I don’t get it. We live in a world of instant information. It comes at us from all sides and from multiple media. The “main stream media” as many on the right call the press and network television, are considered the fourth estate. The protectors of the people. I am not sure where this God-like perception of the press came from, but I can assure you it is delusional.
At the founding of this country there were newspapers that espoused the debate for all sides of the argument. The Tories and the separatists both had presses at the ready to argue their points. Fast forward to 1860 and the election of Abraham Lincoln. Newspapers were started specifically to get him elected. I have written about this before, Thomas Jefferson knew that the press wa slanted but he also knew that letting it express itself freely was important.
Jefferson and the founders did not want to limit the range of expression in the press. Jefferson himself knew that the press in some sectors did not share his view, he knew it was important to allow the debate and opposing view points. So did the rest of the framers of the Constitution.
But somewhere along the line the press got glorified into this defender of the people or even worse the arbiter of the truth. It is at this point,again, that I find myself in disagreement with the Tea Party Nation. On December 13th the TPN posted a blog by Alan Caruba titled “Defining Journalism Downward “. Mr Caruba falsely states this:
Good journalism depends on good people, well-educated, and skeptical, to report on a very complex world. It will require people with a mastery of specific aspects of that complexity who do not see themselves as “change agents”, but as true reporters.
Sadly Alan there is no “true” reporter only a partisan with a printing press or website and our founders knew it. But they counted on the intelligence of the people to see trough the lies. Can we honestly say our children are being taught to be critical thinkers? I would say no.
Jefferson and the rest did not trust Government and they gave US the ability to rail against it. A journalism degree does not make you impartial. It juts allows the established program to continue. We should put less faith or trust in the press and more in what we know is right.