Who is the liberal news conductor?

Reader Ron Joseph asked an intriguing question in an email:

Dear Editor,

I am a regular reader of the American Thinker and many of its writers. These are some very smart and well connected folks who are aware of what goes in on this planet and in our nation.

As such, I wonder if any of them have the insight to know or understand how, and at whose direction, this multitude of Fake News stories come to be?

A goodly many of them suddenly (on the same day and at about the same hour) pop up or come into being on and in the same TV channels and newspapers time after time. It happens too often to believe it is accidental or coincidental, as would happen with real breaking news as we all understand that term to mean.

We go to bed at night and nothing out of the ordinary is being reported; however when we awaken, all matters of Hell has broken out. All of the liberal channels are "on a story" and are quoting one or two newspapers about the "story/event" and all saying the same things, often using the very same phrases. It's suddenly there in our faces where it didn't exist several hours prior.

Who is doing this, who is the conductor of this liberal orchestra, who decides what they shall all be saying and at exactly which chosen hour?

The world does not work this way. Who is creating and forcing this garbage on to the nation and the world? Somebody has to know, and surely somebody would find this worthwhile to find out and divulge. They would be doing us all a great favor....and perhaps they could put an end to it through embarrassment..... if these people are capable of being embarrassed.

Thanks for "listening',

Ron Joseph

Lynchburg, Virginia


Here is what I wrote him back:

Hi Ron,

That's a good question. My guess is that it is not one individual, but rather a shared mentality that jumps on whatever comes up. The border children separation, for example, was ginned up by a small group, but was immediately recognized as high potential and pushed out vigorously – to the point of hysteria -  I just posted this a few minutes ago.

It's more of a movement than a conspiracy.

There are people like David Brock and the Center for American Progress that try to take leadership, but they don't command or conspire very much. They just throw material out there (using emails to media, of course) and see what works.


Thomas Lifson

Update from Thomas Lifson:

I am surprised and very pleased at the amount of commentary on this from readers. Because they care so much, I will expand on my thoughts about the difference between a conspiracy and a movement, and the reason why a “conductor” is unlikely.

First of all, the easy point: a “conductor” is in charge. I have two relatives who have been members of a very famous symphony orchestra, and have sat through performances, rehearsals, and many, many conversations about how a performance is shaped. There is a reason why a conductor is addressed as “Maestro” (“master”) when a musician greets him (or rarely, her).

 Now, some of the best stories of orchestra life revolve around the way that musicians challenge that authority, especially when a new conductor begins. The conductor has to earn respect that matches his formal authority. A leader who cannot win it, fails and leaves.

Progressives, especially those in the media, have huge egos. They have reason at all to accept the authority of a conductor. They are not salaried members of a symphony orchestra who can be fired, or have their contracts not renewed. They work for a network, a website, or a newspaper that regards itself as independent.

If the word “conductor” refers to a railway conductor, my understanding of that role is that the conductor is responsible for the movement of a train, and can order the engineer to stop. So, the point remains the same, but fewer personnel involved.

Now, as to a conspiracy with a central director, the same basic point applies. A conspiracy has a specific membership, is secret by definition, and, if there is to be central direction, requires disciplinary measures. But the problem with disciplining members of a conspiracy is the danger that those who are disciplined will get angry and reveal the secret organization.

Something akin to that happened when the “Journolist” conspiracy was exposed in 2010 (see here, here, and here, for examples of our coverage.) Someone blabbed.

A movement, by contrast, operates more openly, and members voluntarily comply with priorities because they make sense to them, and will advance the shared goal of the movement.

Now, I do not rule out that there might be private email chains and discussion threads that share ideas of talking points for media members to pick up.  And there might be people skilled at propaganda, like David Brock, whose ideas are frequently picked up upon by those who receive the emails. But because compliance is voluntary and discipline is difficult, I think the appropriate term is a movement, as opposed to a conspiracy with a leader in charge.

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