Freedom of speech

Iris - posted on 08/04/2010 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I've been thinking about this for the last few days. Sometimes I feel that saying whatever you want in public, yelling out loud or in a microphone is wrong: "Kill white people! Join the Taliban! Kill Mexicans!
The same with the media. You can get the extreme from both sides, you can say any lie as long as it will give you ratings and money in your wallet.
I feel that we can not rely on our news media anymore, because many of them either go too far to the right or too far to the left.
Where do we get the truth from? How far are people in the media allowed to stretch the truth? Are we just being fed on their personal opinion? Is the media the one stretching the gap between the republicans and the democrats?

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ME - posted on 08/04/2010

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They were really quiet on the Black Panthers etc...and they are not showing the support for the immigration bill in question now.

I thought that was the problem under discussion...WE DON'T WANT THE MEDIA TO SHOW SUPPORT or disapproval of anything...we just want them to report it!

Isobel - posted on 08/06/2010

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In Canada (in public places) Jenny has the right to say "I believe there is no god"; she is not allowed to say "Christians are stupid". I disagree that the law was only intended to stop physical violence...



it is intended to keep hateful, bigoted speech in other people's airways. I don't want to hear that you think my life is unworthy of living...keep it in your own back yard.



We don't call for people to be silenced...just for them to keep it on their own property...you can spew any kind of hatred you want...just not in MY space.



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any communication which disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race or sexual orientation.[1][2] In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or other characteristic.



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You may not speak about keeping human rights from gay people, because it's not your choice...human rights are inalienable...they are not up for vote. Saying that you believe that Gay people should not have the right to marry is against the law because it incites prejudicial action against a protected individual or protected group.

Jenny - posted on 08/04/2010

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Thanks for the props on Canada, Diane. Our lack of tolerance for hate speech makes me very proud. Come here and be queer, we don't give a shit. My right to swing ends where your nose begins and all that. =)

ME - posted on 08/04/2010

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Is it fair to expect for news agencies to not be biased at all? And by fair, I mean is it even possible?

This is an excellent question Sara...and I think the answer is yes...and no...:)

I think that the stories they choose are chosen based on their biases...what they think is important, etc. I think it would be unreasonable to expect much else...on the networks (at least) they have limited time, and have to decide which stories to tell...BUT those stories can be told without value judgments, and should be...otherwise they should NOT be calling themselves journalists!

ME - posted on 08/04/2010

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To be fair on the last election...it would have been hard for ANYONE to take Sarah Palin seriously...the Republicans should have picked a serious candidate if they wanted to be taken seriously!

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Isobel - posted on 08/07/2010

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but wait...that's hate crime, not hate speech...oh well, same deal to me.

Isobel - posted on 08/07/2010

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I don't think that most people take action...the only times they really do is in cases of violence and destruction...hate crimes carry a harsher sentence, because painting a swastika on a synagogue is not the same as spraypainting your name on a walmart. and beating gay men to death just for being gay is not the same as getting into a bar brawl over your slutty girlfriend.

Krista - posted on 08/07/2010

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You very well could be right, Laura. I'm relying solely on my own interpretation of it, and I'm definitely not a lawyer.

It's a tough call. Obviously I am firmly anti-discrimination, but by the same token, I'm not really comfortable with the idea of it being illegal for someone to say in public that they do not approve of homosexuality, if they're not being hateful or nasty about it. Some people, especially those of an older generation, just feel the way that they feel. And if they're not actively hurting anybody, then should they have to be constantly censoring themselves as soon as they set foot outside their door, for fear of hurting someone's feelings?

There are people out there who still think women shouldn't be allowed to work outside the home. And if I heard some guy on the public street saying that, I would just roll my eyes, not think of suing him.

ME - posted on 08/06/2010

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"Canada.....Scott Brockie owner of Imaging Excellence, Inc. Refused to print stuff for the local homosexual and lesbian group he was morally opposed to. They sued and won. He was found guilty of discrimination and slapped with a 5,000 fine which also went to those that sued. They said he was free to hold his religious view at home but not at work ."

