Wednesday, March 30, 2016

American Elections 3 - Tips for International Followers - The Media Machine and Promoting News with Bias


Anyone who has lived in or visited America has most likely witnessed the power of the media, the bias of the media, and the elitist attitude of America's Fourth Estate.

About 227 years ago, on September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution.  Ten of the proposed 12 amendments were ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures on December 15, 1791. The ratified Articles (Articles 3–12) constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, or the U.S. Bill of Rights.  In 1992, 203 years after it was proposed, Article 2 was ratified as the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. Article 1 failed ratification.

Here is the exact text of the original third amendment, which eventually became the first amendment to the Constitution.

"Article the third... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Now if ever there was a doubt as to the power of the press the first amendment to the Constitution should end the discussion.  In that action, two special interests received special rights and protection in America, religion and the press.  A third interest, the people, received a guarantee of free speech, the right to assembly, and the right to petition the government.

If our Founding Fathers could see the maze and mess of the media today one wonders if such special rights would exist.  Back then there were only newspapers and magazines, and current news could be a week and often far longer before it reached you.

The instantaneous nature of news today with the bias and lack of fact checking inherent in it, while broadcasting such a cacophony of dribble and drabble through radio and television would be enough to put Ben Franklin in a premature grave.  Add to that confusion the explosion of the Internet and the competition between everyone to control it, and the Founding Fathers would probably give us back to Great Britain.

So today, we are stuck with a New World media.  Once upon a time, the media in America had "ethics," "standards," and rules to assure "objectivity."  In fact all members of the traditional or Main Street media, meaning those who existed in the era of print, radio, and television, agreed to establish a Society of Professional Journalists and adopted a Code of Ethics in 1909.

Here is a summary of the Code.


SPJ Code of Ethics


Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity.

The Society declares these four principles as the foundation of ethical journalism and encourages their use in its practice by all people in all media.

Seek Truth and Report It

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should
be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting

Minimize Harm

Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of
the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Act Independently

The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve
the public.

Be Accountable and Transparent

Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one's work and
explaining one’s decisions to the public.


Well, it was a great idea in 1909 but largely ignored in every presidential election cycle since until this year, 2016, when any such binding Code of Ethics for journalists seems to have disappeared off the face of the Earth.

This year the American media has demonstrated an elitist attitude, a contempt for the people of America, a disdain for seeking the truth, and they despise many of the political candidates.  In short, ethics in the media is long gone.

Yet it is okay in this tumultuous election cycle because the candidates themselves have also bent the rules of decorum and obliterated any political correctness in the process.

As an advocate of the Lincoln approach to our system of government, an approach Honest Abe discussed in his First Inaugural Address Monday, March 4, 1861, here are his own words.

"The government, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."

Not only did he have 1861 in mind when he spoke those prophetic words, he was speaking for an America 155 years into the future, the year 2016, and the presidential election "revolution" that is underway.

What Abraham Lincoln foresaw as a possibility when the government, politicians, and special interests took control and ignored the will of the people, has materialized today.

The signs were there but the perpetrators including the media, politicians, and the establishment were blind to them.  Every poll for the last decade has reflected a growing mistrust of all institutions in America from the news media to politicians to Wall Street.

People are watching, and people are losing faith because they are not being heard and not being served by the very people they elected to protect them.  Institutional inertia and governmental paralysis are unacceptable and Wall Street rip offs are the height of arrogance by a privileged class.

Why do 50% of eligible voters refuse to participate?  Why did a little over 20% of the eligible voters elect our last president?  Why are there more registered Independents than Democrats or Republicans, for the first time in our history?  Majority rule by the people is a joke because long ago Minority rule by Special Interest cast the people aside.

What is clear to the America people but not clear to the political and corporate establishment and politicians is the fact that the long talked about "Silent" or "Forgotten" majority is finally fed up and ready to fight back.       

Media Bias

Regarding media bias, those who say it does not exist are plain and simple liars.  Many studies of the media undertaken prove where the major media outlets stand in terms of bias.  Here are the results according to Pew Research.

So, we know there is extreme liberal media, the liberal media controls the vast majority of major media outlets, the liberal media are Democrats, and the people of America can be characterized as some liberal, some conservative, most in the middle, and they are Americans first!

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