Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Freedom of the Press

Today's Saying
Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don't regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression. ~Gerard K. O'Neill,

The good news is that the idea of a free press is still alive and well in America.
I’m sure all of you, at least all of you who live in the United States , know by now that the Obama Administration hates Fox New. They have publicly said so and in the process called Fox News names. They absolutely don’t like what Fox says about some of Obama’s leadership. They want Fox News to shut up.
So as part of their anti Fox campaign the Treasury Department made available Ken Feinberg, the executive pay czar, for interviews with the White House "pool" news organizations -- except Fox. The clear message was that if we don’t like what you say about us we can punish you by preventing you from gathering information from any source we control.
The good news is that every single news organization turned down the opportunity forcing the government to either invitee Fox or alienate all the news organizations. The government invited Fox.
The National News Organizations understood that if the government censors Fox today for what it says then tomorrow it can cut off any of them. In the end you have only government managed news. By pulling together they said “ We won’t put up with that”.
I am not a Fox News supporter but I do support its right to say things the government doesn’t like.
Instead of attacking Fox the government should openly and honestly refute what it says, assuming its wrong.
I also support the right of any news agency to say positive things about the government even if every conservative in the country believes the statements to be untrue.
Freedom is a painful thing.
It is essential that we have free news agencies and that we let them be free.
Threats, boycotts, harassment because of what is said is so un-American.
I know that the chant of the true believer on either side, liberal or conservative, is “ Only allow the truth as we see it”.
That’s why the press will always be seen as biased.
But the government leadership needs to rise above the true believers.
It really does.

This morning a fellow who looked like an Arab stopped in to Nancy's for a cup of Coffee. He asked where the nearest feed store was. Nancy told him that about a mile down the road was Nelsons Feed and Seed store. They had any kind of animal food you might want. He thanked her and drove off in an old looking truck.
About fifteen minutes later Oswald at Nelsons Feed and Seed called Eino. He said there was an Arab there that wanted to buy twenty bags of a particular fertilizer. He sent Eino the man's picture taken with his wireless phone. Eino said to stall him.
Then Eino called his friend at Homeland Security and sent him the picture. His friend said the man.s name was Haz-mat and he was dangerous. They should try to stall him until Homeland Security could get somebody there.
Eino called Oscar back and said to stall the man as long as possible. Then he called Chief Ican. Who then drove out to the feed store.
By the time he got there the man was gone. Oscar said he had told him he only had three bags but could get the rest in a couple of hours and the man just turned around and left.
A couple of hours later a green man stopped in to Nancy's, identified himself as a government agent, showed them Has-mat's picture and asked if he had stopped there. Then he wanted to know what Has-mat was driving. There was a real disagreement on the color of the truck. But all said it was an odd looking truck.
When he left everybody did agree that the man asking the questions was green. They had never seen a green man before.
Got to the office at 4:50 this morning. My soda didn't arrive until 6:30. I was so thirsty. I have this thought that I should tell you the dragons got some new awards and you can see them HERE. But I am resisting the thought . You know what I think of internet awards. But the thought keeps coming like magic. I will not tell you. The rest of the day passed without any great event except my sister Dawn called. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Anonymous quilly said...

I am glad the press took the stand it did. Our government is scaring me more and more every day.

Fertilizer can be made into BOMBS! Oh my gosh. Run for your lives!

1:17 AM  
Blogger anthonynorth said...

The media did right there. Mindst you, I'm not satisfied the press is as free as we think. They rely too much on advertising, and the thing about advertisers is they only advertise in media that offers the general message they want to hear. This leads to quite a lot of marginalisation of views and news as the press tries to please the advertisers.

2:19 AM  
Blogger boots said...

this administration is very frightening in regards to its respect of our freedoms and its power.
Just finished the HBO series on John Adams...very very interesting and inspiring about our beginnings as a nation and the sacrifices they were willing to make for the country

2:37 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

The media did something right.

It is difficult to listen to people who disagree with you. But I have always felt it better to know what someone thinks rather than be surprised later on.

Sean the Vampire - Part Six - A Halloween Recap

2:56 AM  
Blogger Jeni said...

