The Free, Independent Press and Constitutional Duty: Keeping the Electorate “Well” Informed

Does the Independent Press want to Exist?

There’s a constitutional void that must be addressed.  All major press/media, networks (i.e., ABC, CBS and NBC, CNN, and TBS), print (e.g., NY Times, Washington Post) and even US-based social media need to identify and expose the anti-constitutional actions and consequences of those actions.

 

When you “Google” the principles of the United States Free and independent press you will get some version of the following American Press Association List:

  • Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth
  • Its first loyalty is to citizens
  • Its essence is the discipline of verification
  • Its practitioners must maintain independence from those they cover
  • It must serve as an independent monitor of power
  • It must provide a forum for public criticism and compromise
  • It must strive to make the significant interesting and relevant
  • It must keep the news comprehensive and proportional
  • Its practitioners must be allowed to exercise their personal conscience

 

For the fourth estate (Independent Press/Media), there is a glaring omission.  What’s missing is that which is expressly required in our laws by the government’s first, second, and third branches.   Each of the three (3) constitutional branches, Congress (Art. 1), Executive (Art. 2), and Judicial (Art.3), all swear some version of the following Oath:

 

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So, help me God.”

 

Margaret Sullivan, in her new book “Newsroom Confidential,” outlines the independent Press’ lack of response to ongoing threats to constitutional democracy.   Most independent press/media either ignores or attempts to normalize false equivalents and attacks on constitutional democracy.  The independent press/media is not required to affirm this Oath.

 

However, without constitutional protection, “Free Independent Press will cease to exist. State media will be neither free nor independent. Failing to defend the constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic, guarantees annihilation of the independent press/media and makes any other listed duties moot.

 

After the Revolutionary War, an UZI would have been more conceivable to the founders than a failure to defend the constitution by any of the enumerated branches or the independent press.

 

The “Free Independent Press” has skin in the game and is not a simple observer. As its primary duty, the independent press/media must clearly identify and expose all foreign or domestic enemies of the constitution in a timely way. Unfortunately, the current constitution enemies list includes politicians, information sources, attorneys, and a Supreme Court Justice spouse.

 

The Oath Honored Exemplar:

In 1954 Edward R. Murrow (CBS network talent), after broadcasting from London during the Nazi World War II bombing, used his platform (“See It Now”) to identify and expose the anti-constitutional actions of Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Inviting retaliation, Edward R. Murrow described the clear and present danger represented by the domestic threat represented by a powerful United States Senator.  William (Bill) S. Paley (CBS Chief Executive) fully supported the defense of the Constitution from a powerful domestic enemy. Today, both Murrow and Paley deserve their places in journalism honor.

 

When the Independent Press acts to honor “The Oath,” It is a non-partisan act of self-preservation.

 

When it is all said and done, and the portrait is on the wall of the “Journalism Hall of Fame,” would a Media CEO rather be remembered as Bill Paley or Rupert Murdoch? Perhaps more importantly, would the privileged talent rather be remembered as Edward R. Murrow or Tucker Carlson?

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Richard Brown

Richard Brown was born in Harlem, NY. Raised by a single mother, he came of age in the turbulent 1960’s. Fortunately Richard’s village included likeminded adults that prioritized education, critical thinking, and unconstrained imagination. The village children include groundbreaking director Neema Barnette and professor, noted author Michele Wallace

Since 1971 Richard has analyzed and developed software projects for major corporations like: Computer Sciences (CSC), McDonnell Douglas Corp, AT&T, Pfizer, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Political awareness forged by the times combined with analytical skills honed over the last fifty (50) years combine to form unique analysis that is not represented in any forum.

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