Are you suggesting "separate but equal" printing shops Diane???

Krista - posted on 08/06/2010

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Diane, I meant "hurt" as in physically hurt, not as in hurting their feelings. Nobody has the constitutional right to not have their feelings hurt. But they should have the constitutional right to not have people publicly calling for their death.



And you're right in that laws can sometimes go well beyond their original boundaries. And I think that yes, this has happened here on occasion.



But I believe that the answer is to tighten up the law and make it more concise and air-tight, not to scrap it altogether and legally allow some asshole to stand on the sidewalk in front of a synagogue shouting "Death to all Jews! Jews are agents of Satan! We need to kill them now!"

Diane - posted on 08/06/2010

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No you are wrong. I am going to use this just as an example of how something that started out as something turned into something dangerous.
Roe v Wade............made into law only for the tough cases, not abortion on demand. They took and inch and went a mile with it.
And this will happen with this law as well.

I should be able to say anything I want, if I do it peacefully.
I should be able to stand out in front of an abortion clinic and call the women going in murderers. Now I do NOT DO THIS. I believe this is true...but not my idea of how to help a woman.
I should be able to say this.
I should be able to stand downtown Phoenix and tell the illegals to do home. Now I DONT DO THIS...but I should be able to say what is on my mind.
I should be able to picket, protest....if I do it peacefully.
If this law goes through.....the law will get muddled up.
Most of you say that the Arizona law is bad...because of the wording...that the police will take it and run with it.
I say the same thing will happen with this law.
You are going to have people offended who want to get back at people and will take them to court over...anything, even if there was no violence involved.
The homosexual who goes to a church where the pastor calls same sex unions sin. A person picketing at a gay pride parade.
The law affords them because they are a minority...more protection under the law. It has already started in the United States.

"If someone's speech serves no other purpose than to try to make people hurt other people, then why on earth should it be protected?'

Hey I am hurt when I go to Right to Life events. I have had people call me names...anti choice, Nazi.....you name it. I am hurt but I take it.
THOSE PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHAT THEY WANT TO SAY. No one hurt me...the words did.

I value freedom of expression more than any words that might hurt me sorry. We will never agree on everything......but we both have the right to say what we believe.
Violence is another issue. I am not a violent person...but should push come to shove and I saw someone being hurt physically I would jump in.

Krista - posted on 08/06/2010

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The issue is being able to speak peacefully expressing your opinion on the issues



That's the key word, Diane. Speak PEACEFULLY. This hate law is not for those who would speak peacefully -- it is for those who are deliberately inciting violence against a specific group.



Has the law been applied perfectly? No, it hasn't. I agree that there have been cases where it has gone too far. I don't think that that businessman should have been fined for that ad. It was up to the paper whether or not to run it, they ran it, and it should have then been left up to the public as to how they would react and respond to it.



So no, the law isn't perfect. But I do think that there needs to be some legislation in place to penalize those who would incite violence against others. Not all free speech is protected (that whole shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre example...). If someone's speech serves no other purpose than to try to make people hurt other people, then why on earth should it be protected? There are still plenty of ways that people can give their opinions about gays without trying to encourage people to kill them.

Diane - posted on 08/06/2010

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“Thanks for the props on Canada, Diane. Our lack of tolerance for hate speech makes me very proud. Come here and be queer, we don't give a shit. My right to swing ends where your nose begins and all that. =)”

You’re welcome.

You talk about tolerance. … You want everyone to tolerate YOUR ideals but you don’t want to tolerate others who have different worldviews than your own. That is the case isnt it?
You want them silenced. Is that tolerance?
The issue isn’t whether or not homosexual sex, abortion, same sex marriage or sexual orientation, bigomy, gun control, drugs…etc are right or wrong….thats not the issue. The issue is being able to speak peacefully expressing your opinion on the issues. I defend anyones free speech on anything.
We have a new tolerance today that we have to put up with. This new tolerance is that I not only have to put up with those values, lifestyles, those beliefs I disagree with but I have to regard them as absolutely equal to and valid as my own. I believe I have the right to oppose and speak out on all issues.

