One of our greatest freedoms in this nation is freedom of the press. The freedom to report the news without being censored by the government is needed to protect accuracy in new reporting. Expressions of opinion, without being stifled or punished, is a freedom shared by every American. If opinions are identified as opinions in editorials, letters to the editor, talking head commentary after the presentation of news the citizens are challenged to think and form their own conclusions. When the press fuctions honestly in this format, it serves the people by keeping those who would misuse power in check. Discussions of the impact of the news by people of differing mindsets can help the American people to consider various interpretations and come to their own conclusions. In these ways, Freedom of the Press serves our nation.
Somehow, this freedom has been perverted. The press and media in general have stopped honest reporting of the news through distortion and ommission of pertinent facts. Most Americans realize that the opinions and bias held by news organizations
give as much spin to the news as any politician does. We can no longer rely on the journalist to go out and search for news and then report it as accurately as his/her skill with words allows. Integrity in news reporting is very rare and more of us are relying on the internet to seek out sources of information we find more reliable and where personal bias is clearly stated as personal bias.
When this perversion started is not clear. Before the internet allowed for wider search for facts, we for the most part were the captives of the news as reported on the networks, newspapers and magazines. Those thought to be truth tellers may have been doing this throughout my lifetime. Facts from years ago could easily be slanted because the average person could not go back to archives now available on the internet.
Now the Associated Press has sunk to a new low. Spin is not enough. They actually manufacture news (read lies). President Bush was addressing a group in West Allis, Wisconsin and announced that former President Clinton was in the hospital facing cardiac surgery. President Bush said that former President Clinton was in the thoughts and prayers of the nation who hoped the former president has a speedy recovery. This evidently angered an anti-Bush reporter who then reported to the AP who gladly reported this as truth, that the people at the campaign rally BOOED. The story was further embroidered by stating that President Bush did nothing to quell this reprehensible booing. The truth is that the people cheered, endorsing President Bush's good wishes and prayers for our former president. By reporting this in this manner, the AP indicates that those attending a rally for President Bush are so boorish that they actuallly would wish that out former leader would not recover and that our President is so lacking in character that he would allow such behavior without comment. My understanding is that the people in West Allis complained to the AP for the distortion of facts and the AP eliminated those sentences about booing and lack of presidential response from their report. The AP did not issue an apology or factually correct the inaccurate report which has been streamed throughout the world. Note, Drudge has the recording of the President's statement and the crowds reaction.
Is it any wonder that few of us believe the media? Is it any wonder we complain about the left leaning bias? Is this why the media question the character of the Swiftboat Vets without suing for release of Kerry's journal and full military record?
This is what the media should be doing. Media was able to successfully sue to have confidential divorce and child custody records unsealed. Why do they not sue for the truth in Kerry vs. Swiftboat Vets? People with open minds want to know what the truth actually is. Kerry will be vindicated if he is telling the truth. Until these
records are researched by independent, honest scrutiny doubts of Kerry's character and integrity will remain.