ views” makes for dramatic television, but it is a far cry from failing to voice opposition over Trump and other Republicans being removed from internet platforms.

Do not forget, though: The ruling journalist class does not wish to be questioned, challenged, or proven wrong. Look no further than how a “race and inclusion” editor at USA Today claimed victimhood upon being fired for derogatory comments, or the media’s horror when Glenn Greenwald challenged the viewpoint of a USA Today intern for her controversial article on the Capitol breach.

What is most irritating of all about Holt’s monologue is his tone and the way he delivers this anti-democratic opinion with a straight face. To the corporate media shills who are running this country, truth only moves in one direction: from themselves and their inflated egos down to the rest of us.