Have you ever noticed jenny how some of the most intolerant people are those who yell the loudest for tolerance? Their definition of free speech is that you can have complete free speech IF you agree with their views and jump on their bandwagon.

So in Canada…the government does not allow you to disagree. Like I said when government tells you what you can and cannot say in any context, then free speech is essentially dead. And if you do not have free speech than you are not free.







You say the Bible is not hate literature.

“In 2005 in Alberta FRED HENRY, Roman Catholic bishop of Calgary, was subject to two complaints before the Alberta Human Rights Commission after publishing a pastoral letter defending the traditional definition of marriage earlier that same year. (“Canada’s Human Rights Beef with Catholics,” Zenit, Feb. 5, 2008). Bishop Henry told Zenit: “The social climate right now is that we’re into a new form of censorship and thought control, and the commissions are being used as thought police.”

“In February 2007 complaints were brought before the Human Rights Commission targeting CATHOLIC INSIGHT magazine and priest ALPHONSE DE VALK, a well-known pro-life activist, for quoting from the Bible and church documents to refute “same-sex marriage.”

The complaint was brought by homosexual activist Rob Wells, a member of the Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Pride Center of Edmonton. He accuses the magazine of promoting “extreme hatred and contempt” against homosexuals. de Valk says, “The basic view of the Church is that homosexual acts are a sin, but we love the sinner,” adding that opposing same-sex marriage is not the same as rejecting homosexuals as persons (“Canada’s Human Rights Beef with Catholics,” Zenit, Feb. 5, 2008).”

“In March 2008 the Canadian government ordered MACGREGOR MINISTRIES, an apologetics ministry, shut down because its reference materials were ‘critical’ of the beliefs of those who are not Christian (WorldNetDaily, March 21, 2008). Lorri MacGregor told WND that Canada’s version of a ‘hate crimes’ law prevented their work from continuing as it had for nearly 30 years. The ministry was ordered to either make wholesale changes in its presentations, or shut down. They were required to say that all religions are equal, stop publishing their magazine on cults, remove all offending material from their website, and stop selling any products teaching about cults. Refusing to operate under those conditions, they moved the ministry to America.”

Canada Pushes the Envelope with Mail Censorship

http://arkansasgopwing.blogspot.com/2008...

http://www.remnantofgod.org/nl030930.htm

http://www.propagandamatrix.com/articles...


“In 1982, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteed, quote: ‘2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: a) freedom of conscience and religion; b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.’

What happened to free speech in Canada, you tell me?

Many Canadians see all this as not good.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/may...

“ I mean, why would anybody WANT to defend anybody's right to utter such filth?’

Hey you defend people on here using filth…what is the difference?

Doesn’t Jenn have the right to bash me in every conversation? Shouldn’t she be able to tell me to go out and slaughter illegals? Shouldn’t she be able to question my sanity without jail time. You certainly share your opinion here in colorful language. But what if the tables were turned and you could not speak out against Christ or face imprisonment. What if you couldn’t defend homosexuals, lesbians. What if you could not challenge the marriage law? Would that be a good thing?

Bottom line…… Hate crime legislation violates the fundamental Constitutional protections of equal justice by promoting unequal justice under the law. It creates a two-tier system of justice where some "victims" are more equal than others under the law. This unequal justice makes one motivation for assaulting a person more heinous than another.

“The hate crimes bill SB 1234, which was signed into law by California Governor Schwarzenegger on 9-22-2004 creates a new requirement for law enforcement called “multimission criminal extremism” training. In addition to those categories already considered for special punishment under the term “hate crimes” the new training applies to “anti-reproductive-rights crimes.”

That means that if your pro-life like I am, I am an automatic suspect if I am allowed to stand outside an abortion clinic. And law enforcement is specially trained to handle me.

