One of the overriding founding principles of this nation is that it gives unfettered and basically total freedom to the press. Freedom of the press was issued by the founding fathers so that they could act as a check and balance on government. That is still important today, as misguided and off the rails as the mainstream press has become.
Donald Trump, as reported in The Hill, has suggested that he wants to take press credentials away from certain media types like CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc. because they are printing fake news. As much as I deplore fake news and the slanted journalism that has developed over the past 15 years, I have to be against this. We NEED the press, even a poor representation, overly-slanted, out of control press that we currently have. They are a check and balance on the current administration. That is needed.
What isn’t needed is the slant and bias that we see in the mainstream media. And I don’t think you solve the problem of a slanted and biased media by taking away credentials. That just means you don’t have to look at them in the White House press room. They’re still going to be slanted. They’re still going to be biased. That’s not even a band-aid to the problem. The problem goes much deeper.
The problem starts with education. It starts in the journalism schools across the country in universities that are noted for training our journalists. I’m talking about Northwestern, and Syracuse, and Missouri. Those are three of the largest J-Schools in the US. The professors at those universities are the ones to blame. They are the ones that have taught the students it’s ok to air your opinions in a newscast. It’s ok to slant the news to fit your agenda. No, it’s not ok. It’s a bastardization of the news, and it’s wrong. It’s just as wrong for a conservative to do it as for a liberal to do it. News is news. You report it, you gather the facts, and present the facts. There are no opinion pieces in the news….or at least there weren’t.
What needs to happen to correct the problem isn’t legislation and it isn’t pulling credentials. What needs to happen is that the American people stop watching, reading and listening. The media is centered around the all-mighty dollar just as much as every other corporation in America. If you stop subscribing to the newspaper, boycott the advertisers on the TV newscasts and cable channels, and stop listening to the radio, trust me…they’ll get the message over time. This didn’t happen over night and it won’t be solved over night. When the ratings go down, when the ad revenue goes down, when they media need to chop more and more jobs, and more and more of them go out of business, they will respond.
Pulling credentials is like the kid in the school yard that takes the football and goes home because he can’t play quarterback. Yes, it’s his football. No, it doesn’t solve the problem. I’m surprised Donald Trump hasn’t learned that by now.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!