Life often seems like a series of puzzles, puzzles we must solve. In fact, many of us like puzzles and consider ourselves problem solvers. We gather data, define problems, propose solutions, and then we test our solutions (if we can).
When we vote, we do something similar to problem solving. However, we don’t solve problems. We elect someone to solve our problems for us. We elect someone who seems to have the best solution for “our problems” and the integrity and skills required to implement their solutions.
Unfortunately, when we vote we still have to solve a problem. We have to figure out the best people to vote for.
- We have to figure out what problems politicians should be trying to solve.
- We have to determine which candidates have the best solutions
- We need to learn which candidates we can trust.
Where can we get all the information we need? Who can we rely upon to give us the truth? Conventional wisdom directs us to the news media, but the news media is highly partisan. The news media has always been highly partisan. Objective journalism is a myth.
Consider. What is Truth? Facts are only data. We form opinions or theories to explain the data. Scientists/philosophers created the scientific method to eliminate bias and confusion. Journalists depend upon freedom of the press and debate. Our legal system depends upon due process, judges, and juries. All of us depend upon the integrity of our neighbors.
Yet none of us is perfectly honest. When we lack integrity, we can make nothing work. Find me someone who claims to be objective, and I will show you either a liar or a prideful fool. Only God is objective. He does not form opinions. He actually knows the Truth. He is the Truth, and He cannot lie.
So what can we do? All I can offer are two places to begin. The Bible is indisputably (not that some don’t dispute anyway) the best place to begin. If we want to understand our own nature, our failings, and why we need a government; then we need to read the Bible.
Levin writes very readable books that he talks about on his radio show. Is he biased? Yes, and Levin is quite honest about it. So we know where he is coming from.
So why read Unfreedom of the Press? Well, the book is a big bestseller. To get some idea as to why, you can check out the reviews here, but here is what I got out of it. The mainstream new media cannot be trusted. Even those sources we consider quite respectable have at times (and still do) trust us with only one side of the story. The news reports about President Donald Trump have been especially biased.
What does Levin’s book lack? Two things.
- Levin’s book presents only a Conservative view. Levin is not the least bit sympathetic to the other side.
- If we are looking for some grand conspiracy, some kind of organization or unifying cause that drives the the mainstream news media to act in concert we won’t find it in Levin’s book.
Instead of examining why the mainstream news media does what it does, Levin covers a wide range of topics, seeking to prove the mainstream news media is ideologically driven:
- Chapter 1: News as Political and Ideological Activism
- Chapter 2: The Early Patriot Press
- Chapter 3: The Modern Democratic Party Press
- Chapter 4: The Real Threat to Press Freedom
- Chapter 5: News Propaganda, and Pseudo Events
- Chapter 6: The New York Times Betrays Millions
- Chapter 7: The Truth About Collusion, Abuse of Power, and Character.
- Epilogue: A Standardless Profession
Observe the title of the epilogue, “A Standardless Profession”. Levin does not offer a solution for the problem he identifies. He is trying to start the process of problem solving. Here is how he ends his book.
Therefore, as I said at the opening, this book among other things, “jump-start a long overdue and hopefully productive dialogue among the American citizenry on how best to deal with the complicated and complex issue of the media’s collapsing role a a bulwark of liberty, the civil society, and republicanism.
Do you want to participate in the dialogue Levin wants to start? Then consider:
- Is Levin right? Has the news media become a standardless profession?
- What is our responsibility as consumers of the news? What can and should we be doing to encourage high standards in the news media?
- Does government have a role? What is the government’s role?
Join the debate. Read Levin’s book. Suggest alternative points of view.