Friday, December 10, 2010

Opinion - The demise of the Fourth Estate

The demise of the Fourth Estate
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson
Dec. 10, 2010

If you’ve been following my posts, you have noted that there are a lot of opinions floating around about the state of affairs of our country.
What you see on my site are only the tip of the iceburg.
I post maybe one out of every three or four I read. That doesn’t include the dozens more that I don’t bother with, either because they are repetitive or simply not strong enough to compete with the ones I choose.
Was it Rush Limbaugh who said “I keep you posted on the news of the day so you don’t have to? Then I tell you what to think about it?” Probably. Sounds like him.
I was an avid listener in the late 80s when he made his radio debut in Southern California. Many are so incensed over his “right wing” commentary that they lose sight of the fact that he is just a talented entertainer who has chosen conservative politics as his point of focus.
Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is the left’s answer to Limbaugh. Steward is a talented entertainer who has chosen liberal politics as his point of focus.
Both are extremely popular.
Isn’t it interesting that there have been no calls by conservatives to regulate and remove shows like Stewart’s; yet there are regular calls by liberals to regulate and remove shows like Limbaugh’s.
They even want to put the most popular cable news network on television – Fox News – out of business. By government regulation, of course.
At any rate, I digress.
While I’ve signed up for daily and weekly updates from two left wing Internet sites – Progressive and Sojourners – I get literally hundreds of opinions from more than a dozen other sources on a daily basis. Some lean right, some are more balanced.
I check them all. Then I do what Limbaugh does… I tell you what’s going on, at least from my perspective.
The only difference is I don’t try to tell you what to think about it.
I’ve always considered myself a fiscal conservative. But it has only been in the last few months that I’ve dedicated an hour or two (sometimes more) every day to find out what other conservatives are thinking, flavored with the thoughts of a few liberals.
It’s been an education.
I found out that I’m getting “news” that is not reported by the popular media. It may be flavored with opinion but it’s on topics not reported by the mainstream.
Without these pundits, we would never know about it.
I never knew that the feds bail out “Blue” states like California and Illinois by using our tax dollars to help pay the interest on the bonds they issue. Yep. Big Brother rewards states with failed economic policies by helping them pay for the borrowing they must do in order to stay out of bankruptcy.
I never would have known about all of the “opt outs” from Obamacare that unions and select companies were getting. I never would have gotten the “details” about the Bowles Simpson Deficit Cutting plan. I never would have known about federal efforts to regulate the Internet.
And I never would have known about Bush being vindicated by WikiLeaks. Among the “secret” government documents released to the public are confirmations that Saddam Hussein did in fact have weapons of mass destruction at his disposal and was in fact seeking to develop nuclear capabilities.
The WikiLeaks story has been huge! All the networks, Associated Press, major newspapers have been having a field day with the administration response and the efforts to knock down the site and bring those responsible to justice.
Not one has reported that Iraq represented the exact danger that Bush said it did.
Who are the ‘super rich’ that we are supposed to punish for being successful? Forget for the moment there are differing opinions on “who” that money belongs to: those who earn it or those who want to tax it.
The mainstream media gives us sound bites and bland numbers, such as $250,000 a year, but it doesn’t educate us. If you want to know what it really means you have to go to the Internet.
You have to use common sense and find the sources that give you facts along with their opinions. Even then you have to be skeptical… how dependable is the source?
You have to work at it.
Ever heard the phrase “freedom isn’t free”? Men and women give their lives to keep us free, but it doesn’t stop there. We as in you and I have to arm ourselves with the knowledge to keep us free from an overzealous government bureaucracy.
We have to do it… the Fourth Estate sure as hell isn’t doing it.
Maybe we should allow its demise now so that Big Brother can collect an “estate tax” while there’s still something left to tax.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive a daily notification of his comments, opinions and reports, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

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