Skip to comments.Abolish the Wire Services
Posted on 11/07/2018 3:40:32 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion
The First Amendment requirement that Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press has one obvious objective. It exists to prevent the political homogenization of mass communications. It was well crafted, and it worked. Under that regime, Congress passed laws to expedite the propagation of information by giving preferential postage to newspapers which interchanged information by mailing their newspapers to each other.
But in 1844 Samuel Morse demonstrated his famous Baltimore-Washington telegraph, and the Associated Press and other wire services soon followed. This was in principle the same thing as interchanging information by mail, and it was far more expeditious and efficient. In fact, however, the Associated Press changed the nature of journalism by transforming their ponderous information sharing into a real time virtual meeting of all major US news outlets.
The implication of that can be understood by reference to Adam Smiths 1776 classic, The Wealth of Nations:People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.The conspiracy against the public from the continual meeting of all journalists has been the very political homogenization of journalism which the First Amendment assayed to prevent. The political homogenization of journalism did not come from government, as the Constitutions authors feared - it comes from the self interest of journalists.
In his 1759 book Theory of Moral Sentiments, Adam Smith defines interests which he asserts are common to all men, certainly not excluding journalists:The man whom we believe is necessarily, in the things concerning which we believe him, our leader and director, and we look up to him with a certain degree of esteem and respect. But as from admiring other people we come to wish to be admired ourselves; so from being led and directed by other people we learn to wish to become ourselves leaders and directors . . .
The desire of being believed, the desire of persuading, of leading and directing other people, seems to be one of the strongest of all our natural desires.
Journalists want to be believed and to persuade, and the virtual meeting which is the AP wire is the perfect mechanism by which they can conspire to promote their ability to do so. But to persuade, journalists need first to attract attention - and in order to attract attention, journalists obey rules including, If it bleeds, it leads. Commercially successful journalists all obey that rule. The inevitable result is that journalists have a predilection towards criticism of society, and of anyone who labor to earn respect by actually working to a bottom line. And since government exists only to limit flaws of society, criticism of society implies promotion of more government. And that is why journalism, left to its own devices and empowered by their continual meeting via the wire, coalesces by default around liberalism (actually, socialism).
Since the Bill of Rights is intended to limit the very government which wire service journalism so slavishly promotes, the First Amendment cannot be read to protect homogenization of journalism around unlimited government. The wire services have served in the past to conserve expensive telegraphy bandwidth, but in the Internet age, telegraphy bandwidth is dirt cheap and its conservation is not a priority which must constrain the government. The Associated Press, and all other wire services, should be abolished.
If we are going to be constructionists, we have to remember that the press was not honest or unbiased. That is a machination of the 20th Century.
In fact, when you see a paper with Republican or Democrat in the title, it is exactly that: A political newspaper.
Freedom of the press is one of those things most people do no understand; nor do they wish to be educated.
It means write whatever you want. Write it how you want. And bias or truth does not matter. It is up to the people to discern the truth.
The abolition has to come from competition not from the government.
Economics and changing technology will abolish not only abolish the wire services, but also newspapers, the cable news networks and talk radio.
And if we do that they call it “hate speech.”
This is a pretty good explanation of what has happened.
The Media become more socialist and concentrated under Democratic controls and regulations of the FCC.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter are working hard to do an Internet version of the wire services.
The framers understood and feared government control of the media.
The did not foresee an ideology seizing the media, and the media controlling the government.
Thats the issue. And how do you solve it without being accused of censorship? People say, well, let the free matkyet take its course rather than government intervention. Its been 30-40 years and that hasnt happened. If anything theyve consolidated power and now internet/ social media is joining the monopoly of the left.
WTF kind of crap vanity thread is this? You want to abolish private companies, go over to DU, they’ll like your thinking. Not here.
Talk radio could migrate to something resembling Rushs subscription site, but IMHO the way to understand the relation between journalism and talk radio is that journalists are sophists (we get the word sophistry from that ancient Greek form of slippery argumentation) and talk radio hosts are philosophers. Sophists claimed superior wisdom, journalists claim the same thing under the name of objectivity. Philosophers made a point of not claiming superior wisdom, but rather of being open to facts and logic, talk show hosts humbly accept (indeed glory in) the label of conservative rather than claiming that they are objective or wise.
You cant stop the expression of political opinion (the Democrats would be enthusiastic if they could do it). That being the case, talk show philosophers are inevitable, and it is also inevitable that sophists will be around for them to contend with.The abolition has to come from competition not from the government. - outofsaltIf it bleeds, it leads journalism cannot be conservative. As long as it is dominant in journalism, journalism will be liberal. The only competition it can have is, IMHO, talk radio philosophers."
This makes sense. Thomas Jefferson complained bitterly about the press in his time. But this is much worse.
Facebook and search engine control over what we see is hurting the People’s ability to make key decisions.
Something must be done. Even the CEO of Apple is asking for regulation. It will happen.
Justice Scalia pointed out that freedom of speech and of the press existed at the time the First Amendment was drafted - but libel laws existed at that time, too. He interpreted the formulation "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press as being different than it would have been without the the which I bolded in the quotation.
His point was that the freedom of the press was that which existed at the time the amendment passed. Not absolute freedom, in which (as you suggest) bias and truth do not matter but freedom within the existing constraints of libel law. That is, freedom to tell the truth as you believe it, but not to deliberately libel without consequence.
Bias, si! Libel, non!
Not likely, they wont. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/523109/posts?page=37#37
I am arguing for the abolition of companies - most especially the AP - which are in blatant violation of the Sherman AntiTrust Act of 1890. The AP, and its membership taken together, monopolize journalism. The AP itself was monopolistic from its early days; whenever a telegraph company wanted to start up, the AP would offer to provide the basic cash flow the company needed to operate provided that it carried the AP newswire traffic and no other competing wire service.
Companies which compromise the freedom of the press - not by the government but by private for-profit companies.
That kind of private property right we can do without, thank you very much.
The intent of the founders was that speech would not be censored. What we have today is censored speech through monopoly of control of the broadcasting systems in America.
If you are to reach the masses at all, it mostly must be done through some form of television. We can stand on a narrow interpretation of "freedom of the press" and we can be destroyed, or we can realize this is an entirely different ballgame than that with which the founders were familiar, and act accordingly.
I have further arguments, but if these don't reach you, I doubt the others will either.
And it will all be controlled by our enemies.
They did not foresee an ideology seizing the media, and the media controlling the government.
This is the salient point of this debate.
This is the salient point of this debate.marktwain The framers understood and feared government control of the media. They did not foresee an ideology seizing the media, and the media controlling the government.
Agreed. Its a different phenomenon, but the same effect. Tyranny.
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