It all boils down to this… Lesbian lawyer Barbara Finlay of British Columbia said, "The legal struggle for queer rights will one day be a struggle between freedom of religion versus sexual orientation" John Leo, "Stomping on Free Speech," Townhall.com

Canada.....Scott Brockie owner of Imaging Excellence, Inc. Refused to print stuff for the local homosexual and lesbian group he was morally opposed to. They sued and won. He was found guilty of discrimination and slapped with a 5,000 fine which also went to those that sued. They said he was free to hold his religious view at home but not at work .

http://www.worldnetdaily.com
/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25673

In 1997, a Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission board of inquiry fined a Christian businessman $4,500 for running an advertisement in The Star Phoenix newspaper that simply listed four biblical passages that condemn homosexual behavior [Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26 and 1 Corinthians 6:9]. The ad did not even provide the actual text of the verses. Two stickmen holding hands were pictured in the advertisement, with the international negative symbol [a red circle bisected by a slash] over the figures. The board ruled that the symbols, when combined with the biblical citations, "would expose or tend to expose homosexuals to hatred or ridicule."

According to this Canadian agency, the Bible is now hate speech.

http://www.almohler.com
/commentary_read.php?cdate=2003-09-19



And she is right…..many people will have to forcefully have to be silenced by the law.

Thankfully under the First Amendment any person or group has the RIGHT TO EXPRESS ITS VIEWS, and to try to persuade others of its stance on a moral issue. That is why hate crimes legislation is wrong.

Isobel - posted on 08/05/2010

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The Bible is not considered Hate Literature here...I'm afraid you are believing propaganda that is simply not true.

ME - posted on 08/05/2010

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"This legislation passes and the Bible will be classified as hate literature."

No...It won't...

Krista - posted on 08/05/2010

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I think you might be giving that law a little too much weight, Diane. It says pretty specifically that you need to be inciting hatred, and that this incitement has to be likely to lead to a breach of the peace.

So no, a minister or priest saying that homosexuality is a sin would not be guilty of hate speech.

People peacefully picketing a gay pride parade? Not guilty of hate speech.

People riling up a mob and yelling, "Fags are evil and do not deserve to live! We must act now and erase them from this earth!" -- yeah, that's hate speech and that person would be arrested.

Or, to flip it around, if I stood outside a church reading excerpts from atheist philosophy, I would not be arrested. If I stood outside a church, rallied a mob, and ranted that Christians are evil and that we should burn down their church? Hate speech, and prosecutable.

And rightly so. I mean, why would anybody WANT to defend anybody's right to utter such filth?

Diane - posted on 08/04/2010

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Well laura we are peaceful...but many times the women who walk in do come over and we lay it on the line with them. It is murder......so any woman might think this was a verbal attack on her.
Say there was a gay parade...and a group of people wanted to picket....are you telling me that they could not make a case using hate crimes......
And a preacher...giving a sermon on sex...reading from Leviticus...they could try to make a case against hate speech.

Any small group or minority individual could say they were verbally attacked. Read the law....it includes this.

You say patients are not on the protected people list...LOL
Who is on it? Shouldn't we all be on it? Why should someone just because of sex or color get more protection?

"You are allowed to say anything you want TO YOUR congregation...keep it out of my face ...Thank you :)"

What if I am on a street corner? Park?

We are losing liberties...and freedoms.

Isobel - posted on 08/04/2010

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and I don't see how picketing peacefully in front of an abortion clinic is covered by the hate speech law...unless you are inciting violence.

doctors and patients are not on the "protected people" list.

Isobel - posted on 08/04/2010

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well...I already stated that I DON'T believe that people should have the right to spew hatred and violence in MY air space. I love the Hate Speech Law.

You are allowed to say anything you want TO YOUR congregation...keep it out of my face ...Thank you :)

Diane - posted on 08/04/2010

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“i have a little problem with freedom of speech, especially when it comes to the westboro baptist church.”

I think this group is a whack job. I think they are evil…but I defend their right to speech. I think the Black Panthers are a group with violence in mind….I defend their free speech. I believe the KKK are a dangerous hate group…but I defend their free speech.

