How Media Moved to Balance and Elite Manipulation and Against Objectivity

Executive Summary

  • Media moved to an approach of “balance” that is both not objective and is against the scientific method.
  • Less frequently known is that a primary proponent of balance was an elitist propagandist name, Walter Lippmann.


The media has focused on balance for many decades. Balance is where each side is given equal time and equal footing, and the journalist tries to present each side.

The important question is, when did this start.

How and When Media Adopted “Balance”

This quotation very much explains the history of the adoption of the “balance” approach.

In the case of journalism, this professionalism manifested itself in the doctrine of objectivity, ideally, Neil gobbler writes. This means that the journalist enters into research with an open mind, explores all the facts considers all the angles and then presents conclusions supported by those facts, quote, the roots for this go back more than a century when the journalistic extremists of the yellow press era, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer control the American newspapers progressives decide to fight against these press Lord sensationalistic propaganda stick papers that traded in scandal and use your pages to promote pet causes most famously hurts desire to provoke a Spanish American War, the progressives called for a new professionalized journalism in which reporters couldn’t be advocates who took sides so much as observers who collected facts.

Unfortunately, he adds it was a very short distance from so-called objectivity, in which one might be forced to sit take sides by the facts to balance in which one avoided taking sides by presenting the arguments for each, thus balance you serve the role of objectivity simply because balance requires no defense. It is neutral bland and safe, it is all also often misleading as can easily play into the hands of hucksters and opportunists like Raymond Williams warned against before the printing press, there had been no division between fact and opinion, the newspaper and owner editor-publisher was a pamphleteer a journalist and pundit, and occasionally a politician as well, with the invention of the penny press and the reporter news and opinion had been segregated as had business and editorial if there was an opening shot fired in the battle against the subjective narrative it came in 1851 with Henry J Raymond’s front page launch message for the first edition of The New York Times, we do not mean to write as if we were in a passion, unless that should really be the case and we shall make a point to get into a passion as rarely as possible. Ramin was reacting to the excesses of his former employer, Horace Greenlee’s New York Tribune which invented the editorial page, but had not purged its news pages of opinion.

Compare Raymond’s remarks to the inspirational mission statement laid down in 1835 by James Gordon Bennett for his New York Herald, and you get a glimpse of the recurring struggle in journalism between the cold scientific detachment favored by Walter Lippmann, and the passion involvement advocacy by john Dewey and much later, the public journalism movement. Unfortunately, however many newspapers idea of objectivity was at tinman one in which cranks lobbyists and special interest objectives were given equal time with scientists politicians NGOs.

The most commonly cited indictment of the balance is the case of Senator Joseph McCarthy in his campaign against communists who were supposedly infesting all levels of US government and culture in the 1950s, every time McCarthy spouted, the numbers of communists in the State Department or other federal agencies. The press obediently quoted him on critically.

In the same way the tobacco industry was able to use questionable experts to deliver quotes to the media. This created enough uncertainty to keep cigarettes on sale and the company’s profitable for years after medical science that conclusively proven that smoking caused cancer and lung disease that approach later became the model for climate change denier and goes along denial and goes a long way towards explaining why Donald Trump has become a fox news visiting expert on political science, economics and climatology balance was mistaken for objectivity. And because balance is so easy to pervert objectivity with discredited discredited in the minds of many journalists and observers in the industry. – Crash Paywall Canadian Newspaper Disruption

A Major Proponent of Balance Was an Avowed Elitist and Propagandist?

What is curious about this is that this idea of balance is that media influencer Walter Lippmann proposed it. For over a decade, Walter Lippmann was the most influential in journalism and PR in the US and had won two Pulitzer Prizes.

However, Walter Lippmann proposed manipulating the public, as is covered in the following video analysis.

And is also covered in the following video.

Walter Lippmann was the individual who coined the term “Cold War.” This is unsurprising as the Cold War was a deception program. Both populations of the US and Soviet Union were deceived into supporting large military expenditures that benefit the defense industry. According to Lippmann, the population cannot know what they should spend money on and must be directed by elites to push these expenditures into conflicts with false assumptions and origins like the Cold War…or, by extension, the War on Terror. 

