Originally Posted by PatriotsReign
It was not a "circular argument" patchick. A gossip rag is a gossip rag and a newpaper is a newspaper...neither can cross-over to the other...at least they should not be able to do so. I know it will never happen, but I think newpapers should be forced to declare if they are a "gossip rag" or a legitimate newspaper and then be held by law to act accordingly. Hell, I'd vote for such a law.
If you haven't noticed patchick, newspapers have gotten less and less responsible in their reporting. We need to ask ourselves why. If the answer is people love gossip, then we'll know that the laws need to be changed.
Newspapers should NEVER be for entertainment. They should be for factual information only. For the life of me, I can't figure out why our younger generations are the ones who enjoy gossip & speculation more than their elder counterparts. Why do you think that is?
As far as negative stories of the wealthy & powerful...I don't think newpapers should have anymore freedom regarding them than anyone else.
Ok, let's accept all that.
What are the rules? What is "responsible" reporting? What is "factual information."
Most important -- who gets to decide?
"John Kerry was not a war hero." Fact? Opinion? A little of both? Permitted reporting in a newspaper? How about a gossip rag? What's the punishment if not? Who gets to decide? What means do they have of enforcing it? Fines? Jail time? Contempt?
Our founding fathers were smarter than you or me. They got it. There is only one remedy for "irresponsible journalism." More speech. If you think someone is wrong, respond. Don't give government, courts, or this mythical "law" you say you are in favor of passing decide what is "responsible." You can spend the next 20 years to try to write such a law, and it won't work. Because, in the end, truth, responsibility, and similar concepts are all relative. And, more important, the only thing that matters is what the people who have the power and the sword believe is the truth. Responsible journalism to Stalin meant something much different from responsible journalism to Ghandi.
The loose rules tolerating irrelesponsible journalism give YOU the power. The power to decide what is the truth. The power to decide what magazines to read, what commentators to believe. You get to decide how you will view Tomase or the Herald in the future. You get to educate yourself on what's true and who is right and who is wrong. Not courts. Sure, we love the idea of Tomase getting slammed by the courts for the story. But what kind of effect is that going to have on the next guy with a big story? The guy who has a source that he's pretty sure about that says that Michael Vick has a dog ring. Or the guy who has a source that meets him in a garage and tells him the President's key advisor is running a slush fund to illegally discredit his political opponents?
Speech is good. Even bad speech is good.