Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Rights and Responsibilities

            The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday is the mainstream media. The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” In other words, the government will not prevent anyone from saying or publishing anything that they want. However, the right to say or publish carries the responsibility to say or print the truth.

            There has been a problem with the media putting out fake news for several years. President Donald Trump frequently points out that they are publishing fake news, but the media continues to pump it out. It is as though they think that the news will become the truth if they tell it often enough. Isn’t this one of the rules of Saul Alinsky?

            We know that a free press is essential for a free society to function properly (Thomas Jefferson). This is the reason why the Founders included freedom of the press in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

            Jarrett Stepman at The Daily Signal  points out that this freedom does not mean that media outlets can claim freedom from criticism from anyone. He says that there are lessons to be learned from the media circus about the incident between the “Covington Catholic students and a Native American activist.” The coverage of the event certainly shows that the media has a problem with their journalists. Stepman says that the “media damaged it reputation and revealed its bias” in “three major ways.”

1.) Botching the narrative, then deflecting blame.
The media botched the entire episode between the Covington Catholic students and Native American activist Nathan Phillips from the start.

Initial reports … portrayed Phillips as the victim who had been peacefully protesting until being mobbed by kids in “Make America Great Again” hats.

That was wrong, and nearly the opposite of the truth.

Then, the full story came out and exonerated the boys. What response did those same media outlets give?

Some issued genuine apologies for the failure, but many refused to accept that they played such a large role in spreading misinformation.

Writers for The Washington Post shifted blame to social media and even President Donald Trump….

            CNN political analyst Kirsten Powers actually tweeted out that the real victims in all this  
            were the journalists.

2.) The media failed to be skeptical.
One of the reasons this story spiraled out of control is the simple fact that members of the media failed to be skeptical of a story that seemed too good to be true….

3.) After all of these failures, many in the media continued trying to dig up dirt on Covington Catholic High School.
Perhaps worse than all these failures, many in the media simply couldn’t let the story go without tarnishing the Covington Catholic students….

Perhaps instead of digging deeper to prove to the world their biases were correct all along, the media should behave more responsibly, ensure that it faithfully gathers the facts before publishing stories that could destroy the lives of children, and behave in a way that will convince Americans that they aren’t “fake news….”

            The media outlets did not do themselves a good turn when they ran with the Covington story. More Americans now understand why President Trump calls them “fake news,” and Trump gained more allies. Media outlets seem to be their own worst enemies when they succumb to “Trump Mania.” They need to get their hysterics under control and publish the truth.

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