Thursday, November 6, 2008

Power of The Press

I have been thinking for some time about the power of the press. "The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." --Thomas Jefferson But how may the power of the press be balanced when those controlling it begin to take it upon themselves to dictate the way information is presented to such an extent as to guarantee the outcome they favor? There are checks and balances on every branch of government, but what checks and balances are there on the press?

One can argue that the people must control the press by refusing to purchase (by viewing in the case of television) those products produced by press outlets who present biased reporting. That is unsatisfactory in my opinion, because when the media becomes as large and all encompassing as it has, there is no way for the people to find the objective truth in a timely enough manner to oppose the aims of those who have overarching control of what may be shown. That overarching control of what may be shown is also problematic. How does one even begin to present the truth(assuming one can find it) when the best outlets for the dissemination of that truth have total control over when, where and if it will be presented?

It may be argued that the internet will change all that, but the internet is already becoming a confusing morass of opinions where it is difficult to tell who is presenting the truth.

I think that those who are in control of granting interviews/coverage of newsworthy events such as presidential press conferences and etc. on a regular basis need to burden themselves further with the task of evaluating the coverage they get and then only inviting back those reporters/newspeople who present the most unbiased and factual reports.
This link will take you to a video: The Manipulative Aspect of Media (Francis Schaeffer)
Edit: that link has been removed this one contains the same video.

"Our people, merely for want of intelligence which they may rely on, are become lethargic and insensible of the state they are in." --Thomas Jefferson

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day." --Thomas Jefferson

"The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood." --Thomas Jefferson

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah." ~Psalm 60:4


Flatulent Fuzz said...

Preach on Mom!! I stopped watching the news a number of years ago. Bias and sensationalism sent me running for the hills. Remarkably, I find myself to be a lot better informed because of it.

Terry Morris said...

Our opponent Jayrock is a fine example of the power the press has over the minds of the masses.

Call Me Mom said...

He (I am assuming "he")does seem to be a parrot for the MSM.

Call Me Mom said...

I also keep hearing commentators remarking on how poor a job Mr. McCain did in emphasizing Mr. Obama's radical leanings. I have to question whether that is in truth the case, or if it is simply that the press chose not to cover those speeches in which he may have done so.

I have seen one article (Although I hate to quote such a source - I do read it to keep up with the opposing viewpoint. the link is:
80/110908Y)declaring that Mrs. Palin is responsible for the increase in death threats to Mr. Obama shortly before the election. The article notes that her references to Mr. Obama's tendency to "pal around with known terrorists" caused her rallies to become near lynch mobs.

I have a question about that too. If someone telling the truth causes a group of people to become upset and angry with a presidential (or other) candidate, does the press assign themselves a responsibility to make sure that those truths which upset people don't make it to the majority of the people through lack of coverage?

How could such a practice possibly be justified?

It may be that this is simply the beginning of the next election cycle, but I find it a disturbing idea nontheless.

Terry Morris said...

How could such a practice possibly be justified?

Well, according to the Jayrocks of the world, anything that is 'mainstream' is almost assuredly right, and therefore can be justified. Of course if the mainstream view were something different than it appears to be at the moment, then the Jayrocks of the world would have a completely different view of the matter. This is evident in his rhetoric before and after the election.

But why in the world would people who care about their country, and the fate of their country, not be upset and angered over Obama's connections with known unrepentent terrorists and abject America-haters like Ayers and Wright. This is not to say that death threats leveled at Mr. Obama are in any way justifiable, but it would be unnatural for people who love their country, their families and their children to be unaffected by this knowledge...

Call Me Mom said...

"why in the world would people who care about their country, and the fate of their country, not be upset and angered over Obama's connections with known unrepentent terrorists and abject America-haters like Ayers and Wright."

Exactly. Death threats are not justified, but one has to wonder if it was wise to supress the reason for the anger on the part of those crowds in favor of slamming the candidate who was speaking. I say that, because, to my recollection of the coverage just before the election,(of the few bits I could stomach before turning it off) when Mr. Obama was covered at his rallies, there were bits of his speeches, but when Mr. McCain or Ms. Palin were covered, it was only to show their faces and have the reporter make comments about angry crowds.

Terry Morris said... was only to show their faces and have the reporter make comments about angry crowds.

"Angry crowds", and yet no violent acts committed, not even Boston Tea Party-style peaceful destruction of property? Interesting.