Tag Archives: First Amendment

Real News – It’s Still Out There

It bothers me that there is an assumption among some that the New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times are no longer reliable sources for news and information. I think they are trying harder to stay in business, but that does not mean that they are no longer reliable.

Much or all of this presumption that the mainstream media is no longer reliable is coming from the MAGA side, which is the real source of “fake news.” Consequently, I am not inclined to throw the baby out with the bath water.

I recently subscribed to the Washington Post, and think they are doing a terrific job. Beyond our still great national papers, I rely upon the BBC, France24 and sometimes, Reuters streaming service, although they still need some help transitioning from print into broadcast. I also think NPR has one of the best websites out there. The Guardian, is also a great paper, due in no small part to the fact that it is owned by a foundation and is beyond the influence of advertisers. Also, many won’t want to hear it, but Al Jazeera does a great job covering conflicts in the Middle East, probably due to the fact that what they are reporting on is happening in their own back yard. Nevertheless, they continue to be vilified by some because they aren’t owned and controlled by traditional western media.

I also subscribe to my hometown newspaper, The Paynesville Press, in Paynesville, Minnesota. It has always been, and continues to be, a family owned and dependable source for news and information about the small town where I grew up.

My feeling is that there are still plenty of sources for legit news and information. The real problem is a public that has no idea who and where they are. As for Twitter, I canceled my account when Musk bought the company.

Social networking is a very real threat to Democracy, as is the absence of any ethical or principled behavior by some broadcasters, with a considerable amount of nonsense on streaming video. I don’t pretend to know how it can be adequately controlled without gutting the First Amendment. However, it should be obvious that the traditional filter provided by professional journalists is a necessary mechanism to protect an unsuspecting public, many of whom will believe almost anything, provided it supports their personal bias.

Are There Any Adults Still In The Room?

Two things: One, is that KTLA is reporting on the LAPD complaint that Tic Tok now has videos of kids showing other kids the best way to steal some cars, featuring cars by make, model and year, that are apparently the easiest to steal. And guess what? More of those cars, the LAPD says, are now being stolen.

Somehow this has got to be stopped, but how without stepping on the First Amendment? It’s also a safe bet that young people who are taking over intersections to do “burnouts” with their muscle cars are simply mimicking what they have seen on social media or in the movies.

Are there any adults still in the room?

Our second issue is email alerts. Like getting an alert that you need to update your information on an account. Most of these “alerts” can be ignored, so many are nothing but advertising, but there is always a chance that ignoring a specific alert might cause a problem. I thought if anything was important enough to merit my attention somebody would send me a notice in the real “snail” mail. I’m no longer so sure that’s still the case, or at least if it will be the case going forward.