You can’t allow certain groups to say whatever they want and silence the rest. Certain minority groups should not be afforded more rights than others however.

When government tells you what you can and cannot say in the political or religious context, then free speech is essentially dead. We analyze America …let’s look at Canada. Section 13, Canada’s human rights hate speech law.

319. (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of
(a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or
(b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

So basically if I want to picket an abortion clinic, picket anything... I can’t or face arrest. A minister can’t stand at the pulpit and say anything negative about sex outside marriage in reference to homosexuality. It’s not a hate crime to say that it’s a sin that heterosexual couples have sex outside marriage…but if you cross the line and say that its wrong that homosexuals engage in sex, that is a hate crime.

http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=1398

http://www.wayoflife.org/files
/706fe196bc5dd6068bb1a96eefc8b4be-109.html

In Canada, it’s gays having laws that prevent people from preaching and or protesting them.

http://catholicexchange.com/2008/06/04/1...

James Dobson censored….

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?f...

Why should anyone be taken anyone to court for simply verbally expressing their opinion?

The hate crimes bill in the United States should it be passed is a direct attack on free speech. It is an attack on Christianity and all religions that talk about homosexual sex as being wrong, that talk about abortion being murder. This legislation passes and the Bible will be classified as hate literature. It’s already happened in Canada and Sweden and its happening here as well.

If you really study this legislation you would see that it directly violates the fundamental Constitutional protections of equal justice by promoting unequal justice under the law. It creates a two-tier system of justice where some victims are more equal than others under the law. This unequal justice makes one motivation for assaulting a person more heinous than another.
Do we want this?

Kati…you bring up again the lies that Glenn Beck is telling. Could you please be more specific and list them?

~Jennifer - posted on 08/04/2010

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I just wish that 'freedom of speech' had a 'freedom to smack you in the mouth for saying sometihng stupid' clause attached to it.....

Iris - posted on 08/04/2010

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"Laura - You could just watch international news...or PBS. Boring as paint drying, but much less bias."



Sometimes it's actually refreshing, after watching all the arguments back and forth on CNN, NBS, FOX etc...

Krista - posted on 08/04/2010

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Another issue I have with the media is that they could be reporting on an initiative that is wildly popular and very much supported, and they just HAVE to go ahead and interview some crackpot who dissents, even if that person wouldn't know a fact if it jumped up and bit him in the arse, all in the name of "providing balance". Why can they not just sometimes let the truth be the truth, instead of always ginning up controversy?

Sara - posted on 08/04/2010

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"I so hope Sarah runs in the next election...just for Tina Fey :)"

I think you just feel this way because you're not an American. :P

Isobel - posted on 08/04/2010

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You could just watch international news...or PBS. Boring as paint drying, but much less bias.

I so hope Sarah runs in the next election...just for Tina Fey :)

Sara - posted on 08/04/2010

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Is it fair to expect for news agencies to not be biased at all? And by fair, I mean is it even possible? I agree that they shouldn't purposefully mislead people, but I wonder if there is such a thing as unbiased reporting? Isn't it human nature to be biased? I suspect even if someone is purposefully trying NOT to be biased in their reporting, it's still going to find it's way in there.

Diane - posted on 08/04/2010

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Good questions Iris.

"Where do we get the truth from? How far are people in the media allowed to stretch the truth? Are we just being fed on their personal opinion? Is the media the one stretching the gap between the republicans and the democrats?"

The news has become entertainment. They seem to be there for all the big events that will capture attention but they do not report on the things that really matter...and when they do, they add their take on it and word it in such a way to make the opposing side look bad. There always is a slant, always a bias.

About the 24 hour news channels....they say the same thing over and over and its boring. BUT I think it is needed and good because there are people who work and can only get the news in the middle of the night.

I agree with Julie...the media is not responsible for the gap between parties. Worldviews are the reason. It is all about power and who has it. And each side will go to extremes to get it.

Examples....our borders are not secure and both parties are to blame. They want the latino vote so neither will make a move on this issue. And while they politically dance around...border states suffer.

