Prominent Western Missouri TV anchor Mark Alford left the news industry last year and successfully ran for the state’s 4th Congressional seat. Now, he’s sounding the alarm on liberal biases in the media from an insider perspective.
“As a lifelong conservative fighting from the inside to bring balance, perspective, context and truth to the viewers, it was really an uphill battle a lot of times,” Alford told The Heartlander. “I had been battling this for really the past 10 or 15 years. As the media, in general, really began declining, my fight taking on the progressive, woke, broke agenda became even more intense.”
Alford worked in the news industry for over three decades, and believes the genesis and expansion of liberal biases in the media is due, in part, to left-leaning journalism schools and professors.
“A lot of times, you’re taught early on that your job as a journalist is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. I never really bought into that,” he said. “I always thought it was my job as a journalist to just tell what happened and to try to bring fairness, balance, perspective and context to the stories.”
That mantra to afflict the comfortable, Alford says, simultaneously led to the promotion of liberal voices in media, and the ostracization of conservatives wishing to deliver news or commentary.
“I think what’s happened over the years is the progressive mindset has just concentrated within the pool of incoming journalists and existing journalists, and they don’t even hide it anymore. And they believe that if you don’t ascribe to their point of view that you’re a crazy conservative and really don’t have a place in the mainstream media.”
One-sided newsrooms, the congressman-elect argues, began to culminate when national outlets started delivering 24-hour news coverage, creating several empty time slots that were filled with opinionated and divisive commentary meant to rile viewers up and boost ratings.
“Media outlets do not actively recruit people based on diversity of thought anymore. So, when you get a singular way of thinking concentrated into a newsroom, in general, then it’s very hard to have a balanced product.”
Alford believes this ultimately led to many national outlets becoming echo chambers for audiences who shared their liberal perspective, and consequently uplifted “cancel culture” as a way to shut out viewpoints and opinions those audiences disagree with.
Indeed, cancel culture began bearing its head during the 2016 presidential election, and only grew stronger and more supported by liberal pundits as time went on. Many argue this became increasingly evident after former President Donald Trump was suspended from Twitter, along with the revelation of the federal government colluding with the platform to censor conservatives and squash coverage of the contents on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“I think [the 2020 presidential election] would’ve had a totally different outcome had the Hunter Biden laptop story and the surrounding issues been exposed and fairly covered in an unbiased media,” Alford predicted. “The problem is, the media was biased. They did not want President Trump to win. They did everything they could to suppress information, to distort information and to not give the full set of facts. So when you do that, when you change what people are able to ingest as far as information goes, you change outcomes.”
While many conservatives and even moderates have expressed concern with the favoritism given to Democrats from national outlets – especially with how the outlets’ 2020 coverage of Trump affected the election – Alford says there may be a silver lining in allowing staunch liberals a national microphone.
“The government has no power to regulate journalism, and it shouldn’t,” he started. “But truthfully, I don’t know if it’d be a good thing to have the far-left suppressed because when someone who is reasonable and rational watches some of these programs on the liberal news networks, you get an idea of just how wacky some of them are.
“It’s like this: you cannot go to Colorado and fully appreciate the Rocky Mountains in all of their glory unless you’ve driven through parts of Kansas where it’s flatter than a plate. I don’t think you can really appreciate the truth behind the conservative movement if you only have that in your diet. You’ve got to have a little bit of broccoli to appreciate the creme brulee.”
Alford is currently gearing up for the 2023 legislative session beginning on Jan. 3 and says his focus is now on securing preferred committee assignments. Following in the steps of his predecessor Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Alford is gunning for positions on the House Armed Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee, saying supporting farmers and revamping the military are two of his highest priorities.
“I hope to continue her work and propel it to even greater heights as we rebuild our military, protect our farmers and get a good farm bill through this 2023 legislative session,” he said. “We have to make sure Fort Leonard Wood never ends up on the [Base Realignment and Closure] list and that Whiteman Air Force Base continues its prestige.
“I campaigned on being the loudest, strongest, most consistent and unwavering voice for conservative Missouri. And I want to carry that over to be the loudest, most conservative voice I can be for rebuilding our military, appreciating our veterans, improving services for both and protecting our farmers.”