Notice the traditional elitist argument he made used to justify manipulating the population.

Lippmann noted that modern realities threatened the stability that the government had achieved during the patronage era of the 19th century. He wrote that a “governing class” must rise to face the new challenges.

In his first book on the subject, Public Opinion (1922), Lippmann said that mass man functioned as a “bewildered herd” who must be governed by “a specialized class whose interests reach beyond the locality.” The élite class of intellectuals and experts were to be a machinery of knowledge to circumvent the primary defect of democracy, the impossible ideal of the “omnicompetent citizen”.  – Wikipedia

Yes, and this governing class must delude the population with “necessary illusions.” This justified the elite not to provide accurate information to the public. Naturally, there does not seem to be any introspection as to whether the elite will do anything more than representing their own interests and delude the public into supporting elite interests.

Lippmann’s philosophy leads to what is described in the video above. The Princeton research shows virtually zero relationships between what the public supports and what becomes law or legislation. Lippmann’s philosophy is where all reality runs through the country’s elite, which is what the US has gradually devolved into today. This erosion has occurred as a smaller percentage of the electorate votes, exactly what Lippmann wanted. Lippman’s perfect system would be where the population is so disillusioned that virtually no one votes. 

This is the same philosophy as proposed by Leo Strauss. One can not help by noticing in reading the biographies of both men that both men were Jewish but were from German Jewish parents. Leo Strauss was born in 1899, and Walter Lippmann was born in 1889, so just ten years apart, although Leo Strauss was born in German and immigrated to the UK in 1936 and finally to the US in 1937, while Lippman was born in New York. As will be covered, the US would have been far better off if neither man had ever been allowed to enter the country.

Leo Strauss and the Neocons

Leo Strauss taught at the University of Chicago. Like Donald Rumsfeld, he educated many people that would end up becoming the Neocons, or Neoconservatives that pushed the US into war versus Iraq and Afghanistan based on false intelligence. Leo Strauss would have said that this was necessary to keep the population concentrated on an external threat, so they did not focus on their own selfish desires. For decades, one of the most powerful groups within the conservative area and the Republican Party has been the Neocons. While proposing the same basic ideas as Leo Strauss, Lippmann led to the Neoliberals’ development, an even more influential force in the liberal side of the political spectrum and within the Democratic Party.

Donald Rumsfeld illustrates the deceptive statements of a Straussian. As with the rest of the Neocons, at least influenced by Strauss, lying is normalized.

Paul Wolfowitz, another Neocon predicted a two-week war with Iraq which would cost the US taxpayers zero dollars as the invasion and occupation would be paid for with Iraq oil revenues. Nothing in Wolfowitz’s presentation here came true, which is a feature of virtually every time a Neocon makes a statement. 

Straussianism and Neonservativism as a Series of Ending Lying for Elite Interests

It is now established that the Neocons falsified all of the evidence that was used to support the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. What is curious is that the story of how 9/11 transpired, which was used as an excuse to start the wars and pass The Patriot Act, was created by the same group of Neocons that falsified the intelligence that led to the invasions of these countries. Asking for evidence that supports the official story about 9/11 is normally called a conspiracy theory.

However, why would anyone listen to any story presented by Neocons, not only given their multi-decade history of providing false information, but the fact that Neoconservative philosophy is strongly influenced by Straussianism, which proposes deceiving the population to achieve elite objectives? The very fact that a Neoconservative is bringing forth an argument, given their track record, is good enough of a reason to either dismiss the argument out of hand or too aggressively research every single point made by the Neoconservative. Therefore, the Neoconservatives communicated most of the information about 9/11 must by itself sufficient evidence that large parts of the story around 9/11 must not be true.

And there is something else very curious about 9/11.

