Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"The DeYoung Code: Finding Free Press"

As a person who is inordinately interested in what's going on around the world, I admit to spending way too much time reading papers and surfing various web sites and blogs. Times when I should be studying, (so I can actually get that degree this Fall), are often misappropriated trying to find out if anyone is going to step up to the plate to save the rest of us from Bush and his band of crooks, who have made Nixon's little Watergate incident seem like a parking ticket.

The reason I feel the need to examine news from a variety of sources is so that I am exposed to several differing positions and arguments regarding the issues. I am then able to analyze the information, cut through the propaganda and rhetoric and then develop an informed opinion regarding each issue.

Fortunately for people like myself, this has become a less daunting task recently as more people are recognizing there are several areas where most Americans agree. Even staunch conservatives from Bush's base camp are beginning to sneak away from his excellent adventure. Then there are several that the President has relied on for guidance, his sherpa's if you will, who instead of sneaking away, are waiting to be consumed by an avalanche of deceipt as they face possible federal indictment in the Plame scandal. Also, I think everyone in the country agrees that the nomination of Harriet Miers for Supreme Court Justice was just plain stupid. (Personal hint for George: Usually when your own supporters contest your decision and the opposing side celebrates it, it's not going to end well. Just like the thing in Iraq.)

Furthermore, I may have finally found a web site that offers a look at the news from a position that appears to be equal to all political disciplines and ideologies. It's tradition for covering the hard hitting news of the day, without prejudice and bias brought tears to my eyes. I recommend readers check out the headlines at http://theonion.com They are equally hard on everyone and everything public, yet bring a flavorful perspective not found in the corporate owned mainstream media today. According to their media kit web page, they have been around for 15 years and offer "fearless reporting and scathing commentary on world events, human behavior and journalistic convention." As an added bonus, "The Onion" is free to its subscribers.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Freedom and most of its derivatives are important words to me. I really hate it when I receive something that proclaims in bold letters that I'm "entitled to" "been selected for" or "have already won" a great prize "No purchase Required" and "Absolutely Free" are words also used immediately before someone asks you to buy something you don't want or need.

A month or so ago, The New York Times online, possibly in a move to help defray legal costs, started charging a fee to read their articles. I was already signed up to receive the news each day and had been for months. Imagine grabbing your paper at home with the front page consisting of headlines and leads to the top stories of the day, and when you turn the page for the rest of the story. The pages were blank except for ads extorting money if you want to know what their reporters allege is happening in the world. I dropped my subscription in disgust!

"The Onion" seems to agree with my belief that advertisers, not concerned Americans, should pay for the newspaper, and that a free press as guaranteed in the Constitution, should be..., free! Well okay, maybe that's not what the authors of the Constitution meant, but everyone else is throwing their interpretation around, so I figured I'd jump on the train.

I'll probably continue to spend inordinate amounts of time reading the news to ensure I'm fairly representing issues when I write, but I think from now on, if I can't decide which way the wind is blowing public sentiment, I'll be able to defer to "The Onion." There are other web sights out there not hobbled by corporations dictating what they publish. Because they are independent they are not afraid to offer journalism that is capable of making us laugh or angering everyone. I recommend you find them and then decide for your self what the constitutional reference to free speech is all about.

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