McCain is really a closet Liberal...he has done nothing in my state to solve any problem as far as borders are concerned, in fact he has worked to get amnesty for illegals. Now he is running for another Senate term and he has once again flip flopped on the issues. He even called his opponent a pig, during the last debate. He will do anything to keep his Washington office...but once he gets there...it's all about HIM. He never represented the people in Arizona. We know this, but it never is reported. His wife just came out of the closet for gay marriage. He pretends to be against it...but odds are...he is lying on that one as well. Laura Bush comes out of the closet for gay marriage and pro-choice. She lies for eight years so that her husband can be president and then she comes out and flip flops on these two big issues. So the media can not be blamed for everything. Politicians have mouths and voting records that show where their true feelings are. They lie about the issues to get what they want...and the media does it as well. While I think both sides are at fault...I do feel that the LEFT media....fails to report a lot of what goes on. They were really quiet on the Black Panthers etc...and they are not showing the support for the immigration bill in question now.

The reporters.....most are just wannabee celebrities. Take Geraldo Rivera....he goes over the top to make the news flashy and interesting. I remember when he was over covering the war the segments he did....running with the camera...bombs to the right and left. He did everything but catch a bomb in his mouth.
Same thing with Christiane Amanpour...she does the same thing. Now I believe what Glen Beck says is on the money....i just think the theatrics are to much. And Dan Rather....it does not take a rocket scientist to see that he was always slanted LEFT. So slanted that he took an early retirement. I mean when you have to forge documents to make it work, that is bad, it is criminal. He hated Republicans, conservatives so much that he went to extremes even putting his career on the line....for the ratings just to hurt a person. And Katie Couric.....cant let a story go and brags about her interviews. It becomes more than a story to these guys.
All of them make obscene amounts of money....to report news and to make themselves an item. I remember when she covered the last election... I thought the Democrats had hired her as their spokesperson...or that she was Baracks Campaign manager.

Chris Matthews, Bill OReilly and Larry King (Mr. Fluff) are not reporters just commentators. They give opinion and they analyze the news. For the most part Bill is a straight shooter. I do not often agree with him but I think he tries to get it right. If you look at the ratings...he is far above the rest. These guys can show their bias because they are NOT reporters...reporters should ethically not show theirs. But we all know that is not the case.

The news should be reported fairly...its goal is to inform, not persuade. And today....the news takes a back seat to the truth on both sides of an issue.

I will end with this. I am almost 55 years old...and remember a lot of presidential campaigns....this last one was a rape of the news events. I have never seen from the media a more biased take on what was really going on and how many big issues and questions were hidden from plain sight. It was nothing more than extreme bias.

Here is a little example of just how the Media...really feels. Is it no wonder why we get what we get?

Consider these two different reactions from the White House press corps during presidential drop-ins at the White House’s Briefing Room...

http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/biased-i...

Who do they respect? And do you think this would affect their reporting? Who will get the better....press?

LaCi - posted on 08/04/2010

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Yeah I have to catch myself when it comes to westboro. As disgusting as I think they are, I have to force myself to agree that it's their right to do what they do, as wrong as I think it is.

Rosie - posted on 08/04/2010

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i have a little problem with freedom of speech, especially when it comes to the westboro baptist church. i don't believe screaming "burn in hell", while holding a sign that says god hates fags while at a SOLDIERS funeral is anything this country needs. that soldier died protecting that idiots right to do that and it seems to me that there should be some law against things like that.

and yes, our media is a HUGE problem. you have glenn beck saying lies, abc only giving a liberal biased view, and not much else inbetween. they take a story whether it's poitics or the swine flu and twist it into some horrible, god awful, twisted version of reality, and then play it over, and over, and over, and over again!! until we're all panicked, stricken with fear so much that we refuse to go out in public without body armor practically.

and they only show the negatives, i know that's what "we" want, but for just once i would like to see the news show black people doing something good, or if somebody lives in a trailer they pick out the most backwoods looking person there and run their story on that-portraying anybody who lives in a trailer like they are garbage. i could go on and on, but i think you get my point. we shape so much of our opinion on what we see on the "news" , i just wish half of it was the truth, and we could use some good news more often. :)

Isobel - posted on 08/04/2010

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What Mary said :)

except that hate speech is illegal where I am...and I like it that way...if you want to say something inflammatory against a protected group...say it in your own back yard, not where I might have to listen to you just cause I'm walking by.

