“Some of you press guys are lousy just like some senators are lousy, doctors are lousy, lawyers are lousy. But it doesn’t matter. We should never challenge the basic truth that an independent and free press is the fundamental element in functions of our democracy.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote as Silence Dogood this warning:
“Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Freeness of Speech; a Thing terrible to Publick Traytors.”
There is a trap set, however when we link essential freedoms to the positions of certain people. Freedom of speech, freedom of press are essential freedoms. Journalists and news personalities are people, not Liberties. A journalist has a “freeness of speech” he is NOT freedom of speech itself. Just because someone is in the news industry doesn’t mean that they are to be sheilded from criticism and that they are above reproach. When we confuse Liberty with personality we give power to tyrants.
A quote, probably not by Voltaire, repeats Franklin’s warning, but from a different perspective:
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
With all this in mind, take into account recent statements of Joe Biden protesting the criticism of media;
Joe is conflating issues. Criticizing a bad doctor doesn’t destroy the practice of medicine, it improves it. The same can be said about the media. Criticizing a lousy journalist is not destroying free speech, it is exercising it. Criticizing a lousy journalist is not only the exercising of free speech it is the preservation of truth.
Joe’s statements prove the accuracy of both warnings. Joe’s misplaced defense of lousy journalism proves that our media has become worthy of cricism, a criticism necessary for the preservation of free speech. It also proves that those who would be our masters, those who assault our fundamental principles, those who would overthrow our Liberty are actually promoting these bad journalist to achieve their goals, or perhaps these are the goals of the journalists themselves.
Truth be told, if we protect lousy journalists from criticism we are actually encouraging people to destroy the Liberty that is supposed to protect all speech. How sad that some have become so blinded by their own political interests that they “precipitously madden on to their own destruction.”