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Category: Reference, Education and News > Current Events
Asked by: toughlover-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 23 Oct 2002 20:06 PDT
Expires: 22 Nov 2002 19:06 PST
Question ID: 89068
I pitty the poor foof who would argue that the media does not give a
pail of milk then kicks it over. The media excuses themselves by
saying that they often do good.  I am sure the Ford Pinto was
successfully used to transport women in child's birth to the emergency
Cases in point: 1. In a previous war a reporter published the plans
requiring us to change it at great cost. 2. During the EP3 incident a
FOX anouncer decleared that he had it from reliable sources that we
were on the way to rescue the crew in China. 3. After Cheaf Mouse
requested that the media relay that criptic message to the sniper,
another FOX reporter immediately proclaimed that she knew exactly what
he was trying to achieve because the same thing was done in Florada
and she went on to expound to the sniper the secret plan.  4. Cavuto
on FOX, in an interview with Sec. Powell, asked him if there was a war
between India and Pakistan, who would we side with. This is equivalent
to asking a mother in the presence of her two kids, which one would
she help if they were about to kill each other. I would only ask that
if I were an enimy of the US or I put the interest of selling news
above my country.  The incidences of indiscresions are inumerable.
Most media people seem to ask show-off questions, or "quota filler"
questions. Thay even make a game of asking questions that they
themselves admit will not be answered, with the claim that it is their
job to ask. When the question is "where will you stake out the sniper
next", then doing your job, depends on whwther you are there to sell
news or help to snag the sniper.    wish I had a spellchecker
Answered By: dannidin-ga on 24 Oct 2002 02:06 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear toughlover,

From the body of your question it is apparent that you are pretty
convinced that the answer to your question "IS THE INTEREST OF THE
YES. However, I will risk a low rating for a 2$ question and contend
that the answer is NO (almost always). Everything stated below is of
course only In My Very Humble Opinion, I will make no attempt to find
so-called "experts" to substantiate my claims, since this is an issue
any person with common sense is qualified to discuss.

True, media reporting has a potential to do damage, although some of
the examples you state fail to impress me. The media have a right to
ask questions whose answers they know they are not likely to get. It
may be stupid, but I don't think it is in conflict with the public
good. On the contrary, I am quite convinced the Powers That Be use
this from time to time to spread a healthy dose of disinformation. I
don't have any concrete examples, but they would be of the nature of:
"Where would you stake out the sniper next? Capitol Hill..." Larger
scale examples are when the administration "leaks out" information
about when the U.S. is likely to attack Iraq, etc. You can be sure
this is not done out of stupidity, and the media are only doing a
public service by publishing this (often false) information.

On the other hand, the existence of the media does a LOT of public
good without us even noticing it. Ask yourself this: Would you prefer
to live in a country with no media at all? Or would you prefer to live
in an authoritarian regime where all the media are government
controlled, and you only get to hear information which has no
potential of interfering with the public good. I don't think so
(unless you already live under such a regime - but in that case you
must be a dissident since you are using the internet and watching
"free" American T.V.) By being the stupid, stubborn, self-serving,
obnoxious people that they are, the media are making sure that not the
slightest wrongdoing will take place and go unnoticed by the public.
So they do it to make money/sell newspapers/increase ratings/fill
air-time? So what. So they go over the line sometimes? True, but I
don't see what we can do about it. It's been tried many times before
to restrict freedom of speech in the name of so-called "public
interest", and every time the results have been many many times worse.

So, that was my 2 cents' (or as the case may be, 1.50$'s) worth, hope
you enjoyed disagreeing with me...


Request for Answer Clarification by toughlover-ga on 24 Oct 2002 04:23 PDT
Dear Mr. Dannidin,
I am glad that you venture to risk your repitation.  I am sure you
understood my alusion to the pail of milk that is kicked over
promptly.  That indicates that I understand the value of the "free
press"  You may recall that although we enjoy the benefit of free
speach, it is curtailed if we try to cry "fire" in a crowded theather.

  I am sure you have also heard of checks and balances that was
instituted to keep the government in check.  The fact that we keep the
president from having unbridled freedom to do anything he wants, does
not mean that he is not valued.  If we let any one of the "valued"
parts of the whole run wild, then we might not end up with a "police
state" nor a dictatorship, but a forth estate that is a fifth column. 
Even if the the fraimers neglected to include the media in the cheks
and balances, we the people should not through up our hands and and
say we must accept the good with the bad because it could be worse. 
Remember, tyrany sometimes sneaks up on us from the most unlikely
sectors of our society.  Even the church have been known to get out of

In a nut-shell, since no member of our invaluable facets of our system
of government is above the law, the media should not be also.  We cant
punish them for being stupid, but when they reveal classified material
they should be punished in the same way that we would punish the
President.  Polititions are affraid to touch them for fear of being
targetit by the press.  This is detrimental to our country.

Clarification of Answer by dannidin-ga on 24 Oct 2002 05:24 PDT
I agree wholeheartedly. The media should be kept in check, within the
constraints of the law. Revealing classified information is illegal
and should be dealt with by the proper authorities. And your words of
caution regarding the dangers that lurk from any powerful sector,
including the media, in a free society, are well in order. Yet I
maintain that, on the whole, we are much better off with a media that
has an interest in poking it's nose anywhere, and that even believes
it is it's duty to do so. I would choose anyday a country whose
leaders are afraid of its media over one whose media are afraid of its
leaders, since the power in the latter is much less balanced.
toughlover-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Is The Interest Of The Media Inherently In Conflict With The "Public-Good"?
From: aceresearcher-ga on 24 Oct 2002 04:53 PDT
The media IS one of the checks and balances, as PLANNED by the
Founders of our country in their infinite wisdom. They deliberately
CHOSE not to bridle the media, so that we might keep our government
from straying too far over the line.

Yeah, GARs, I couldn't resist.
From: toughlover-ga on 24 Oct 2002 11:54 PDT
Dear Mr. AceResearcher,

I can see clearly that you are one, to emphasize the obvious.  
No logical thinking pearson would undervalue the critical role that
any one of the elements of these checks and balances play.  However we
the people must be vigilant that none of them become a loose cannon,
nor become untouchable, nor be above the law.  Are you one of those
who can't see the forest on account of the trees?
Dont't you understand that the fraimers' formost intention was to
prevent any single facet of the set of balances from being

Do you believe that the fraimers would countenance the surpreeme court
setting up shop to sell the paperwork on all cases that they refuse to

The solution is to break up the press into two parts, Commercial Press
and Free Press.  The Free Press should not sell anything, and should
be funded as is the National Public Radio.  Don't loose track of my
argument, a Non-Venal Press is priceless, I am just not satisfied to
accept a Press that puts money above the interest of the country. 
This applies to all of the other facets of the checks and balances.
Thanks for trying though.

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