April 26, 2013

A Free Press?

In 1776, the second year of the American Revolutionary War, the Virginia colonial legislature passed a Declaration of Rights that included the sentence "The freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic Governments." Eight of the other thirteen states made similar pledges.

In 1791 this Declaration of Rights became part of the 1st amendment to our Constitution stated as “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Over 2 centuries ago, wise people understood how critically important it was for the citizens of a Republic to have access to accurate information made possible by unencumbered journalists. Clearly, their characterization of a “free press” meant a press that would provide writings characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without any attempt at interpretation.

How disappointed they would be to see their concept of a “free press” subordinated to focusing on the advancement of a progressive ideology. And how surprised they would be to find that restraint of the press by a despotic Government was not the cause of its transition -- that indoctrination of progressive ideology at liberal educational establishments would be.

In today’s America, a medical school graduate named Kermit Gosnell performs late-term abortions in Philadelphia, and when his attempts to kill unborn children fail, he cuts their throats or severs their spinal cords after birth. From every description, his medical practices were barbaric and his facilities were as sterile as a meatpacking plant. Yet not one person from the main stream media is attending his trial or reporting what is happening there. Shameful.

In today’s America, we had one of our Ambassadors’ and 3 colleagues murdered in Benghazi while those responsible for protecting them were focused on politics. And the media did not report the causative circumstances until formal reports began to appear. Shameful!

In today’s America, we have a radicalized Muslim killing 13 of his fellow soldiers in an obvious act of terror and our Government leaders call it “workplace violence”. The media is conspicuously silent on the matter. Shameful!

So many gave so much so that we could have a Republic and today one critical part of that Republic, the “free press”, is gone. If we can’t get it back, then I fear the Republic will soon be gone also.

We the people need access to accurate information on things that concern us and to get that information requires journalists, not ideological panderers. It is time for every person who describes themselves as a journalist to look in the mirror and ask that person they see if they are really meeting the ideals of the job set for them by the founders of this great country!

Rex A. Hoover