QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
The Un-Free Press
Wednesday, March 09, 2011 12:40 pm Email this article
I do not see the moral value of a free press, or maybe I mean I don't see that the press in America is free. The TODAY SHOW yesterday did a scathing report on "combination (diet) pills", prompted by the botched editing of Liz Brody's article in the March issue of MORE magazine. That makes as much sense as opposing all pills that are round or yellow. It's just incoherent. Surely it's a case by case thing; real evidence and experience matter.As I write this, my friend Robert Skversky is being tested on the Dr. Oz Show. He is strong, and Larry Hobbs and I did everything we could to prepare him. But it is a taped show before a live audience, and the "mystery guest" rebutting Robert gets to say everything, and anything, last, unrebutted. We will see the result. Set your TIVO for Dr. Oz for the next week or two, to catch the show when it appears. There are reasons to worry. I copied my letter to the Oz producer stating that while balance (of viewpoint) is a tool to expose the truth, it should never be the goal. The truth itself is neither balanced or unbalanced; the truth is just whatever it is. The goal of journalism should be truth. It's not of course. It's ratings. I have no objection to using balance as a tool, on TV. I do object when the producer puts a thumb on the scales. You know, I, uh, been there, seen that. The producers all seem to KNOW what the truth is, right? Why it's what everyone says, right? But historically all established truth emerged from a minority viewpoint. The majority never innovated anything. The writers of the Federalist Papers (I HOPE you know who those were)obsessed over the potential tyranny of the majority over the minority in the democracy they were building. They had good reason to worry. In our time the majority has triumphed.
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