The Neoconservatives were remarkably fast in springing into action to leverage 9/11 into their three primary goals — one being increasing the police control over the population (with The Patriot Act), creating a fake new threat (The War on Terror), and invading two countries that they had already been on record as saying they wanted to invade (Iraq & Afghanistan), both of which had nothing to do with 9/11. Recall, this is the same group that believed it was justified to falsify the strength of the Soviet Union to create the illusion of a common goal among the population, which we will cover in just a few paragraphs.

The Straussian View of Writing in Circles

Unsurprisingly, Leo Strauss supported esoteric writing — which is where the meaning is hidden from the reader, as the following quote explains.

In 1952 he published Persecution and the Art of Writing, arguing that serious writers write esoterically, that is, with multiple or layered meanings, often disguised within irony or paradox, obscure references, even deliberate self-contradiction. Esoteric writing serves several purposes: protecting the philosopher from the retribution of the regime, and protecting the regime from the corrosion of philosophy; it attracts the right kind of reader and repels the wrong kind; and ferreting out the interior message is in itself an exercise of philosophic reasoning. – Wikipedia

This is writing developed in a society that does not have freedom of speech. This means that the writer places hidden meanings into his writing that like-minded and elite individuals can only decode. This is explained in the following quote.

Strauss indicates that medieval political philosophers, no less than their ancient counterparts, carefully adapted their wording to the dominant moral views of their time, lest their writings be condemned as heretical or unjust, not by “the many” (who did not read), but by those “few” whom the many regarded as the most righteous guardians of morality.

..Strauss is often accused of having himself written esoterically. The accusation would seem to rest upon the belief that in modern-era liberal societies and, especially in the United States, philosophers are not free to voice their philosophical views in public without being accused of impropriety. – Wikipedia

The criticism of Strauss is telling. I wrote everything about Strauss above before reading this critique.

Some critics of Strauss have accused him of being elitist, illiberalist and anti-democratic. Shadia Drury, in Leo Strauss and the American Right (1999), claimed that Strauss inculcated an elitist strain in American political leaders linked to imperialist militarism, neoconservatism and Christian fundamentalism. Drury argues that Strauss teaches that “perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what’s good for them.”(emphasis added)

Nicholas Xenos similarly argues that Strauss was “an anti-democrat in a fundamental sense, a true reactionary.” As Xenos says, “Strauss was somebody who wanted to go back to a previous, pre-liberal, pre-bourgeois era of blood and guts, of imperial domination, of authoritarian rule, of pure fascism.” – Wikipedia

Yes. And this is precisely what the Neocons did when they were in power. They were in power three times in the US political structure. One was in the Nixon Administration, the next was the Reagan Administration and the final time (so far) was the Bush #2 Administration.

The Neocons engaged in wars that cost the US trillions, destabilized regions, and were based upon entirely false information during the Bush #2 Administration. The Neocons were primary in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Neocons were also part of a competitive intelligence group lead by Donald Rumsfeld in the 1970s that exaggerated the threat of the Soviet Union, beyond the already aggressive overestimation of the CIA. This group was called “Plan B.” Later evaluation of the estimations of Soviet strength and intentions decades after Plan B finished with its analysis found that not a single proposal by Plan B turned out to be true. However, knowing that the Neocons were behind Plan B, was there ever doubt that they would have a zero percent accuracy rate?

Lippmann and Censorship

As Lippmann favored propaganda, he also favored censorship.

The basic problem of democracy, he wrote, was the accuracy of news and protection of sources. He argued that distorted information was inherent in the human mind. People make up their minds before they define the facts, while the ideal would be to gather and analyze the facts before reaching conclusions. By seeing first, he argued, it is possible to sanitize polluted information. Lippmann argued that interpretation as stereotypes (a word which he coined in that specific meaning) subjected us to partial truths. – Wikipedia

Notice that while he observed the distortion of information “inherent to the human mind,” he did not seem to make the same observation about the functioning of the minds of the “governing class.”

