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When Opposing A Revolution Was Good For Business

loyalist newspaper

Independence Day 2017 would be an especially good time for Americans to read the Declaration of Independence from start to finish. You can read the text through this link.

The “long train of abuses and usurpations” recited as justification for the Declaration make a good metaphor for the Obama years, and with that thought it mind we invite your attention to this section of the text:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

After enduring an increasingly oppressive government, in 2016 Americans did not undertake to reassert their liberty through armed rebellion against the oppressive regime, but they did something almost as radical – they elected Donald Trump as their President.

And Trump has done his best to accomplish the same goal as the Declaration of Independence and the Continental Army did in the American Revolution: act as a wrecking ball to dismantle an oppressive political system created and enforced for the benefit of a small and rapacious elite.

It is lost to history now, but when the Declaration of Independence was announced and the American Revolution begun there was a powerful element of civil society opposed to independence – the elite media in the form of various loyalist newspapers.

In Boston, cradle of the American Revolution, there were eight “loyalist” printers.

The Massachusetts Gazette and the Boston Weekly News-Letter published by Richard Draper opposed independence. According to historian and bibliographer Timothy M. Barnes, Draper was bred to the newspaper business, the families of his mother and father represented control over the two oldest papers in Boston and the first two Loyalist newspapers on the continent, the Boston PostBoy and the Boston News-Letter.

John Green, the son of Bartholomew Green, the founder of the oldest newspaper on the continent, published the Boston News-Letter and also opposed the revolution through his newspaper the Boston Post-Boy Advertiser.

It is worth noting that both Draper and Green had strong commercial reasons for opposing the revolution – they had government printing contracts.

In New York, commercial hub of the American colonies, Rivington's New-York Gazetteer was the largest and most influential loyalist newspaper.  James Rivington, although he claimed to be a “journalist” and that his press was open and “uninfluenced” was appointed King's printer for New York, at £100 per year.

In Philadelphia the story was much the same, James Humphreys, Jr. published the loyalist Pennsylvania Ledger and also enjoyed lucrative government printing contracts.

From North to South it was much the same – an elite group of printers and newspaper publishers opposed the American Revolution, because it was (at least temporarily) good business to do so.

Today, as in the time of the American Revolution, the media elite oppose the revolution that the American people are making, not because its goals are unjust, but because opposition to the revolution is good business.

As Tim Hains posting on Real Clear Politics observed, in a video released last week by “Project Veritas” founder James O'Keefe, CNN producer John Bonifield was caught on film admitting that the network's constant coverage of the Trump-Russia narrative is "mostly bullshit" and "the president is probably right to say [CNN] is witch-hunting [him]."

He also noted the story is "good for business."

"I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime," he said. "I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof."

He also said: "It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss…All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business."

About CNN CEO, Jeff Zucker, the producer said: "Just to give you some context, President Trump pulled out of the climate accords and for a day and a half we covered the climate accords. And the CEO of CNN (Jeff Zucker) said in our internal meeting, he said good job everybody covering the climate accords, but we’re done with that, let’s get back to Russia."

Today, as we celebrate our commitment to the self-evident truths that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” let’s not forget that the revolution that made the Declaration of Independence fact was accomplished not because of, but over the opposition of, the media elite of the day.

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