Now before someone jumps me etc., I am all for a free press. I think they are an absolutely necessary to a free society. I think one should be able to say or write what they think. I am a free speech person. Having said that I also think we as people in a society need to be aware that the press, media are people and they have opinions just like we all do. One needs to be able to separate fact from opinion. As a teacher once said to me "Feelings aren't facts."
In November 1863 at the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania two people spoke. Both politicians. One of the politicians spoke for a long time, probably too long but his words were praised by most newspapers of the time. After a hymn, can you imagine that happening today at such a gathering, the other politician spoke for less than three minutes. He even went on to say that the world would little note or remember what he said on that day.
One of the media giants of the time, The Chicago Times wrote of the second man's saying:
"The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterance of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States." TheHarrisburg Patriot and Union their evaluation: "We pass over the silly remarks of the President; for the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion shall be dropped over them and that they shall no more be repeated or thought of."
The second speaker on that day who was so heavily rebuked by the print media, well if you know history, that was Abraham Lincoln.
Again I am for a free press, media but just maybe the next time you or I are sitting in our living rooms with the television on and you are watching saying CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News, any media outlet and so called media experts remember a bit of history. Also, remember these are networks interesting in getting viewers, they sell advertising and viewers watch commercials.
Often times a bit of reflection is needed to be weighed before such strong criticism as we often see today. Can you imagine the View or The Five if they had been around in Lincoln's time the following day after his short speech at Gettysburg?
September 1, 2017