Much of America’s news media manipulate public perceptions through sensationalism and omission of context to further a political agenda, determined Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD), highlighting the industry’s broad advocacy for lockdowns in relation to the coronavirus outbreak. She offered her remarks on Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
News media bias is revealed through information selection and omission, Noem observed.
“I never had conflict with the press,” said Noem, reflecting on her years as an elected official. “I certainly, at times, felt like they were not being fair, but what I really realized the last six to eight months is how manipulative they can be towards public perception, and I think they do a lot of it through what they choose to cover and what they choose not to cover.”
Noem continued, “They definitely spent a lot of time attacking — and I would say — really sensationalizing items and pulling out facts that worked for an agenda that they were trying to sell, and then rarely covering the good news of what was happening here in South Dakota, and that really is what is disturbing to me.”
“I’ve spoken quite often about the press and how they are doing a grave disservice to the public by what they’re doing, by manipulating perceptions out there,” Noem added.
On Monday, Noem issued a statement heralding freedom over coercion, while contrasting her strategy towards the coronavirus outbreak with that of governors issuing shutdown and lockdown decrees. Part of her statement read:
Perhaps the most significant takeaway so far is that more freedom, not more government, is the answer… Freedom is a better friend of true science than government-centered and government-controlled science. Freedom, not government, is the best friend of innovation. Freedom focuses our politics on persuasion and the intellectual strength of our positions, not on control, coercion or the heavy hand of government. And if someone is interested in the common good in all its iterations and complexities, freedom is the one and only choice.
My approach to this virus was to provide South Dakotans with all the information I could and then trust them to exercise their freedom to make the best decision for themselves and their families. We took a unique path – we haven’t locked people up, forced businesses or churches to close, or ordered a statewide shelter in place.
The mainstream media attack those who push for freedom and for people to be able to make the best decisions for their families. But politicians who take away people’s freedoms and enforce lockdowns are praised – and shielded from real scrutiny.
Political exploitation of crises to diminish freedom and further centralize power undermines American values, Noem declared.
“In the time of crisis, if you have a leader overstep their authority, that’s really when we possibly lose what’s special about America,” Noem stated. “That’s when we lose our freedoms and our liberties, and I knew that I didn’t want to be the leader that did that. I put my faith in the people, and they overwhelmingly trusted me and and took the actions that were necessary, and I think South Dakota really is an example to the nation of what is possible when we remember those values that our Founders really stood for and built this country with.”
Noem warned of politically coordinated advocacy of shutdowns and lockdowns across government, news media, and ostensibly scientific organizations.
“What we have noticed is science being manipulated in different ways throughout this pandemic,” Noem said. “I think we’ve seen government come in with an agenda and use science to back it up, when if you really do the research [and] you really dig into the topic of true science, it doesn’t support what they’re telling us to do.”
Public opinion is often manipulated through “what [the media] choose to talk about and cover versus what they choose not to cover,” Noem remarked, “and overwhelmingly, they have covered what they think have been good policies of shutting down businesses [and] sheltering in place. Overwhelmingly, the national press has covered that as a good thing to do and neglected to reflect on what really happened in some of these states where people are still free.”
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