Attorney General William Barr delivered remarks at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention on Wednesday. His remarks included an emphasis on the necessity of faith-based media outlets to combat the rise of corporate media and fake news.
He also gave a crash course in American democracy, human flourishing and personal liberty citing St. Augustine of Hippo’s magnum opus City of God and Alexis de Tocqueville. He reminded the audience of Tocqueville’s warning that America could easily devolve into a “soft despotism.”
The Attorney General blasted the modern press. “Today, in the United States, the corporate – or ‘mainstream’ – press is massively consolidated. And it has become remarkably monolithic in viewpoint, at the same time that an increasing number of journalists see themselves less as objective reporters of the facts, and more as agents of change.”
Indeed, the vast majority of the news media is biased against the Republican party. In the 2016 presidential election, journalists donated $396,000 to presidential campaigns, of which 96%, or $382,000, went to candidate Hillary Clinton.
Unsurprisingly, 58% of journalists self-identify as liberal while only 4% call themselves conservative.
Attorney General Barr recognizes the monolithic nature of the modern press. He went on to highlight why a religious press is vital to keeping the American Republic.
“The key to restoring the press in that vital role is to cultivate a greater diversity of voices in the media. Religious broadcasters are one of the last holdouts in the consolidation of organs and viewpoints of the press. It is, therefore, essential that they continue your work and continue to supply the people with diverse, divergent perspectives on the news of the day. And in this secular age, it is especially vital that a religious perspective is voiced.”
The Attorney General also emphasized the importance of religion in a civil society. “The Founders also firmly believed that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government,” he said.
“As John Adams put it: ‘We have no government armed with the power which is capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.’ Tocqueville was especially emphatic on this score. He believed that religion was democracy’s most powerful antidote to any tendency toward a tyrannical majority hijacking the system for despotic ends.”
As a devout Catholic, Attorney General Barr understands the philosophical and religious underpinnings of American society more than most other government officials.
His contention, that faith-based media outlets are necessary to safekeep American freedom and preserve our religious foundation, is why The Daily Citizen exists.
As election season heats up, stay with us as we bring you real news from a faith-based perspective.
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