I praised the local media in part 1 (scroll down if you want to see it 1st) for their courage in calling out wrong-doings on the part of the local police and legislators. (And NO, I didn’t get pulled over recently) This part will deal with what the founding fathers intended with “freedom of the press” and the NATIONAL media’s complete failure in being the watchdog of freedom.
When writing the Bill of Rights, James Madison proposed: “…..the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.” How can the press be one of the “great bulwarks of liberty”? In the 1700′s our founding fathers fought a war, not just on the battlefield, but in newspapers all over the colonies. They spread the word of the outrage of King George III’s taxes, levies, and forced quartering of troops. Of course there were other papers owned by loyalists who defended the king and his policies, political bias in the news has existed since the Romans and the Greeks. The king’s men had the ability to shut down those papers and arrest those who spoke out against him, and this our founders wanted to avoid. They saw the weapon that could be brought to bear against those who would consolidate their power in government and that’s the reason for the “abridgment clause” in the 1st amendment. The press stands as an unofficial check in power…….. unless they collude with that power as so many news agencies do these days. Then, the freedom of the press becomes useless and just another tool of the state. This is why I have a problem with BIASED media. (Any biased media, not just liberally biased media.)
How many of you remember a conversation during the Iraq war where President Bush brought up the role of the media when it came to water boarding, Abu Graihb, etc.? He was upset that these things had leaked out. Now I understand the need for secrecy in a war, but for G-Dub to ask the media to not follow a story just because it might hurt him politically was plain wrong. They followed and scrutinized every policy Bush had from the time he was told planes had hit the tower to his very last days in office. (and they were often over-zealous to find anything wrong with it) The point is, they were right to do so. To not question our leaders especially whether or not they follow the Constitution leaves us open to tyranny. But here’s the deal: to NOT ask those same questions with the same scrutiny and zeal of Barack Obama’s policies leaves us even MORE open to tyranny. The national media’s watchfulness of Obama’s policies is so blatantly DIFFERENT from Bush’s that they’ve effectively pulled their own teeth when it comes to being the watchdog of government. They’ve destroyed what credibility and trust they have with the public. (Except to the sheep who blindly follow along just because of partisan politics) Add to that the political pundits like Chris Matthews, Rachael Maddow and Keith Olbermann who NEVER criticize Obama even when he’s dead wrong (or FOX news during Bush) and now you have something worse than state-run media like the soviets had: The media is willfully in LEAGUE with the state. You don’t need the government to control TV stations like in Cuba and China if they’re going to just endorse the policies of the government, regardless of how illegal, unconstitutional, or immoral they may be.
“Tingle up my leg”
Where are the outcries of “not my president” when he orders a drone strike on American citizens in foreign countries? Where is the constant 24/7 watches of keeping combatants in Gitmo without trial indefinitely? Where are the cries for the repeal of the Patriot Act and how it violates 4th amendment rights? And now on top of the Bush policies we have NDAA, we had Obama endorse control of the internet with SOPA, we have executive order after executive order being signed, the DIRECTOR of the F.B.I. doesn’t know if he has the authority to KILL American citizens on American soil (my personal favorite) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOs-G9DEd8w
and the mainstream national news talking heads question NONE of it!!!!
“KILL SHOT! KILL SHOT!!!”
I personally don’t care where I get my news from, as long as I continue to remind myself that it ALL has some bias and the truth lies somewhere in the middle of all that I read. I read a LOT of news on the internet from different papers, local TV affiliates from other parts of the country, the BBC, AP…….. hell, I even read Al Jazeera from time to time. (Allah Akbar, dudes) But I would like the mainstream media to stop the hypocrisy and renew their pursuit of the truth so that the people can renew their faith in them. The type of “gotcha” journalism, the hypocrisy, the pursuit of “if it bleeds, it leads” stories, sacrificing accuracy of a story just to be the first to report the story (like whether an AR-15 was used by Adam Lanza or not https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGn4o1Lb6L0) and the open endorsements of state policies without question or criticism only further divides us as a nation and destroys the barrier between tyranny and freedom that the founders intended when they put “freedom of the press” in the first amendment. If they keep it up, there will be no 1st amendment and they’ll only have themselves to blame.
p.s.(you can read more about the discussion of their role when the media was a “watchdog” against the Bush administration here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/ )