The Diminishing Power of the Press in America

The power of the press in any free nation lies in its ability to communicate truth. To the extent that truth is compromised, distorted, omitted, or subjugated to the aims and purposes of a policy or political agenda, the press becomes weakened, losing its authority and moral force as well as its integrity. This is the case with the press in America today. Out of moral ennui, out of a sense of distorted virtue that has to do with backing the aims and purposes of the government - a government that has, by and large, lost touch with the people - the press has become complicit in presenting a distorted view of what is happening in America and also what is happening in the rest of the world.

The rising tide of anti-American feeling in the world is growing. It is part and parcel of the view that many hold that American interests will be promoted over the interests of other peoples and at the expense of the lives and well-being of others. This sense of America's grandiosity, of her willingness to sacrifice others to her own ends, has been gaining widespread acceptance in recent years, and is one of the reasons that no direct and localized attempt to dismantle or prevent terrorism can work. This is because the fuel that gives rise to anti-American sentiment is often in service to the ideal of protecting the right to self-determination of others. However distorted this sentiment may be in its form of expression, namely, the violent attack against innocent lives, it is still based on the feeling that American interests operate at the expense of others.

This view is one that is not being given significant media exposure in the United States. If it were, many more would be aghast at the ways in which US policies are being carried out, and many more would find themselves wanting to do more about the virtue of a nation that is being lost. However, the press, for the most part, out of a sense of misplaced patriotism, is complicit with the government's agenda which seeks to promote a mixture of patriotism and self-aggrandizement, and is asleep to the growing disturbance in the rest of the world in relation to American policies.

How and why this happens is a matter of great complexity, for the outer reasons having to do with the decisions taken by those in power are only one layer of an expanding agenda by forces that seek the dismantling of American power and the corruption of American virtue. The end in view - that the light that America carries be extinguished, for without this light, the rest of the world will also be more vulnerable to exploitation by forces of darkness.

To know this is to know that America must do more to rectify a situation that is presently being created by misguided ideologies concerning the destiny of America and the destiny of the world. These ideologies that wish to create a new world in the image of American democracy cannot work, for there are many ways of arriving at democracy and they do not all follow the pattern that has been dominant in this country, nor can they be achieved by external promotion, but rather must grow from within. Rather than promoting a western version of democracy and an American version of culture as the way for others to live, it would be far better for America's government and citizenry to look to her own integrity and to her own steadfastness in upholding the ideals that are part of her core identity. These ideals are the basis for true patriotism, and are currently separated from the practices which claim to represent them.

For the press to acknowledge this separation and to be more willing to engage in a dialogue with other points of view than the one espoused by the government, would be a step forward in terms of the operation of freedom of speech. It would help restore to America one of her most precious rights which is the right of dissent, based on the inalienable right to have one's own outlook and point of view on life.