Federal Judge Laurence Silberman slams media, accusing it of being a “trumpet” for the Democratic Party
A federal appeals court judge in his dissenting opinion in a defamation case on Friday accused The New York Times and The Washington Post of being “Democratic Party broadsheets.”
Washington, D.C., Circuit Senior Judge Laurence Silberman, 85, who was appointed by former President Reagan, argued in his opinion that the news industry at large is dominated with a “bias against the Republican Party” that he wrote was “rather shocking.”
While the case did not specifically relate to either paper, the judge used his opinion to argue that the Times and Post served largely as mouthpieces for the Democratic Party, adding “the news section of The Wall Street Journal leans in the same direction.”
Judge Silberman called on his fellow judges to overturn a Supreme Court landmark decision protecting the press, complaining that conservatives are oppressed by liberal outlets, academia and tech companies that combine to create “a frighteningly orthodox media culture.”
The judge was countering his colleagues’ decision to toss a libel suit filed by two former Liberian officials against human rights group Global Witness.
The ex-officials had sued over a report by a human rights group called Global Witness that they said implied they had accepted bribes from an oil company.
Silberman complained in his lone, dissenting opinion about the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision requiring libel plaintiffs prove “actual malice,” and called on the Supreme Court to revisit the landmark ruling.
The Reagan appointee said increasing the power of the media is “so dangerous,” “because we are very close to one-party control of these institutions.”
“Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets,” Silberman claimed.
He also griped that the news section of The Wall Street Journal and most television outlets also skew to the left.
Silberman said a “one-party control of the press” poses a threat to a “viable democracy.”
He cited Fox News, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal opinion and editorial pages as one of the “few notable exceptions to Democratic Party ideological control.”