Naturally, “polluting information” would be any information that provided evidence against what Lippmann would want readers to know. Under this logic, the journalist is justified in excluding information from an article that would confuse the reader. In Neocon speech, the term they would use to describe how they would write analysis is so that it is “clearer than truth.” This roughly approximates writing highly leading and censored information that leads the reader to only one possible conclusion. Observe that neither truth nor falsity is part of this philosophy.

In fact, Lippmann argued against the truth, as the following quotation explains.

A journalist’s version of the truth is subjective and limited to how they construct their reality. The news, therefore, is “imperfectly recorded” and too fragile to bear the charge as “an organ of direct democracy.” – Wikipedia

How According to Lippmann, The General Population Has a Cognition Level Below Livestock

The following is more of a description of Lippmann’s elitist views.

Public opinion is incoherent, lacking an organised or a consistent structure to such an extent that the views of US citizens could best be described as “nonattitudes”[37]

Public opinion is irrelevant to the policy-making process. Political leaders ignore public opinion because most Americans can neither “understand nor influence the very events upon which their lives and happiness are known to depend.” – Wikipedia


They have no idea what events upon which their lives and happiness depend?

Even cows know that they like to be treated humanly. If offered the vote, cows would vote for being on grass rather than on depressing feedlots. This type of quote is evidence-free and places human cognition below that of cows. For example, in the US, many polls have shown that most people support a single-payer type of system — even those who don’t often desire to have Medicare extended to them, a single-payer system. However, according to Lippmann, these people have no idea what their happiness depends upon and must have the highly inefficient US health care system imposed upon them — from the health care lobbyists that represent private hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies that participate in the most expensive health care system in the world, but which provides the health care outcomes of countries that spend roughly 1/5th what the US health care system does per capita.

Lippmann’s views here are presented without any evidence, and they are also problematic historically. This is because edited do not have a history of representing the rest of the population’s interests. The only time that the population’s conditions have improved is when governments and companies have responded to pressure from the population. The representative government itself responded to the population stating to the elites in Athens that they would not fight against or otherwise resist an invading army. This fear is what leads to the first experiment in a minimal democracy in Greece. This was not offered freely by the elites but offered out of fear on the part of Athenian elites that they would be pushed out of their positions of power if they could not convince the population to defend their society. Elites did not offer the 40-hour workweek to workers. Instead, it was fought for by unions. Seat belts were not “offered” by US car manufacturers. They had to be fought for by Nader’s Raiders. Under Lippmann’s philosophy, there would be no 40 hour work week, no overtime, and no seatbelts as the common person have no idea what his happiness is based upon. Only the elites, who opposed the 40 hour work weeks, child labor laws, workplace safety laws, and seatbelt laws, “know” what is right for the population.

Therefore, if the population cannot advocate for itself, it isn’t easy to see how the elites can rely upon it. Lippmann could have spent less time making assertions and more time investigating the assumptions of his proposal. However, Lippmann does not have a pattern of proving evidence for his assertions. Most of his writing is like this. It moves from assertion to assertion.

Lippmann and Neoliberalism

French philosopher Louis Rougier convened a meeting of primarily French and German liberal intellectuals in Paris on August 1938 to discuss the ideas put forward by Lippmann in his work The Good Society (1937). They named the meeting after Lippmann, calling it the Colloque Walter Lippmann. The meeting is often considered the precursor to the first meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society, convened by Friedrich von Hayek in 1947. At both meetings discussions centered around what a new liberalism, or “neoliberalism“, should look like. – Wikipedia

Neoliberalism is the dominant philosophy in the US Democratic Party and many political parties in “democracies.” Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Barack Obama, Joseph Biden, and nearly the entire Democratic establishment in the US subscribe to neoliberalism.

How is it that such a philosophy that is so opposed to democratic ideas would take root in parties that state they function within democracies? Neoliberalism and Lippmann propose a faux democracy, where the public is manipulated through elite-controlled media.

Neoliberalism strips out government protections and leads to privatization and enormous corruption. For example, Russia followed the advice of neoliberalist advisors trained at Harvard and The University of Chicago into creating a class of oligarchs.

