Journalist Ken Silverstein thinks the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal would be a bigger story if not for the obvious partisan bias at outlets like the New York Times.
Silverstein’s piece at the Observer raises a question that many conservatives have been wondering for months and, in some cases, years:
Why is no one in the D.C. political class and media bubble talking about the Jeffrey Epstein affair? Well, it’s not true that they’re not talking about it at all; they’re just not (for the most part) talking about it honestly or asking the right questions.
He goes on to ask, “How did our political and media elites ever become so hopelessly corrupt?” These are all good questions and Silverstein goes on to name several outlets (NY Times, Mother Jones) which he says have offered minimal but not impassioned coverage of the story. He even manages to slip in well-deserved knock on the odious David Brock.
Despite all of this, Silverstein never quite comes out and says what he clearly means, i.e. that liberal bias plays a big role in suppressing the story. He does say the NY Times is “probably afraid to look at the story too carefully and draw the obvious conclusions.” But again, he doesn’t spell out why they are afraid or dwell on that for very long. Maybe that’s because it’s obvious but under the circumstances it still seems worth a few paragraphs.
According to his bio, Silverstein has written for Harper’s magazine and the LA Times. He also had a short, rocky stint at Glenn Greenwald’s First Look Media. Silverstein wrote a sharp account of his falling out with First Look for Politico Magazine. He specifically criticized the site’s reaction to pieces he co-wrote suggesting that the popular Serial podcast was wrong about its central premise, i.e. that Baltimore teen Adnan Syed was innocent. Silverstein’s investigation suggested just the opposite.
Our stories, though, showed the opposite—documenting the work of the prosecutor and the star witness. Given the viral success of the show, our follow-up stories were a huge success—possibly the biggest thing The Intercept has ever published. They were, though, hugely controversial inside our organization. Why wouldn’t a huge editorial success be celebrated inside The Intercept? Because we were siding with The Man.
Siding with The Man was considered problematic at First Look, and Silverstein, to his dismay, soon found his pieces being reviewed by other writers who were not his editors.
I point all this out to indicate that Silverstein seems willing to acknowledge when leftist cant becomes a problem for people who want to cover the news honestly. When it comes to the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, he seems to circling the same problem once again.
It’s encouraging that someone outside the right has noticed the obvious partisan gridlock surrounding the Epstein scandal and its connection to the Clintons. Maybe Silverstein can start a trend of socially progressive but honest reporters who will press for more substantive coverage of the story.