Freedom of the Press
by Peter Webster
It seems to me that censoring the press has been going on for, you might say, quite a while now. Think back to the days of vigorous (if not violent) labor demonstrations of the 19th and early 20th Centuries: what were the newspapers doing? They were upholding the corporations, the companies, demanding troops, cannons, lynchings and god knows what else to crush the labor agitators. Think back further: Frank Baum, the creator of the Wizard of Oz, what he was he doing in his days as a newspaper writer? Well, arguing for the extinction of all the Sioux Indians ... What were territorial papers agitating for in the west? Yes, extinction of the Indians. Remember what happened to Henry Ward Beecher's newspapers attacking slavery? Destroyed by angry mobs. Who led the mobs? The people who profited off slavery and their own newspapers.
Journalism does not have any corner on morality in this country. Probably never will, for that matter. Knowing "the truth" has always been a matter of individual discernment. The media has never been particularly well known for promulgating truth.