Examples of Neoliberal Policies and Values

  • Neoliberalism leads to banks being nearly unregulated while being able to pass losses on to the taxpayer, as the government protects the profits of large banking interests. This allows profits to be private in good times (at the top of the bubble) while socializing taxpayers’ losses when the bubble pops. The reaction to the 2008 banking crisis, where all of the executives who created the crisis received their bonuses, as all of the bailout money was given to banks without any restrictions on spending this money. Neoliberalism has gotten to the final endpoint of financializing the economy. As the real economy is in decline under Coronavirus restrictions, Wall Street and financial assets are at all-time highs due to massive Fed subsidies. This massive transfer from taxpayers to the elite is designated under the idea of “saving the economy.” The 2020 stimulus, which resulted in $300 billion going to normal working people, with the remainder of the $5 trillion going to elites — is a perfect representation of neoliberalism — which is increasingly difficult to distinguish from pro-business Republicanism.
  • Neoliberalism believes that there is no degree of monopoly power where the government needs to intervene. There is no US antitrust law for Neoliberals to enforce, and monopolies are good as they decrease prices.
  •  Neoliberalism supports unlimited amounts of money in the political system. It considers money to be speech and that the people and entities that have the most money deserve the most speech.
  • Neoliberalism in practice opposes merit. Instead, it supports university affiliation. A huge number of neoliberals attended only a few schools. Perhaps the most common being Yale and Harvard Law Schools. It is easy to fall into thinking that neoliberalism is intellectual because its adherents attended elite educational institutions. However, that would be a mistake. Neoliberal like Bill Clinton, Michele Obama (Harvard Law), and Hillary Clinton can make large numbers of inane statements and never be called out. The quality of thought is declared through university affiliation, and it is very rarely demonstrated. To the Neoliberal, the status of being elite is through graduation, not through anything after that.

Noam Chomsky describes what Neoliberalism does to countries. 

Lippmann Changes Course Later in Life?

Curiously, like James Madison, Lippmann eventually concluded that the elites were not “enlightened” and led society to a better future.

The Public Philosophy (1955), which took almost twenty years to complete, he presented a sophisticated argument that intellectual elites were undermining the framework of democracy. The book was very poorly received in liberal circles. – Wikipedia

Hmmm, why would the book be poorly received in liberal circles unless liberals held the view of his first books and were themselves part of this poorly functioning “governing class” that deluded the public?

Comparing IT Media on Balance in Different Media Sectors

The curious thing is that large media areas don’t even bother providing sources that are not aligned with their advertisers. IT media is a perfect example of this. Major media entities in IT tend to quote the industry sources that also buy advertisements and paid placements.


What is presented as the balance is not following the scientific method. If the media’s balance were applied, then every scientific paper would include a list of pros and cons. For example, a scientific paper that followed this modality on evolution would list the information from sources that support evolution and then list the information from sources on creationism. If science worked this way, there would never be any progress because none of the false information or false competing hypotheses would be eliminated.

Secondly, this approach means that the journalist has to do very little work. All they have to do is list what experts or sources say. They both never have to invest in researching what is true and what is not, and they also can be cowardly, and they never have to stand up to concentrated power. It also means that media entities can hire inexperienced journalists. This has been my experience with being used as a source by journalists. They appear to be often quite young, have next to no domain experience, and are risk-averse. That is, they are the exact people you would not want to write articles on the topic for which I was used as a source.

Finally, the concept of balance was promoted by what was little more than elitist propagandists in Lippmann and Strauss, who promoted the idea of deceiving the public to achieve elite objectives. Strauss influenced a highly destructive elitist conservative movement called Neoconservatism. Lippmann influenced a highly destructive elitist liberal movement called Neoliberalism. Lippmann’s later book rejects much of his early assertion that elites deluding the brainless population would lead to beneficial outcomes for society, however at the point where he changed his mind, he promptly fell out of favor with liberal elites.