ME - posted on 08/04/2010

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I do blame the mainstream media for what is going on. They often create or trump up controversy when none exists. I've seen Maddow, Olberman, Fox and Friends...none of them give real news, they give their OPINION of events and call it news. At least Maddow and Olberman's opinions seem consistent...the Fox folk seem to say whatever silly little thing pops into their heads...even if it contradicts what they said yesterday...this must get confusing for their audience...but, whatever.

We do have freedom of speech in this country, and I don't want that to change...but you are not allowed to say things that incite violence, or unwarranted fear (fire in a crowded theater, etc)...this is ok with me...I don't think people should be able to use speech to do such things.

I think independent news sources are better, since they are not beholden to any corporate or political interest. I do check sources like Reuters, BBC World, PBS news, Democracy Now!, etc. There are some sources like the New York times that I trust to (usually) get the facts right, but I also know that they choose the stories they tell from a biased point of view, so one source is rarely sufficient!

Sara - posted on 08/04/2010

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Absolutely. Politics in this country have gotten totally out of hand, and I believe it's a direct result of the media. I think that Freedom of Speech isn't the problem, ethics is. A lot of journalists and media outlets don't seem to have any intergrity any more. It's all about money, and they do whatever they can to just make more of it.

LaCi - posted on 08/04/2010

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Where do we get the truth from? I seek out news articles without high opinion content. I really enjoy my reuters.

How far are people in the media allowed to stretch the truth? As far as they like. People need to be able to distinguish opinion from fact. Unfortunately I think a huge problem is people being stressed for time, so they stick to programming/reading that attempts to combine the entertaining and the informative, and end up adopting the writer's opinion as their own rather than think critically about it.

Are we just being fed on their personal opinion? Sometimes. A lot of the time.

Is the media the one stretching the gap between the republicans and the democrats? The media is perpetuating the war between the right and left, which divides the citizens even more so, which allows the politicians to be uncooperative asshats, even more so than they would without the nation being further divided.

Julie - posted on 08/04/2010

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I only have time to answer one question: Is the media the one stretching the gap between the republicans and the democrats?--NO. Washington is. "The process" requires each side to come from as far away from center as they can. In the bill-making process, each will give concessions, so they start off as far as they can, knowing they will be giving some things up and hoping they will get what they want in the end. If a side met with reasonable starting points and the other didn't, they risk losing too much. It is SUCH a ridiculous "dance" IMHO. The media just takes it all and goes... The media has more access now than ever, so they see the really early stuff. Of course they present it with their spin, but so goes life. People will put their own spin on anything they see/hear and if they only pay attention to one source(the side they like), they will get sucked far to one side. Finding the truth entails going as close to the source as possible for oneself.

Krista - posted on 08/04/2010

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I firmly believe in freedom of speech, but I do think that the media needs to be held to MUCH higher journalistic standards. It's impossible to completely avoid putting some slant on the news, but there should at least be every effort made for the news to be truthful and verifiable. Unfortunately, it's become so sensationalistic. And we have pundits and opinion shows that are then digested as actual, factual NEWS.



Personally, I blame the advent of 24-hour news channels. There is only so much that happens in any given day. But they have to fill 24 hours with programming. So with any given bit of news, they twist it apart, speculate about 40 different possible scenarios, whether they're feasible or not, haul in the pundits, create controversy and conflict even where there is none, and basically distort things so that nobody is at all sure what the truth even IS any more. I'm firmly convinced that if we went back to regularly scheduled news programming (morning, noon, suppertime and 11pm), that we'd see much tighter, more truthful, more pertinent news, because they wouldn't have to create all of this crappy filler.

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