ANEN! Like you, Dr. John, I am not a fan of Fox News but I do have control over the on and off button or the channel changer on my tv set and I can always switch channels to view the news by ABC, CBS or NBC -or any other network that may exist. And too, if a particular network or broadcaster or whatever is NOT wanted to be seen or heard, by denying them access or by trying to tell people NOT to watch/listen to them, can make people want to see what they are all about even more -kind of works like a magnet along the same lines as wanting to see what's happening at a crime scene and yet, having the same scene make you sick to your stomach too.

4:13 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

Ah free speech!

We had a similar incident here recently where a Government minister was trying to another elected minister from a different party banned from Question Time on TV because he doesn't agree with the party's policies. A lot of people don't agree with what the party (BNP) have to say but we have free speech and quite rightly the minister was allowed to appear!

4:18 AM  
Blogger carma said...

Let Freedom Ring!!! One of our most basic liberties- shame on the powers that be for trying to take it away. I'm with you on this. Heard it on the news and cringed.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Some very valid thoughts today Dr. John. I don't feel that the government should be able to pick and choose who should cover any news.
Love Di

6:05 AM  
Blogger Dulce said...

...Freedom of the press... that is so biased all ways... Sorry I cannot believe in it... Every means has their own political tendency and then we people believe what they want us to believe... so I'd rather not read or listen, just observe and have a laugh at them all.

6:22 AM  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

First of all, God bless Oswald and Eino (even though they are only, I assume, fictional characters)!

Second of all, thanks for posting about the administration's attempt to silence Fox news and the other news organizations' response. There are still some good things about America.

Third of all, what happens in 2081?

6:34 AM  
Blogger PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I would like to see all these TV networks be more overt about labeling the differences between news, which they make as unbiased as humanly possible, and editorial, which can be anybody's opinion, informed or not. The way it is now, they seem to slide from news into editorial with no pause.

I'd also like to see more discussion of opinion and what the speakers base that on, ie facts and investigations, rather than "This is my opinion because it is my opinion."

And even more, I'd like to see the commentators take a more respectful stance toward people of opposite opinion rather than running them down and making fun of them because they disagree or they make mistakes.

If those things happened, then we could have a more honest debate about policies.

I can't say I blame the Whitehouse for wanting to ban Fox News because Fox actually sponsored, not just reported on, anti-government rallies. I watch FOX occasionally just to keep on top of what it out there. The tone they project is annoying, in that they often portray themselves as experts on issues that they obviously have wrong "facts" for. How is it that "FOX" has "conservative" news programs but the other FOX TV networks are pretty far out there liberal in what is presented?

6:44 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

During the Bush presidency it was evident to all outside the USA living Americans and the rest of the world that the News were censured more or less. They were able to listen to the BBC or to other TV stations and compare with what their in the USA living relatives or friends heard. They were very upset that Americans were so isolated from the rest of the world and not allowed to hear the truth in many things. Now of course everybody hopes that Obama will not do the same and of what I hear here from my in Waterloo living American friends is, that it became a lot better. I don't know anything about this Fox story so I can't comment on that.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of the press be strong!!! Don't I know your thoughts on internet awards!!!

9:21 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

I can't stand FOX but I hoped the Administration would handle it better than they have.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Lou said...

Freedom of speech, and freedom to turn it off if you don't like it.

Isin't that how it is supposed to work?

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Alice Audrey said...

Nice twist in the story.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Melissa B. said...

Amen, Brother! And as a member of the 4th Estate, I say hurrah for the National News Orgs! But I still call that particular organization "Faux" News...

5:19 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey John, you are in the midst of a hot bed here. I have never watched 'fox news' and don't intend to. Our local Fox TV is fine. I don't blame the Pres but I suppose it really wasn't the right thing to do. Of course he can slight them until a truce is reached.
Will I need a map to navigate the streets of Pigeon Falls. That's okay, I'll bring a GPS machine.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Melli said...

But doesn't just a little part of you sOMewhere wish that the government would have said "okay" ... NOBODY gets to speak to hear us! We could be DONE with Government news! THEN what would the TRUE believers do??? They wouldn't KNOW anything so they couldn't complain -- except about NOT KNOWING! LOL! I think it would be fun to SEE!

I'm so glad that you didn't tell me about the dragons awards. But you DO know that I think DRAGONS are the only people who deserve blog awards!

Green men... riiiiiiiiiight!

7:17 PM  
Blogger Gattina said...

Your parcel arrived yesterday !!! and was checked by cat Rosie, have a look ! 1000 thanks !!

11:47 PM  

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