We’ve always cherished our rights outlined in one of the most unique documents in history. The majority of our framers considered the Constitution clear in what it guaranteed. However, George Mason, a neighbor of General Washington, insisted on even more assurances that the newly formed government would not tread on the individual. Mason’s Declaration of Rights influenced James Madison, the author of the first ten amendments to our constitution.
One of those rights, the very first, secures the freedom of the press along with the right to assemble and the freedom of religion and speech. This is something that many other nations, even some western nations, do not readily guarantee.
Our current press (print and other media) touts its right to publish whatever they deem fit above all the other freedoms in the Bill of Rights. This sometimes is done at the cost of common sense and even decency. Lately, it’s anything goes, even though it may not even be verified.
Recently we’ve been saturated with smut from pron stars to language that would make my late mother blanch. If it serves an agenda, it’s just fine. It doesn’t fall under what is “politically correct” or even what you would want your nine year old to hear, if it serves your agenda. Just print it, say it, spread it, even if it’s in bad taste or isn’t even true. You can give your mi culpas later, put out a retraction. But in the connected world of the internet, it will never die.
We’re bombard every single day with what passes for news now.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump was slammed for saying, “alternative facts,” in a soundbite given to NBC’s Chuck Todd. Misspoken, perhaps? Perhaps not. Whatever she meant, the media itself is guilty of – alternative facts are an every day ingredient for what our present day crop of journalists cook up and feed us.
Take, “Drape Gate” from the New York Times. They claimed in an article that UN Ambassador Nickki Haley’s office paid $52,701 for curtains in an apartment rented on the federal time for the ambassador’s use. However it was under the Obama administration that the expensive apartment had been rented and the curtains ordered. The Times had to backtrack on its story while the Washington Post ran with a story that the Times was taken out of context. If you read the Times headline, “Nikki Haley’s View of New York is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701.” it was pretty clear of the context.
It seems much of the news has become nothing more than spin. Every story has an angle, true. However it’s the way you tell it, keeping in mind that it should and foremost be the truth. It would also help if they left off the smut, swear words and passed on the cruder content they’re spewing. I don’t need to know about the shape the president’s private part. No thank you, CNN, but if that’s the news you want to broadcast, I don’t have to tune in. You have the right, I suppose. And I have the right to say, some of what passes for news these days belongs at the bottom of an electronic bird cage.