As the mainstream media fawn over murderous dictatress Kim Yo Jong, sister of Little Rocket Man and leading figure in the North Korean regime that tortures hundreds of thousands of its own citizens in concentration camps while it enslaves and starves millions more through the most oppressive state on earth, it is easy to forget that there was once a time when American journalists did not seem to despise their own country.
Throughout the Second World War and early decades of the Cold War, the American press generally supported U.S. policy abroad. The New York Times reported General MacArthur’s 1942 landing in Australia with the headline, “MacArthur In Australia As Allied Commander; Move Hailed As Foreshadowing Turn of Tide.” When the jury was out, the New York Times chose to report its hopes for future American success. As 200,000 Allied soldiers died on the beaches of Normandy, the New York Times patriotically reported, “Hitler’s Sea Wall Breached, Invaders Fighting Way Inland.” As American forces suffered mass casualties at Iwo Jima, the Times reported, “U.S. Marines Storm Ashore On Iwo Island…Patton Strikes Again.” At Yalta, the Times asserted, “Big 3 Doom Nazism.” Other headlines celebrated the “rout of Germans” and other Allied successes because the New York newspaper knew it had a side. The American press was a partisan in its country’s battles, and it hoped for victory.
By the second Iraq War, the mainstream media had changed their tune entirely. Looking again just at the New York Times, headlines between 2004 and 2007 read, “Poll Shows View of Iraq War Is Most Negative Since Start,” “Getting Iraq Wrong,” “Former Top General in Iraq Faults Bush Administration,” “Injured In Iraq, A Soldier Is Shattered at Home,” and so on. Nearly every headline undermined the American war effort and undercut morale among soldier and civilian alike.
The mainstream media’s dramatic rejection of patriotism began with the most trusted man in America: Walter Cronkite. The CBS News anchor purported to present only the facts of any given situation “the way it is.” In reality, he exploited the trust of the American public to advance his radical agenda, facts be damned. Far from the last straight journalist before all hell broke loose, Cronkite was the man who did the breaking as the first major, modern American journalist to consider himself un-tethered to his own country, above all else a citizen of the world.
Just weeks after the victorious Tet Offensive, Walter Cronkite declared the war a stalemate. He falsely claimed, “To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of the evidence the optimists who have been wrong in the past.” In total ignorance and presumption, the broadcast went on, “The only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could.” Even a cursory glance at the evidence proves Cronkite a liar. In just the first few days of fighting during the Tet Offensive, the United States lost 249 men and South Vietnam 500 compared to 10,000 dead communists. Over a year after the Tet Offensive, CIA director Richard Helms predicted that Hanoi would require considerably more time to rebuild its forces. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Cronkite reported what he wanted to believe and in the eyes of history lost America the Vietnam War.
Cronkite harped incessantly on environmentalism and pseudo-scientific fads like overpopulation at a time when the earth sustained fewer than half as many people as live today. Two days before the first “Earth Day,” he hosted a regular segment titled, “Can The World Be Saved?” His introduction to George Orwell’s 1984 bizarrely interpreted the novel to portray the dangers of technology rather than totalitarian government, and he once unsubtly compared Barry Goldwater to the Nazis. By the 1990s, Cronkite had descended into full utopian hysteria, endorsing a one-world government and the concession of American sovereignty. He insisted,
If we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace. To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty.
As Joseph Epstein put it in Commentary Magazine, “By then Cronkite had entered that phase of liberalism that finds no country more dangerous than one’s own.” Journalists throughout the mainstream media refer to themselves primarily as “global citizens.” The American CEO of the largest publishing company in the history of the world thinks only globally, never nationally. Elite American academic institutions, ironically including Yale, the most famous alumni of which said upon his hanging that he only regretted that he had but one life to lose for his country, now call themselves “global universities” to educate “citizens of the world.”
The Left subverts chiefly through euphemism. There is no such thing as a “global citizen.” A citizen belongs to a country. Citizenship entitles one to certain privileges and rights granted or acknowledged by governments, including protection by military and police forces. Citizenship implies certain obligations, such as the paying of taxes, military service, and jury duty. Citizenship is a relationship with tangible consequences. Global citizenship entails none of those things. One’s right are not protected simply by virtue of existing in the world — just ask the citizens of North Korea.
The bonds that have sustained the nation-state as the basic unit of the world order in the four centuries since the Peace of Westphalia cannot be stretched indefinitely. Would-be citizens of the world operating from the husks of American journalism and academia effect a detached neutrality when it comes to their country’s standing in the world. Fortunately their countrymen are finally tuning them out.