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I guess we are in shades of grey here. Where the situation in China where Google is under agreement to censor the term "democracy" is the extreme end and what I have experienced which is a blackout that has become more conspicuous as time goes on.
Michael Getler, ombudsman for the Washington Post addressed the issue in his article, "News Over There, Not Over Here." He took his paper and Walter Pincus to task for not covering the Downing Street Minutes. Walter said he was too busy covering the UK election.
Within a week, Getler said that the story should have been front paged, that it was "journalistically mandatory."
I am talking about managing the news, filtering the news and managing public opinion. The news stories that are not to be found are "illegal""war""Iraq." The UK, involved in the same war, and the Blair administration involved in the same illegalities.. their coverage of "illegal""war""Iraq" outnumbers US stories by about 8 to 1.
More Americans are getting their US news from UK sources than ever. There is a reason for this.
I can't find a journalist to say, "My editor would not let me run this story because it cast too harsh a light on the Bush administration's questionable basis for going to war in Iraq."
To institute editorial standards like this is the opposite of good journalism, and an abdegnation of the role of the fourth estate as watchdog over all the branches of government, especially to keep an eye on the executive branch and foreign policy.
So I say the news is managed, filtered controlled and blacked out, although in answer to the hue and cry in the last 6 weeks, there has been more of a biting edge to some journalists... who seem to have been waiting... asking "Is it safe to come out?"
What bothers me about the cry of "censorship" is that there is a big, big difference between a government that actively prevents people from finding out what is going on, like in North Korea and China, and a news media that responds to its readers by giving them what they want--even if what they want is trash.
Here in the U.S. the information is available, but we're just too disinterested, or lazy, to care about it. That's not censorship.
i don't mind. of COURSE there's a big big difference, but who is going to fight the encroachment of Big Brother? Who is going to even notice it? It is subtle.
Now the woman who said "Sure, there's censorship of the news in America," she's Irish. Michael in the kitchen he's Irish too. The whole country is full of Irish. And the consensus opinion here is that news is censored in America, but that you're not allowed to say it, and you wouldn't be able to prove it.
Anytime you're not allowed to say something, that's censorship. These people are saying there are certain stories you're not allowed to report. That's their understanding.
There's three people here. One the Irish woman, two there's me, and three an Italian woman. Now our consensus opinion is that there is censorship, or management to make sure things don't get said or reported, in America. That's what we seem to be saying.
That it is not as bad as somewhere else doesn't make it not so.
I grew up in freedom. It was a condition I enjoyed. I know what it was like, and what it is like now.
Freedom is a fight. A constant fight. Taking risks and taking the heat. Complacency gives the powers that be license to encroach even more.
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