In a 1789 letter Thomas Jefferson observed that “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government.”
If you are paying any attention to the media in 2023 America, you might be concerned about how well-informed people in the country are. Of course, how can you be well informed when the mainstream media is biased and cannot seem to cover a story from all angles? There is always a spin in one direction. Actually, spin may be a polite word. Suppression might be a better one.
The classic case of suppression was the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop that the mainstream media never mentioned during the 2020 campaign. When it did get a mention, the story was dismissed as bogus. Of course, after the election, it turned out that the story was not fake. Oh, hum!
True journalism means that all sides of an issue are covered. There is no spin or as our favorite detective of another era stated: Just the facts: not the facts covered with a layer of opinion and lies.
Who goes into journalism as a profession? There are a variety of people. There are those who love to investigate something. Some are prepared to investigate all angles. Some are prepared to investigate only the things they are interested in. Some are paid to present a story only to satisfy the agenda of a person or group. Some are committed to a particular ideology and only write on that topic. Any one of these attitudes will color how a story is presented.
Now, the national media (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, large city newspapers) is supposed to provide an array of facts and opinions. The truth is quite different.
First of all, information about politics and the day-to-day events of life should be reported in a factual manner. Let’s not forget the importance of placement of information in a paper or news report. The New York Times is famous for putting positive information about Conservatives or Republicans on page 27 of the paper.
Unfortunately, many news organizations coordinate their reports with government officials. The media in large part colluded with government officials to stop any debate on the COVID-19 lockdowns. The major broadcast networks refused to report the government censorship story like the Twitter Files. First Amendment protections for the press are in our constitution. However, the Media Research Center reported that the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) devoted 128 seconds to the story about the censorship on Twitter.
A very important story that has been mangled by the mainstream media concerns the events that occurred on January 6, 2021. People actually believe that Donald Trump orchestrated the “revolt” at the capitol. There has been almost no reporting of the fact that Donald Trump offered 10,000 National Guard Troops to Nancy Pelosi and Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser before his speech. Of course, Ms. Pelosi replies that she never got that offer from the President. Mayor Bowser turned the President’s offer down. The media has almost totally ignored the fact of the President’s offer. People still believe that President Trump planned the events at the capitol. Exactly how he did this is very unclear. It is amazing what hate can lead you to say.
What has also been totally ignored is Washington D.C. Police Chief Steven Sund’s statements in his book “Courage Under Fire.” All the intelligence agencies in the country were reporting statements of people coming to the capitol to fight. Why was there no preparation?
In fact, Retired U.S. Army Lt. General Keith Kellogg has stated that President Trump did request National Guard troops be deployed in the capitol before January 6, 2021. General Kellogg states that he was present at the time of President Trump’s request and that Congress should release his testimony to the public. Members of the Trump administration have substantiated the President’s request.
The media throughout the country also is responsible for reporting and explaining the news to their local readers and listeners. Doing a fair job is difficult if all of your columnists are on the left side of the spectrum and the writers that are supposed to be conservative, or middle of the road are really not.
The other area where there is significant failure on the part of the mainstream news is the coverage given when the border was opened when Mr. Biden became President. The mainstream television channels (2, 4, 5, 7) did not mention what was going on at the border for months on end. CNN and MSNBC also could not be bothered to cover the story. Meanwhile, thousands and thousands of migrants have entered our country. We do not know who the majority of these people are and what some of them intend to do.
Social media is another area where the reader had better take a “buyer beware” attitude. Anything can be written on the web, and it is. Fake news is a major feature of social media. It is best to check information out three and four times or at least check with reliable sources before believing everything read online.
The press has always been known as the Fourth Estate. The primary function of the press/media is to keep the public informed. However, self-government does not mean sitting on the couch and assuming everything you see and hear is true. It is the duty of a citizen to be informed and to know the difference between propaganda and news. This involves some work. It is necessary work so that we continue to live in a free country.
It is good to read what Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1785 letter to Dutch statesman G. K. van Hogendorp. “You know well that (the British) government always kept a kind of standing army of newswriters who without any regard to truth, or to what should be like truth, invented and put into the papers whatever might serve the minister.” Just might be a description of the mainstream media in 2023.
Listed below are a variety of web sites that provide different information than is provided in the mainstream media. Many of the writings on various web sites are the opinion of different writers and provide information and room for thought. There is not 100% agreement among many of these writers which is how we come to form our own opinions based on facts.