Attorney General William P. Barr said that most of the "mainstream media" are "a collection of liars" who are "political actors" pursuing a specific political agenda. He added this is "very destructive to our Republic."
Barr made his remarks in an exclusive interview with Townhall.com, which Editor Katie Pavlich reported on Sept. 11, 2020.
"They're basically a collection of liars," Barr said of the press. "Most of the mainstream media. They're a collection of liars and they know exactly what they're doing."
"A perfect example of that were the riots," he said. "Right on the street it was clear as day what was going on -- anyone observing it, reporters observing it -- it could not have escaped their attention that this was orchestrated violence by a hardened group of street fighting radicals."
"And they kept on excluding from their coverage all the video of this and reporting otherwise, and they were doing that for partisan reasons, and they were lying to the American people," said Barr. "It wasn't until they were caught red-handed after essentially weeks of this lie that they even started feeling less timid."
He further said, "The press has dropped, in my view -- and I'm talking about the national mainstream media -- has dropped any pretense of professional objectivity and are political actors, highly partisan who try to shape what they're reporting to achieve a political purpose and support a political narrative that has nothing to do with the truth."
"They're very mendacious about it," said the attorney general. "It's very destructive to our Republic; it's very destructive to the Democratic system to have that, especially being so monolithic. It's contributing to a lot of the intensity and partisanship."
Barr also criticizes the mainstream media for downplaying the violent protests and riots as "mostly peaceful."
"It's funny that you had record numbers of police being injured during 'peaceful' protests," he said. "You know, usually in protests you have large numbers of injured rioters and a modest number of injured law enforcement. I'm talking about back in the '90s and '60s, '60s to the '90s, nowadays very few rioters get injured, very few, and hundreds, even thousands of officers have been injured."
There are "some" reporters who have "journalistic integity," said Barr, but the "overwhelming majority" do not.
"They're not really interested so much in what really happened but in pursuing a preformed narrative that suits some kind of ideological agenda," said the attorney. "That's what it's all become."
According to the Pew Research Center, 72% of U.S. adults believe that news organizations tend to favor one side when presenting political and social issues. Also, Gallup reported that only 14% of U.S. adults have a great deal of trust in the mass media when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly.
On a related note, about two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults get their news on social media, such as Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Facebook.