Why Lester Holt’s Declaration That ‘Fairness Is Overrated’ Is So Dangerous

In the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s passing and some not inconsiderable attention to Rush’s role in the rise of conservative media (talk radio, Fox, Newsmax, OAN etc etc), it is worth taking note of NBC anchor Lester Holt’s recent talk on being awarded a lifetime achievement award.

So here is the headline from NewsBusters’s Kyle Drennen: “Accepting Murrow Award, NBC’s Holt Declares ‘Fairness Is Overrated.'”

The story begins by saying this:

During a virtual address to Washington State University’s College of Communications while accepting the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award Tuesday night, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt dismissed objective reporting and declared that “fairness is overrated.” The evening news host saw no reason to “always give two sides equal weight and merit,” as long as he deemed one side to have the correct position on an issue.

“The unprecedented attacks on the press in this period I’m sure will fill plenty of books….But I have a few early observations I’ll share about where this moment brings us and what we can learn,” Holt proclaimed during his speech. He followed up by announcing: “Number one is, I think it’s become clearer that fairness is overrated.”

Oh my. Where to begin?

That would be on Lester Holt’s sister network of MSNBC.

Again, note well that Mr. Holt said this, bold print for emphasis supplied:

That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention. Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of agenda. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

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Providing an open platform for misinformation, for anyone to come say whatever they want, especially when issues of public health and safety are at stake, can be quite dangerous.

Really? So where was Mr. Holt when the following was said over on MSNBC, as reported here by NewsBusters own Geoffrey Dickens:

“What Republicans are saying is they’re going to make it torture for you to vote in line by having fewer machines, beat-up machines at places….places where black folks live…make it impossible or torture for you to vote in line. And they’re going to make it impossible for you to vote by mail. They’re going to lock off every way that you can vote….This is the end of democracy in America. This is the beginning of the South Africa strategy…..It’s Jim Crow America.”

— Host Joy Reid on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, March 25.

“We have to stop these people [Republicans] at every single turn because they will take America back to the 1930s, ’40s, and ’20s, and make sure that nobody who’s not a straight white male Christian is actually able to vote and exercise their right in this country.”

— MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, March 18.

Say what? Right there in those two excerpts from an NBC-owned network are perfect examples of  NBC “providing an open platform for misinformation” and openly showcasing a “dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of agenda.”

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Let’s actually do right here what Mr. Holt says he favors —  shutting down misinformation.

1. It is a historical fact that it was Republicans who opposed the Democrats’ creation of Jim Crow laws.

2. It is a historical fact that it was Republicans who wrote and voted for the Fifteenth Amendment that gave African-American males the right to vote. Democrats opposed. Note: Women of all races did not gain the right to vote until the early 20th century. Again, Republicans supported giving women the right to vote.

3. Democrats, not Republicans, opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1866.  It was passed over the objection of Democrats. The law gave African-Americans the right to own private property, sign contracts, sue and serve as witnesses in a legal proceeding. The same is true of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which prohibited racial discrimination in public places and public accommodations.

4. Republicans, said the MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson “will take America back to the 1930s, ’40s, and ’20s.” Misinformation alert, Mr. Holt. In fact, in one platform after another in that time period Republicans specifically supported “Rights of the Negro”, opposed the Jim Crow segregation laws written by Democrats and repeatedly opposed lynching. In fact, in the 1930’s Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Alabama Senator Hugo Black, a lifetime member of the Ku Klux Klan, to the Supreme Court.

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One could go on and on with this kind of “misinformation” that is repeatedly presented on Mr. Holt’s own network – and it is noteworthy that, given what he says should be the standards in the media, he never calls out this rampant misinformation that is used to pursue a far-left agenda that, now as in decades past, depends on dividing and judging Americans by race.

In fact, this is exactly why the rise of conservative media. The hard fact is that misinformation —  not to mention disinformation — spews out of NBC and the rest of the mainstream liberal media with the force of water  gushing from an open fire hydrant.

With almost exactly the same level of purity. It’s dangerous and it shows the need to keep fighting the lies and misinformation of the left.

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