Included in the Bill of Rights is “freedom of the press.” Our founding fathers recognized the fourth estate to be a safeguard against government corruption. With the inclusion of journalists whose task was to report the truth, the new nation would remain informed. Sadly, this no longer exists today.
The fourth estate is nearly extinct today and the culprit is “television news.” What Americans see and hear on the “boob tube” is a series of lies, half-truths, and opinions.
Trump lies constantly, and one of his biggest lies is about the mainstream media. The truth is that for the last 30 years television personalities have protected the right-wing and verbally demeaned liberals.
During the 1988 presidential campaign, television news constantly made humorous anecdotes about Democrat Michael Dukakis. They seldom discussed George H.W. Bush’s Constitutional violations related to the Iran-Contra scandal. Nor did they report the facts about Ronald Reagan’s failed economic policies; the same policies adopted by Bush 41. When he left office in 1989, the unemployment rate was 10 percent and the national debt had reached one-trillion dollars.
Although Bill Clinton was far from perfect in his personal life, his fiscal policies were extremely effective. The media remained focused on the Monica Lewinsky scandal and ignored the fact that when Clinton left office in 2001 his policies had not only erased the national debt, the national treasury had a surplus for the first time in over 40 years.
It was the television news which allowed the Bush 43 administration a free pass after lying to the American people about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. During the 2004 campaign, John Kerry was heavily scrutinized while Bush was allowed to cover-up his crimes; crimes which resulted in the deaths of thousands of American soldiers.
In 2008 John McCain faced Barrack Obama. Senator McCain’s big mistake was choosing an unqualified right-wing extremist as his running mate. Regardless of the efforts of the television media to cover-up Sarah Palin’s constant display of idiocy, Senator Obama became our 44th president. Not even the fake-journalists on television could stop the American people from electing a man who would become one of the greatest presidents in modern history.
The worst misrepresentation of presidential candidates occurred during the 2016 campaign. The least qualified candidate in history, Donald John Trump, faced the most qualified and first female candidate in history, Hillary Clinton. Although DJT was confirmed as a sexual predator, a racist, and a failed businessman, he was given a free pass by television news personalities, while Hillary was held to an impossibly high standard.
Trump was given five-times more coverage than all other candidates combined. Fox and several other networks subtly expressed gender bias against Hillary, but it was Vladimir Putin who made the greatest difference in the election. To this day television news falsely claims that “Russian efforts played no part in the 2016 election.”
This continues. Not a word has been spoken on television about Trump’s constant lies, his many failures, and his waste of taxpayer money. His illegitimate presidency is a history of living the life of a billionaire using taxpayer money. Nor have they once mentioned the fact that he is adding trillions of dollars to the national debt ending the recovery efforts begun by President Obama.
With the coronavirus spreading rapidly, the facts about Trump’s ignorance and failures are not discussed. If he was a Democrat, the news broadcasts would be filled with condemnations and negative opinions.
Why do the fake journalists support Republicans? Follow the money. Unlike real newsmen, such as Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, and others in their day, today’s personalities are paid millions of dollars to ‘put on a show’ supporting Trump. They are all members of 18.6 million millionaires in American today. That number rose from 10.1 million millionaires on inauguration day 2017. Trump is the “rich man’s president.”
I have not watched television “news” since November 9, 2016, and I never will.
The Truth Lives Here
Op-ed by James Turnage
My eight novels, including “Sheena, Queen of the Streets,” are exclusively available on Amazon; CLICK HERE; the Kindle app is a free download