Many believe the United States cannot be defeated by our enemies. If the U.S. should ever fall, it will come from the actions of our own citizens. Our founding fathers understood the history of the world was one of despots ruling populations, and imposing their tyranny on people. So, in setting up the U.S. Constitution, they were careful to divide powers between three branches of government. A system of checks and balances would protect this unusual occurrence of a free people.
To further protect a free people the press were given special protections, in the First Amendment, to play the role of government watch dog. This worked well for 200 years, but recently our press has failed us, and have surrendered themselves to a political agenda. One only has to turn on the evening news to be treated to a Progressive leaning agenda by reporters who believe Conservatives are Bible thumping hicks who may be “dangerous.”
Now comes an effort, by the Congress, to decide who qualifies as a reporter. This should make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. The argument is, just because someone writes for the public, they are not necessarily a reporter and should not be given the protections given to “real” reporters. However, there is no legal definition of a reporter. This lack of a definition allows for a case by case review in the courts. In passing a law, Congress eliminates any attempt by the court to protect reporters. Does this strike anybody as an attack on the First Amendment while delivering an unspoken threat to reporters who don’t toe the line?
With a legal definition of a reporter, the government then becomes the “decider” on who is protected. Think about this possible threat, “if you don’t agree with the official explanation and fail to report the “right” way, definitions can be changed to exclude you and possibly your employer.” Who will challenge the government when they can legislate you out of a job and possibly into jail?
For years there were three major television networks and a number of radio stations. News came from the Associated Press, United Press International, or other mainstream news gathering organizations. There was never an issue raised about both sides of a story being reported. Then came Talk Radio, with the ability to offer a different view of the news.
Suddenly, there was a hue and cry for a Fairness Doctrine. Why? The population is turning away from television as its only source of news and increasingly listening to talk radio and reading blogs. Progressives tried their own talk radio, but for whatever reason, the programs failed. As is often the case, when competition fails Progressives, they demand a law. Their “go to” argument when losing...fairness. With the decline in television news, the decrease in people reading big city newspapers and the increase in bloggers there is only one thing to do, in the name of fairness, regulate who is actually considered a reporter.
You have to love Progressives, they never give up. It is time to point out their goals, their end game, and their behavior. In my opinion Progressives don’t like competition, they don’t like alternate ideas, and they don’t like transparency. Beware the idea of a law codifying reporters. This plan will end badly for freedom and the press.