The 1st Amendment and a “Free” and “Independent” Press
How the 1st amendment specifically a “free” and “independent” Press is being replaced & undermined by a politically bias mainstream media pushing “a Fake News narrative”
When I was a child growing up in a very strongly opinionated family, dinner nearly always corresponded with the national nightly news. And I was always bemused and slightly confused as to why these great news broadcasters always seemed to make a positive case for a news topic and then immediately make the opposite case before closing. It appeared to me that they did not know where they stood on any given issue. It was only later in life that I understood the meaning of an unbiased independent press and would appreciate its incalculable value to a free republic.
In a letter by Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp - in 1785 he wrights
“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public [news] papers…. [A despotic] government always kept a kind of standing army of news writers who without any regard to truth, [invent] & put into the papers whatever might serve the minister. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.”
However, today the news is nearly all bias and regardless of your view on any topic you can find a plethora of YouTube news in which you can live in a protective echo chamber bubble never being exposed to opposing view points.
If we seek truthful and independent news we are now forced to seek out conflicting opinions ourselves. This is not at all easy for a multitude of reasons – firstly, it takes effort to seek out the opposing view; secondly, its grading on our ears to listen to the opposing view that is disagreeable to us on an emotional level; and lastly admitting to watching the opposing news sights or worse quoting specific points that to you seam sensible is punishable by social excommunication.
This is creating deeply entrenched political & social positions that are dividing friends, families and a nation.
The entire purpose of the 1st amendment is to have a “free” and “independent” Press to allow “We the People” to have full disclosure of what our government is doing. The government answers to the People and a Free Press is the watchdog to ensure that it happens. However, it would seem that the Press is not independent, and if that is the case they should not be afforded protection under the 1st amendment because with every privilege comes a responsibility.
Today in America it seems that everyone one expects the privilege without the responsibility that come with it. Given that this protection is so broad, special and absolute – the penalty for its betrayal should be equally as harsh – when front-page headlines that are proven to be untrue should be retracted on the front page and not berried in an obscure paragraph at the bottom of page 48. Editors in chief should be sanctioned and the protection of the 1st amendment pierced. If the industry will not self regulate them the government will have too.
It may sound outrageous but along with the protection that the 1st amendment offers to the press should come their fiduciary duty to be independent and nonpartisan in the news – clearly delineating thSupport the show