The Constitution was written by Founding Fathers who believed the People must know what their government was doing. They wanted transparency, which is why they believed the press must have First Amendment recognition and protection to report government activities without fear of retribution.
A nice idea and while we don’t believe the Founders were naive, it’s possible they never could have envisioned a press that mostly disregards their privilege as government watchdogs and would become blatant cheerleaders for one political party over another. The bias is obvious to the point of extreme journalist malpractice. The public is either given one side or not given relevant information at all, to the detriment of everything from civil discord to affecting election outcomes.
A bias, moreover, can be the foundation for investigative journalism. It may prompt the news organization to right a wrong and take up an unpopular cause. Thus, the job of journalists is not to stamp out bias. Rather, the journalist should learn how to manage it. And to do that, the journalist needs to become conscious of the biases at play in a given story and decide when they are appropriate and may be useful, and when they are inappropriate.
— American Press Institute
As a new reporter at the Guam Tribute in 1989, I was told by the newspaper’s editor, “It’s the job of the media to report the news; not incite it.” It’s NOT the job of the media to right wrongs or take up any cause. There should be NO biases, useful or inappropriate. It’s that kind of manipulative thinking that leads to bias-by-omission where, in one example, the medias (legacy and social) intentionally withheld pertinent information we later found swung an election.
A belated “My bad” doesn’t cut it, especially when these same people would be screaming bloody murder if it had happened to them.
The media’s First Amendment protection must be revisited as they have proven themselves undeserving. There are too many recent examples of false reporting and plagiarism that makes them unworthy of any kind of Constitutional privilege and protection. When they lie and are proven to have done so, especially when it damages individuals or groups, the aggrieved should be able to be sue until the offender offers genuine contrition; verbal and monetary. The fact they believe they alone can dictate what is fact and what is not, just because they say so, is obviously not what the Founders intended. “Misinformation” is the latest excuse they use to steer the public towards narratives the press and their preferred politicians desire.
So, let’s go there; declare the Constitution a “living document” and when the press is targeted, bites them in the ass, and costs them jobs, remind them we gave them what they wanted.