The Boston Globe recently printed an opinion piece as a rebuttal to all the “fake news” accusations. Their new hashtag professes, “#FreePress is not the enemy.”
It is true that freedom of press is not the enemy. Freedom of speech is not the enemy either — they are two of the foundational principles of liberty that make America great. But since we are on the topic, let us examine the nature of the true enemy.
The enemy is a group of people who call themselves journalists joining together in a cabal to push their social and political agenda and then call it “Free Press.”
The enemy is an organized clan of media pundits who drive their agenda by demonizing the true marketplace of ideas and targeting opposing opinions with their tar-and-feather tactics of division.
The enemy is any politician who encourages or supports this politically and sociologically driven agenda to silence opinions they do not approve of or that threaten their power.
Free press is not a person; it is a principle.
Thomas Jefferson wrote it eloquently to John Norvell in 1807: “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”
Jefferson, a staunch advocate of freedom of press, knew that the terms “journalist,” “newspaper” and “freedom of press” were not synonymous.
In the same letter, Jefferson makes this point: “It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood.”
The ideology may be different that what was common among the media in Jefferson’s day, but driven by political agenda and a false Utopian desire to mold and shape the psyche of America, so-called journalists abandon truth for power, persuasion, and profits still today.
In his day, Jefferson lamented over the state of what passed for journalism: “I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables.”
America ought to share the same distaste for the condition of most corporate media today. It is no wonder that these people feigning journalism while engaging in political prostitution have lost the respect of the people
It’s not freedom of press that the America people are angry at; it is the continual stream of lies and manipulated half-truths that are driving the public into outrage — as seen at a recent Trump rally, where the crowd yelled their sentiments of disgust at CNN’s John Acosta.
The people were not yelling “truth sucks” or “freedom of press sucks.” They were yelling “CNN sucks.”
There is a difference.
Many Americans have come to think as Jefferson did in 1807: “I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.”
Perhaps that is why the rebuttals by these people and their corporate sponsors have become louder and more frequent; people are tuning them out, turning them off, and their bottom lines are in jeopardy.
Too bad they aren’t as dedicated to the truth as they are to their market share.
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