I know ya’ll are thinking… Messing with “free speech” is a slippery slope my friend, we don’t want to toboggan down. Where does it end, right? Upon reaching the bottom, do we shoot off all willy-nilly, onto the a frozen pond? Its thin ice fracturing beneath the preponderance of weighty truth?
But from the top, looking down, they’re all slippery slopes. Take your pick:
Well my chosen slope is TRUTH.
Sometimes disagreeable, often ugly. Inconveniently revealing our peccadilloes and knocking us off our high horses.
All of us.
It’s not a matter of THEM or US. Rather, it’s a matter of All of us.
We might not see eye to eye. And that’s okay. We’re all entitled to our opinions (however wrong or misguided.) But know what else we’re entitled to?
The truth. All of it.
THE WHOLE FUCKING TRUTH, IN CONTEXT.
Not vaguely ominous sounding innuendos from sanctimonious public officials (often unrelated, but it’s gotta be bad, because man, are they scary.)
that then are amplified by praetorian wings within partisan media outlets.
That’s right folks Yellow Journalism is not only back, but kicking ethical media’s ass.
The honor system worked for a long time because everyone involved believed in a code of conduct. Journalistic integrity actually meant something once.
Well, those days are long gone. Major news outlets are turning out tabloid prattle without regard to the truth, often joining forces with the internet muckrakers suddenly calling themselves journalists.
But their most egregious of all, is not accurately informing the public regarding current events; either by simple omission, or outright lies.
Becoming a partisan propaganda tool for a corrupt politician.
It’s apparent we need a “Yellow Journalism” law. That’s right… law. This is a call for an act of Congressional courage, because the current administration has shown regulations can too easily be discarded or corrupted. Society of Journalism Code of Ethics would be a good place to start.
The Fourth Estate is the guardian of the public trust. As such, its members are granted special privileges and protections. They are given access to persons and places the average citizen is not with, the expectation that they will report what they learn accurately to the public. But there is no statute requiring them to do so. And that needs to change.
The Fourth Estate should be independent and separated from corporate, political and special interest groups. Conflicts of interests should be declared. PROMINENTLY displayed, not briefly, but during the entirety of the advertisement or effected coverage. And propaganda should not be tolerated.