from the Congress Action newsletter

Bad News for the Media

by: Kim Weissman
July 11, 1999

A recent survey by the First Amendment Center asked respondents for their opinions about the First Amendment. The survey started out with a general question about which rights and freedoms "are most important to American society".

Topping the list was freedom of speech (50%). Freedom of the press came in significantly lower, fourth on the list in importance (6%). More than twice as many people (14%) considered the right to keep and bear arms to be most important to society. It was second on the list in importance. This little fact was ignored by what few media reports there were of the survey. Which might help explain why people are not particularly solicitous of freedom of the press: they are, perhaps, getting fed up with the media’s bias, which has become so blatant and pervasive that only media big shots refuse to see it. They blame the loss of public respect on their own lack perspective, because the media has been filled with Monica Lewinsky and O.J. Simpson. They blame the public – not themselves, of course -- because the networks have decided that Hillary’s house hunting or a five year retrospective on O.J. are more important than, for example, the worst espionage damage to our national security in our history.

The media’s lack of popularity, and the absence of reports about the importance of that right which the media loves to demonize and belittle (the right to keep and bear arms), is a classic example of what is giving rise to the disgust which the public feels toward the media.

Keep it up, big shots in the elite media. Keep demonizing guns and lawful gun owners, and you might be stunned to find that the Amendment which people decide to modify will be the First Amendment, not the Second Amendment. And we will all be poorer because the media has abused that precious right which our Bill of Rights protects, compromising their responsibilities with shameless pandering and demagoguery.

The above article is the property of Kim Weissman, and is reprinted with his permission.
Contact him prior to reproducing.


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10 July 1999