Don’t Let Them Gag You

“A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press, must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the right of the people to know.”

Murray I. Gurfein

Judge Gurfein’s statement above, given when he ruled to allow for the release of the Pentagon Papers, should be read at least twice a year in every social studies class and in every communications class, every political science class, and every English class in every university. Our right to know is an essential building block of an informed, active and free electorate. So when our elected representatives have a man arrested for bringing a film crew into an open hearing, I get a little worried.

So far I have seen no report that Josh Fox did anything other than bring his crew into the hearing. He could have easily been turned away and sent to security to either recieve, or be denied, a temporary permit to bring his crew into the hearing. His arrest seems to be nothing other than an attempt to intimidate those that would expose the truth.

An ABC news crew was also turned away, though not arrested.  Mr. Fox did not have press credentials, but I find it highly unlikely that this was true of the ABC crew.  If you are not wondering why these Republican Congressmen (the Democrats present wanted to allow Mr. Fox to film) is so insistent on keeping the free press out you should be. People in power should not be trusted to their own devices when it comes to sharing information. The only check we have on their power is our votes (either literally through elections or figuratively with businesses through our purchasing choices.) In order to exercise that power of ours properly, we need to be adequately and accurately informed.

I would like to say this happened strictly due to the actions of the powerful in this country, but the truth is everyone is involved. We allowed ourselves to be fed a diet of entertainment-as-news. A diet in which the most credible sources of public discourse are our jesters. Clowns are great, and necessary to point out to the Emperor that he indeed has no clothes on, but they should not be our major domo.

Those that should be have let us down by allowing those that they ought to be questioning relentlessly dole them out the information they want us to have. They have become either tireless cheerleaders for the elites or mindless drones offering up better amusements via celebrity causes and scandals. For years they have performed only that minimal amount of investigation necessary to maintain some semblance of legitimacy.

For several months now they haven’t even been doing that. The use of unnecessary force against protesters was first ignored, and then downplayed, by the main stream media. Then the authorities turned on the alternative media present, and still the MSM said nothing. When it was their turn to be turned away and targeted, their self inflicted impotence left their voices feeble and hollow. That was if they even dared to question it.

It is not too late. A few members of the MSM have picked up the Josh Fox story, and the alt media is all over it, bless them. We can still show those that control the levers of our society that they answer to us. Above I referred to the free press as our major domo. That was both deliberate and important. A major domo was the highest authority after a king or noble. Their chief duty was to make the subjects aware of what the king wanted and the king aware of what the subjects were doing. In our representative democracy we are the king.

Our representatives, our elected executives and our judges answer to us. They are our employees and subjects, not the other way around. Even the captains of industry work for us. We are their clients, buying their products and services. It is the free press’s duty to make sure they are doing what we, the sovereign, ask and to make sure they are not lying about it. If we give up that power, if we abdicate our responsibility to rule in an informed manner, and if we don’t demand our major domo do his job, then the tables will turn and we will find ourselves all serfs. It has already begun, but it is not too late.

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