I am not asking about another war overseas, but another civil war.
I basically had to quit Facebook to try and save what little bit of sanity I have left, but even without it, the “news” media has kept me up to speed with the state of this/these country/countries– depending on which channel/paper/site you are viewing.
Much has been made of the slip of the tongue that caused “alternative facts” to become part of the lexicon, but hardly a word has been mentioned about “Russia invading Korea,” the issues with President “Bush’s” actions, or the 57 states that now comprise the USA. Why is it acceptable to make a mistake when speaking if you are of one political persuasion, but not another? Why is it acceptable to place one’s feet on the furniture if you are a Democrat but not acceptable if you are a Republican? Why does anyone even care?
I don’t truly consider myself to be Republican, Democrat, Green, or Libertarian, but I do tend more toward the Libertarian spectrum of political views. That is what I believe based on my knowledge and experience of America, but I also know that not every person has the same experiences and education that I do and that is where the true potential of America’s greatness lies– not in lockstep synchronicity of thought and belief, but in an ability to coalesce around a common ideal of America as the land of diverse backgrounds but a single pursuit– FREEDOM.
Our First Amendment enshrines a freedom to the press because a free press was seen as instrumental in the checks and balances of the checks and balances already enshrined by three co-equal branches of government. It has always been the presses role to inform the public about the happenings within and working of our government and our elected officials. It was understood that only with an informed electorate could the true check on government be contained. The only way for the people to make the choices that they choose for the direction of the country is with knowledge of where we have come from, where we are now, and where we wish to go. Throughout school, we are taught that history of where we have come from, and our politicians campaign on where they think we should go, and in order to make an informed decision about who we will choose we need an accurate view of where we are now and what our representative government is actually doing. The check that enshrines freedom to the press also bestows a responsibility to that same press: namely, to be FREE. Free from ideology, bias, agenda, and propaganda.
The press in this country is failing, horribly.
Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% (14% of Conservatives) saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) February 16, 2017
Much has been made of how bad the polls were for the 2016 election. Now, I was basically removed from social media for the majority of the campaign season (for my sanity) but even I could see, living in a section of that Blue Wall, that the election results were not nearly as certain as the press was reporting. Heck, I live in Biden and Rodham country! HRC’s daddy is from and buried here and Joe Biden grew up here, and when I would be on the roads I never once saw a Hillary sign but saw Trump signs everywhere. The press was reporting what they WANTED to be true not what actually was true.
It is this protected press that is abusing the freedoms that have been granted it by our Bill of Rights. They have become participants in an oligarchy that seeks to push an agenda and are doing the bidding of those that it has chosen to be the ruling class. This is dangerous. In order to control us, they have divided us. They have made it us versus them, and in any contest, there are winners and losers.
2016 brought a very divided nation to the polls, and all hell broke loose. The “free press” had reported for months that HRC would win handily and history would be made by electing the first woman to the presidency. They also were reporting for most of the year at the discord within the Republican Party and how George W. Bush may have been the last republican President. That the party was crumbling and had no viable path for relevance in the future. Then Wikileaks showed that the Democrats were only truly unified around one common theme: electing HRC no matter what the actual Democratic voters may have wanted. They not only were putting their thumb on the scale for her, but they had an active cohort in their rigging of the system: the FREE press. Only then did some in the press discuss the tension within the Democratic Party, and it was on a CBS News broadcast that I witnessed Charlie Rose turn to Bob Schieffer and ask, “What’s going on in our party, Bob?” (That was the last time I actually watched more than a minute or two of any CBS News programming. I actually turned on the channel on election night just for shits and giggles!)
Why would that statement bother me so much you might ask. Well, going back almost 25 years to my college years I remember speaking with a woman that was a reporter and acquaintance and when I mentioned that I wished to nominate her for a position on the Board of Directors of the local Community Theater she informed and educated me why she couldn’t because of journalistic ethics. Her objectivity could come into question if needed to report on events that might include the theater or other board members, and that as a reporter, ethics precluded her from taking a recognized part or membership in such clubs, organizations or political parties. It was during that conversation that and subsequent conversations with other reporters and journalism students that my respect for the media was instilled. This wasn’t just a job or a career, but a vocation– a calling.
As I matured and became more interested in the actual news of the day, it became obvious that not every reporter or newsman was as ethical as that first one who enlightened me about what their job actually entailed. As I became more affected by government and its imposition on my rights and my responsibilities to it (paying taxes), I began paying ever more attention to the news and could see more and more bias within the news. It was only with the advent of the internet could I see two sides of the same story, and see more of the facts concerning the subject of the story. I could see that one reporter would choose which facts and words he used to frame his story to fit a narrative while the other reporter would do the same exact thing but in reverse.
Two news organizations were telling two very different stories and using different facts and quotes cherry-picked to push an agenda. Neither was all that concerned with actually reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly but only with the selling of a paper, the clicking of a site or the viewing of a television program. They both had failed in the responsibility to the people that granted them special consideration in the First Amendment. The only people that win in this divide and conquer strategy are the politicians and reporters who can keep control of the peasants that have granted them the power to govern and report in the first place.
Now, back to the election, a significant portion of the population was appalled on election night, and their horror was broadcast for all to see. We have seen protests, riots, marches, calls for secession and demonstrations against the President, even before he was sworn in, and regularly in the short time since. The continual coverage of this only encourages the emotional response to continue ad nauseum. The one thing that nobody seems to take into account is that nobody bothers to consider the “feelings” of the people that elected Trump. Why do their feelings and choices not deserve the same respect that is being demanded? These are the questions that a REAL reporter would pose, but that question does not further an agenda so it serves no purpose.
Now, what is intriguing to me is how the news seems to push an agenda that seeks to put restraints on the Second Amendment. (The recent overturning of an Obama-era order that added further restrictions to a person’s rights was widely reported but was reported badly. It pushed an agenda and was propaganda fuel for the liberal elite that was not based on concrete facts. We live in a time where reporters no longer worry about letting facts get in the way of the story they are selling. They are more concerned about money and ideology than truth and fairness.) I have recently discussed the idea that perhaps we need to require reporters to obtain a license like we require people to in order to exercise their Second Amendment rights. In many ways, we are seeing daily in our media that the pen of the press has been at least as powerful as a person’s gun in affecting the lives of Americans. We require teachers to be licensed and educational programs to be approved before we submit or children’s minds to them, and we require doctor’s to be licensed and held to standards in order to practice medicine. I posit that the power of the press is of equal or greater power than that of a teacher or a doctor. It is through them that we are forced to get a glimpse of the government through their looking glass and it is through that glimpse that we are able to educate ourselves in order to make the most important decision we can make as citizens, our vote for our choice in which direction we want the country to take. By undermining the ability of the citizenry to be educated about the goings on in government they are undermining the entire system– a system that has granted them certain freedoms, but with those freedoms come responsibility. At this point, the howling from the media about Russian meddling should cause people to laugh. No country has meddled in our elections more than our very own “free” press, and since they have lost they have done everything in their power to topple the President and the agenda of the PEOPLE. It is time we, THE PEOPLE, put some limits on the free exercise of the propaganda press and in order for them to be granted the FREEDOM of the press, they should be licensed and held to ethical standards.