A free press was seen by the founding fathers as a necessary part of a free republic, so much so that they enshrined the concept in the constitution. This was no flippant after thought but a concerted effort to make sure that the people were informed on what their leaders were up to. They knew the greatest threat to the nation was not an outside army (or terrorism) but its elected leaders. Whether in a misguided attempt at benevolence or power for its own sake, it was the political leadership that could send the country spiraling toward dictatorship. It was this realization that inspired them to insure that the people had someway to become informed of what their leaders were doing. The press’s job was to be the eyes and ears of the people and to keep their leaders in check. So essential was a free press to the survival of a free society that is it is the only industry specifically mentioned in the constitution.
The wisdom of the founding fathers has been reinforced over the past two centuries as time and time again dictatorships have made controlling the press their top priority. Lenin famously said “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses,” in other words the press should be a tool of the state whose sole purpose is controlling the people. It is this belief that has driven those seeking control of the people to also take control of the press. In light of this it is not surprising that in Venezuela Hugo Chavez has made absolute control of the press one of his top priorities.
In the U.S. the press has for most of its history done its job, many a politician from all parties and backgrounds have felt the sting of printers ink. Although known to sensationalize the press’s overall reputation was one of honesty with bias kept in check by competition. When little Virginia’s papa said if you saw it in the New York Sun it must be so he was probably not far off. There was even a time not that long ago when the most trusted man in America was a news Anchor called Walter Cronkite. The fact is for most of American History delivering the news was a religion with reporters its priest and the country its congregation. If this “religion” had a cathedral that the faithful looked to for inspiration it was the Old Gray Lady herself, the New Your Times.
Today the paper that once lived up to its motto “All the News Fit To Print” is now a hollowed shell, more a mausoleum than any type of cathedral. Reporters are now seen as more akin to street walkers than priest, given all the respect once reserved for lawyers and politicians. Trust in the once sacred press is reaching all time lows. According to Gallup 60% of the American public do not trust what they read and hear in the news anymore. This well deserved fall from grace seems to be unique in history in that it is not an outside force undermining its credibility but a rot that started from within.
Today the sentinels of freedom have become tools of the left. It seems that most of the traditional media is more interested in advancing left wing politicians and causes than reporting the news. A trend that started in earnest in the 1980’s and has only accelerated since. By the time Obama ran for president all pretenses of being fair seekers of the truth was abandoned. It was not just the fact that reports on Obama were twice as likely to be positive as compared to McCain but it was also what was not being said. No reports on Obama’s past, no questions about his lack of experience, no questions regarding his unprecedented sealing of his college records and a virtually ignoring of his radical affiliations. It was also the unprecedented railroading of the Republican V.P. candidate Sarah Palin. If President Obama had gotten half the critical attention on his past and experience that Sarah had gotten he likely would never even gotten the nomination.
Today the thrill the Main Stream Media had tingling up its leg when Obama got elected has inspired them to fall even further into the depths of journalistic depravity. The watch dogs of America’s political elite are now for the most part extensions of the Democratic Party. The White House press corp should be referred to as the White House’s press corp as it seems its real job is to protect it and project its message without question. As the fires of Benghazi were still smoldering Obama ran out to pander for money in Vegas and there was no outrage or even so much as a murmur from the press. Even after it was revealed they had sent the U.N. Ambassador, of all people, to lie to the American people for nearly two weeks the press covered for him. For years now Obama has had a full secret service detail following around his personal adviser, Valerie Jarret, without a reporter asking the simple question why and under what authority? Another senior adviser, David Plouffe, was paid by a known Iranian front group to speak in Nigeria with ne’er a peep from MSM. Then there is of course the stream of leaks of secret information coming out of the White House that put the lives of agents and informants at risk for no other reason than to make the President look good. In all of this the derogatorily called main stream media (MSM) seems to have taken on the task of presidential protector.
Unfortunately it seems the American Press is not only dead but have risen to become an “enemy of the American people.” (the words of former Democratic Pollster Pat Caddell) Like the walking dead in a B movie who feed off the living, the media is slowly consuming the free society it was meant to protect.
Former Democratic Pollster Pat Caddell Talks About the Dangers of Press Bias
If there is a silver lining to the present state of the press it is the rise of the alternative media. Just as the Russian people’s mistrust of the state run media in the old USSR gave rise to a hunger for news from the west, today the alternative media is fulfilling the desires of many for what the MSM is not providing, news. Even so and as horrifying as it may be the MSM with all its agenda driven bias is still the main source of news for most Americans. This fact truly makes these political pariah enemies of freedom and the American people.
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