I'll post new words for next week's wordzzle in the next day or so when my brain is functioning more creatively, but I want to rant a bit this morning, or to raise a question that's been bothering me for a long time now.
Is there a difference between free speech and disinformation offered by news organizations like Fox News? Are hate and fear mongers like Glen Beck exercising freedom of speech or are they doing something else. If Beck was standing on the street corner, spewing venom and lies, I'd have no problem with it. That IS free speech. Ugly, but constitutional. But when someone is using public airways - that my taxes pay for as much as anyone else's, does it become something else? I don't know the answer, but it troubles me that a larger portion of the American public gets its information from a source that acts very intentionally to mislead, misinform and frighten them.
I don't know what the solution to a problem like this is. We certainly don't want the state monitoring or news broadcasts, but what about instating financial penalties for every inaccuracy and or distortion offered by left or right-leaning news organizations? Fox News alone could probably balance the budget in no time.... and such a system might make all broadcasters return to the strange antique custom of fact checking. We could fine politicians who lie too. That's shakier ground, because they really are exercising freedom of speech, even when they lie. But wouldn't it be fun to charge them for verbal pollution? Imagine how quickly we could bring deficit down! I really love this idea. I know it will never happen, but I actually think it would be a good thing to hold news organizations accountable for the crap they spew.
And that's used up all my energy for the day, I think... except maybe to go and find an clip from last night's Daily Show.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|