Within minutes of the announcement by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) that incumbent Democrat President Joe Biden is facing a full impeachment inquiry, newsrooms around the country began running articles and editorials dripping with skepticism. New reports Wednesday have revealed that the Biden White House is now overtly exerting its influence on the editors and boards of publications and news services nationwide, calling on them to intensify their scrutiny of the GOP-led House.
According to Newsmax, citing CNN, White House impeachment war room spokesman Ian Sams penned a letter that will be sent out to The New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, and CBS News, among others. In the letter, Sams reportedly says that an impeachment inquiry that he claims has no supporting evidence should “set off alarm bells for news organizations.”
“It’s time for the media to ramp up its scrutiny of House Republicans for opening an impeachment inquiry based on lies,” he wrote, adding seemingly specific instructions for the outlets. “Covering impeachment as a process story – Republicans say X, but the White House says Y – is a disservice to the American public who relies on the independent press to hold those in power accountable.”
He further seemed to demand that the news outlets abandon any pretense of neutrality and integrity by implying they should editorialize and add opinion in any stories pertaining to the impeachment. “And in the modern media environment, where every day liars and hucksters peddle disinformation and lies everywhere from Facebook to Fox,” he prefaced the wildly inappropriate guidance.
Sams lamented the media for failing “to unpack the illegitimacy of the claims on which House Republicans are basing all their actions only serve to generate confusion, put false premises in people’s feeds, and obscure the truth.”
In other words, he suggests that reporting the news and substance of the impeachment inquiry, without opinion-based framing and outlets’ editorial assessment of the evidence and allegations, ‘obscures truth.’
Award-winning journalist Matthew Keys posted his outrage to X, formerly Twitter: “This is not okay. The White House should not be encouraging, influencing or interfering in the editorial strategies of America’s newsrooms, including CNN and the New York Times. “
This is not okay. The White House should not be encouraging, influencing or interfering in the editorial strategies of America's newsrooms, including CNN and the New York Times. https://t.co/Bk4IzrWZo6
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) September 13, 2023
“Now, any time the media DOES try to hold Republican lawmakers to account, those lawmakers can simply counter by questioning whether it’s actual journalism or something encouraged by the Biden administration,” he added, as reported by Newsmax.
“All this demonstrates is that the Biden administration has lost confidence in the news media – which I guess mirrors public sentiment over the last few years, too. The problem is they’re trying to influence coverage. The government should never do that. It is inappropriate,” Keys wrote.