A Failure of the Press
When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason for the attack was that Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms. What we never imagined was that the free press — an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms — would be among the first to surrender.
This provocative quote from a Washington Post article titled A Failure of the Press by William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz represents another indication that people across the political spectrum are beginning to realize that the press has betrayed not only its duties but its responsibilities.
It has gone so far that the bias of the media is no longer an issue. The real question now is where will this abdication of responsibility end?
Reporting opinion as news has given way to outright support of organizations and causes which seek to destroy our American way of life. We really don’t need more enemies when the Fourth Estate is acting like a Fifth Column or is cowed by threats. See When fear cows the media By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist, February 19, 2006.
To counter this spreading of disinformation and opinion as reality, we should refer to original sources before passing on inflammatory information as gospel. Otherwise we are like those clueless people who pass on bogus spam warnings or those people who absolutely believe that 9-11 was an inside job.
This isn’t a matter of political leanings. It is a necessity that we have a free and open press which expresses opinions and presents news. When opinion masquerades as news, there is a natural reaction in the physical universe and we see blogs supplanting MSM media when this occurs.
What is the future?
I think there is still a bright future for mainstream media, but it will have to clean house first. Today’s news is suspect and like the old story of finding too much rat shit in the coffee grounds, we are looking for other suppliers of news.
If I read the Daily Kos, I know in advance what the agenda is and can sift fact from opinion. If I read Instapundit, I know I am reading a Libertarian viewpoint. If I read Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler or Capitol Hill Blue, I know within seconds where the writer’s sympathies lie and can evaluate whether to believe the information presented. In addition, I can follow the links to see if they lead to actual source material or merely to others who have similar opinions and no facts.
I think the smaller independent newspapers get this already and have enlisted bloggers to help them stay balanced and still keep the costs down.
What news media do you trust?
Tag: mainstream media