Facts Versus False Narratives
There’s no question that I’ve been blessed to earn financial success in my life through incredible hard work and determination, beyond what I could have ever imagined. I also anticipated when entering politics that I would be attacked for having lived and worked for the American Dream, which is increasingly dismissed by some in favor of divisive class warfare and victimhood. What I could not have imagined at the time – though we now see it every day – is the lengths the corporate media will go to tear someone down that they view as a threat to their ideology.
Within weeks of being sworn into the Senate, The Daily Beast, known as a highly partisan publication, wrote a political attack story that read like it was written in coordination with Democrat operatives. It was a hit piece designed to destroy my candidacy, reputation and my family. It stated in a false claim that I had traded stocks following a senate briefing, profiting from “insider trading”. As someone who spent over 20-years, with a career based on integrity, expertise and regulatory compliance in financial services, I immediately went on three national interviews to present the actual facts demonstrating that this was a lie — and I invited any investigation to validate this.
The facts were that, due to my and my husband’s roles in financial services, we did not have access to discretionary stock trading accounts, and had contractually prevented ourselves from directing third-party managers’ portfolio trades. I met a higher standard for compliance than was asked of any other member of the Senate. In fact, and importantly, the system we had in place effectively created a walled-off relationship that far surpassed the Senate standards under the STOCK Act. Thorough investigations were done, and the corporate media’s false claims that stock trades were based on advance knowledge of a coming pandemic were quickly debunked and dismissed.
What I came to realize was that, in politics, the facts didn’t matter — and I was witnessing the depths that my opponents and the partisan media were willing to go to try to destroy my character. They refused to present the actual facts at the risk of ruining their narrative. The eagerness of the corporate press to abuse the federal disclosure process – which is designed to offer trust and transparency, and with which I fully complied from day one – undermines journalistic integrity and public trust. Yes, we have a free press in this country, but with that unconstrained freedom should come the responsibility to print the truth. Many outlets refused to even run my response to — and eventual vindication from — these made-up allegations.
I experienced the corporate media’s control over narratives numerous times, which only strengthened my resolve to be an outspoken voice for Georgians. The bias against conservatives, and the fact-free narratives and selective labeling of misinformation, wear people down and take away their voice. Ultimately, it wasn’t just about me, it was symbolic of what continues to happen across our country. We all have a sense of the lurking threat today: if we don’t conform to a set ideology – you may become a target. The mistrust and bias is proven out in the data:
- A June 2021 Reuters poll showed that Americans have the lowest trust in our media out of 46 countries surveyed.
- An October 2021 Gallup poll said that trust in the media — scoring only 36% with Americans — has hit a new low, now falling below the 50-year low approval of Congress at 37%.
The push to influence narratives that divide people – whether by income, race, gender or ideology – is not just the purview of politics and a media that was historically organized around political parties, but increasingly corporate media. In the past, the press was often relied upon to put a spotlight on the government and hold it accountable, but now it has been co-opted by greed to promote a narrative that robs Americans of their freedoms. This extends to Big Tech, which benefits from extensive liability protections afforded under the guise that they are not editing information. Americans deserve access to facts and the ability to decide their own views. Sadly, too many in the government and corporate media don’t agree. It’s clear that it’s time for American citizens to call for accountability on every level.