Solar Wind, on Feb 8 2005, 01:27 PM, said:
Douglas, on Feb 8 2005, 08:46 AM, said:
While I am glad that 51% favor free press, 36% is still a lot of future voters who want the government to control what can be printed.
Yes, our public school system (primary and secondary) does a poor job of educating students about their government and their rights.
I don't believe for a second they want the government to control what is printed per se, and I'm sure they are fully aware of their rights, as are they aware of the lack of responsibilty by the press. just another example of something out of context. Do you want A, and why. But the why is always ignored so it can be twisted. Such as when the press and left kept reporting on surveys in Iraq that said they didn't want us there, but often neglected to say the same didn't want us to leave. No one wants another army in their country. That doesn't mean they don't feel it's necessary, or that it's not wanted given the circumstance. But the implication was twisted to imply the thought we should leave yesterday, and it's not true.
In this case I bet it has far more to do with the appalling state of the press. A press that often seems to forget it's American. A press that often seems to forget that just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should. There is a big difference. And most people's feelings also have nothing to do with the left leaning of the press. (Yes they are mostly left leaning, but it's funny how the left thinks that's ok but it's terrible that there are some right leaning. Rather hypocritical.) It has to do with improper behavior which seems to be mostly for ratings/money/glory.
There are many things that should not be reported. Many people where horrified as we went into Afgahnistan and then Iraq, when the press was reporting leaks as to the where abouts of troops, especially Special Forces that had arrived ahead of time. They've done it again recently in claiming that there are special forces in Iran. As far as I'm concerned there had better be special forces in Iran, but they should't be blabbing it in the media. Yet they had a fit when a spy was outed. How is that any different other than what side they are sticking it to in the process of the story? Or the fact that no one seemed to get mad at the reporter who reported that the spy's identity had been leaked, and who she was. He was just as guilty, but then the press rarely blames anyone in their own ranks, do they? I happen to think that the press should get permission before reporting this type of stuff if they can't regulate themselves. And many of them have proven they can't, although NBC and ABC do fairly well. CNN and CBS do poorly. I don't watch Fox or MSNBC, so I can't say.
What about now where the press seems to be bored so they are trying to whip the whole Iran thing into a frenzy. There is not one iota of new info, they are just suddenly 'scandalizing' old news, presumably because they are bored, and because their fear-mongering about the Iraq elections were proven wrong. Do they ever stop to think they could actually start a war by making people in Iran think we are about to attack? Most of us know better than take the press with more than a few grains of salt, but do they?
What about all the personal lives that are destroyed in this country because the press goes after a scandal, or often even creates one, dragging in innocent people. Often times the damage is done by the time the mess is cleaned up, and any reporting that the press made a mistake is often hidden on 'the back page'.
Somewhere, someone started lauding this idea about some noble press protecting the people. It's mostly bull. They are merely part of the checks and balances that realize the uglier side of human nature, an adversary relationship like congress going after their self-interest. The problem is the press really answers to no one. And modern technology makes it even easier for them to create damage. Of course they do somewhat answer to their audience, and for a change their audience is certainly talking back. I think that's a good thing. I think it's strange that people who believe the voice of the people should be heard change their stance when that voice isn't in support of them
So I don't think peole want the press to be regulated by the government on whole. I do think people want them to be more regulated when it comes to national security, and to have to suffer consequences when they do these things. Mostly I think people want the press to grow up, be more responsibly, and to remember they are human beings and Americans first, ratings seeking journalists third. You do not give people in this country far enough credit, and both sides seem to be making a huge effort to make us all one-dimensional. Everything is far deeper than that.