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Unchecked Government Eventually Produces Wolves Devouring Wealth

MEDIA MANGLE: Re "Real News"--Can Traditional Media Be Trusted?

Unchecked Government Eventually Produces Wolves Devouring Wealth

July 9, 2017       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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"The traditional media can no longer be trusted to deliver real news. They are wholly owned by a corporatocracy intent on pilfering the working middle class." -

"The sooner the print media goes away, the better off we will all be." -- Gov. Paul LePage, R-Maine.

"If I could have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I would not hesitate to prefer the latter." -- Thomas Jefferson

The last of the three quotes was written by Thomas Jefferson from Paris in 1789 to Edward Carrington, a delegate to the Continental Congress. A more expansive iteration follows:

"The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty.

"The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs "thro" the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people.

"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them."

So we are engaged in the endless debate over Freedom of the Press, or more properly, Freedom of Speech, protections held sacred in the U.S. Constitution.

A class of mindless politicians like Gov. LePage would strip our protections, apparently to ensure that their assault on the people can continue unabated.

The statement by seems another, different, mindless approach, that reflects frustration with the snail's pace of the transition of the print media from "corporatocracy" back to its former role as guardian of the people's rights.

A good example of this progress is shown in The Bay City Times Sunday edition and that fearlessly exposed gerrymandering and its effects on Michigan, and other states', politics.

To be fair, the path back to more responsible journalism has been paved by non-profit media like Bridge Magazine, a publication of the Center for Michigan of onetime press baron Phil Power of Ann Arbor.

A history lesson at the root of the debate is provided by the Jefferson papers, noting: "his statement about the nature of European governments (remember he is writing on the eve of the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789), that they have divided the nation into two contending classes where the government were like wolves who devoured the wealth of the people, who were like sheep. Jefferson warns Carrington that all governments, even the new American government of which they themselves were members unless checked by a knowledgeable citizenry, would inevitably become wolves."

We are now at another "wolves at the door" moment in American history, where our politicians have put themselves first and taken illicit steps like gerrymandering to perpetuate their thievery and power mongering.

We must be grateful that the print media's neglect has spawned the non-profit guardians of the people like Bridge Magazine, which are rising to meet the challenge of maintaining Freedom of the Press and Speech. It is high time; the survival of our democratic republic is at stake.


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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
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