When the founding fathers gave “Freedom of the Press” as a part of the constitution, they did so for a single reason. The press, it was assumed, would strive to provide to the people the truth. They would report on any misgivings of the government, and insure that the government were held accountable for its actions. I think the fathers would be spinning in their graves to see what has become of this time-honored tradition.
The press today does not strive to present the truth to the public, but only it’s side of the truth. And in a lot of cases, the press doesn’t bother to get the facts straight. In the old days (say 30 or 40 years ago), the rule of thumb was you needed to confirm a story with three independent sources before you went with it. In this day and age, all that is needed is to have a rumor. Let me give you a for instance.
When Republican Majority Whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot while practicing for a charity baseball game last week, President and Mrs. Trump visited him in the hospital. Now, a reporter for CNN named Jim Acosta, reported after the incident that a “White House staff member” told him that the President and Mrs. Trump never actually went into the Scalise room, and didn’t talk with family members. He reported that on his Twitter account. That tweet was false. It was never confirmed by someone other than this “White House staff member”, and if such a person did tell Acosta that, they could have been testing him to see if he’d tweet something totally untrue (and that’s where “fake news” comes from!), or they could have been out to submarine the President and his wife. Either way, the story proved to be false, and it was reported by Acosta as fact. That is irresponsible and wrong. Acosta should know better than to do something so stupid as that. It wasn’t long after that he pulled the tweet down (after it had 2,000 re-tweets). It helps to permeate the reputation that CNN has received over the past year that they rush in with stories without making sure of their validity. This is just one example.
Fake news has become the major problem in the media. That’s why media members have a lower rating than that of congress, or even of used car salesmen. How to fix it? Simple. You allow “Freedom of the Press” only when the press is reporting the truth. If they are reporting a lie, then you slap them with a fine of $10,000,000. You hit the organization in the wallet, and you ban the reporter or anchor from working in the industry. Oh sure, that seems harsh. It happens all the time in the financial sector, and it happens all the time other sectors as well. Here in Arizona, if a construction contractor is taken to court and sued for faulty work, and is found guilty, they can have their license pulled and be out of business. It’s that simple. If it works for construction, it should work for the media.
The media needs to get back to REPORTING the news, instead of trying to BE the news. Until that happens, We The People can’t trust them as far as we can throw them, and they become nothing more than talking heads and totally useless.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!