Monday, April 4, 2005

We Need More Openness

For anyone who hasn't read the reports, here are two more articles highlighting the trend of this administration toward media manipulation and stifling dissent. The first is by Helen Thomas, a very respected journalist. The second is by Ron Hutcheson of Knight Ridder.

When someone first told me that (at least some) audience members in Bush's campaign events had to sign loyalty oaths, I didn't believe it. However, this has been fairly
well documented. I can't believe more people aren't outraged about this. Helen Thomas also mentions some questionable media practices by the Bush camp which have recently come to light. This makes me wonder why the media are so compliant! I can't remember where I read it now, but I read an article contrasting the coverage of protesters against the administration and protesters for Terri Schiavo having her feeding tube reinserted. Groups protesting administration policies barely get noticed, while the other group was given quite a lot of coverage. We need a good, free and independent press; I hope that more journalists will stand up to ensure that Americans have full and correct information with which to make decisions.

Open access to independent information, and open discussion, including dissent, are essential for democracy to work. Have we forgotten this? We preach democracy around the world; the best advertisement for it would be its full practice here at home.

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