Thinking about the Attacks on the Press?
Some of the most insightful Writings We in (Irish) Genealogy get to see and read when researching are Newspapers from back in the day that OUR ANCESTORS lived through. I cannot forget finding an Article, small and short, that mentioned Our Ancestors in it and something they had done — so, being able to read Newspapers and Newspaper Articles from back in the day (and times), and the People – Our Ancestors and ForeFathers – experienced in their day to day lives, is priceless, and indeed a treat. However, I am glad that Journalism back “in the day” was factual. And by that I mean generally, it was agreed by most that “X” happened. Today, things in the US appear to be losing track of this !
If We in our Ancestry research are fortunate to run across the actual newspaper articles of Our Ancestry or Ancestors’ — it often causes Us to stop, sit down, and read every word – carefully. To be able to read the happenings from back then is one of the greatest gifts We happen to get today. So, when those people who do not like what is in the News, attack not the assertions, but the entire Category of Journalism (and individual Journalists) or News Outlets — it makes Us stop and think very carefully about what is happening (and that We must defend the Journalists) — what if back then in the day, We had some “side” putting our alternative “Facts” like it was “Fact”??
We of Irish decent have read Propaganda. We know it. We often see the different or differing points of view on most any topic. But what We do NOT commonly in main Press, is the outright denial hat an event happened as it happened. Differing points of view – yes – denial or complete twisting with Fraud and Misrepresentations – rarely. Back then it rarely happened outside Propaganda (and that like today, was usually instantly recognized by intelligent persons).
What if the Somme was NOT “… a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire..1 July and 18 November 1916 ” BUT INSTEAD was a vacation spot where some different peoples happened to be visiting and had a minor dispute over ice cream? Could you imagine the press saying it was only 1000 people, not the over 1 Million deceased people?
What then would be the “explanation” When the bodies started appearing for burial back in the Home Villages,
Would the Villagers believe they were “unfortunate victims of a natural disaster” but We exhibiting wounds of War and Battle – would anyone have believed the “facts” they were reading in the papers then? Surely not, as Facts seem to have evidence backing them up — and it is that evidence that upsets the propagandists the most and they try to hide it or destroy it or remove it completely.
So, it is the EVIDENCE behind the FACTS which is most troublesome for many and they will do almost anything to hide it or get rid of it.
No doubt some would have — but the majority if presented with the facts (it was War) in the News, they would know the Truth.
Truth is what makes Facts? We do not have the room, nor the time to get into that deep subject so We would refer all to:
Truth is usually the first casualty of Dictators, as they do not want the Public to know what is happening – but most would call the relentless attacks on the core of Our Democracy the start of dictatorship.
Although it should be clear to all Human Beings -US- anything We do is never perfect. Someone will always not like what is written.
However, We think that most People try their best to get it right and most people try to do the right thing most of the time. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time !!
Are mistakes made. Sure they are, more often then most would admit.
Are some tilted with certain bias? – Sure, we all have them (even if We do not know it). Some embrace them intentionally. Most however, those who call themselves “journalists” try to remove as much bias as they can, they verify most things with different sources. They work relentlessly to put down to paper what is fact.
So alternative facts are not that at all – they are made up things OR propaganda.
“Too err is Human ” but all and all It is clear to most, the Press and Journalism is the FIRST AMENDMENT for a reason.’
Those Fore Fathers of the USA that created this “experiment in democracy” knew the FREE Press was as important to it as all the other rights in the Constitution because without Facts We are lost in competing views. Is the Glass Half Empty or Half Full. It all depends on your point of view — what is a Fact is the Glass and the Water in it!
Perhaps because they started a revolution and fought a War in their lifetimes in their (Our) Cities, Villages and Towns – literally in their backyards – and knew the costs and that, IF, if they lost they would loose their lives as Traitors — that the Free Press (with all it’s errors and “messyness”) was critical as instead of fighting for freedom they were instead something else, perhaps to enrich themselves?
During Hitler’s rise to power his first order of business was to attack the press relentlessly. Then when he finally attained power he muzzled it immediately.
It’s because he understood when you silence the press you silence dissent.
You take away the people’s power to call the powerful to account.
So if We want someone accountable, We need the Free Press as Guaranteed by the First Amendment