Back on February 22 I said something had been bothering me lately. It seems the mass media is under attack. Newspapers have been around since the invention of the printing press. Radio surfaced in the 1920’s and television took off in the ‘50s. Of course there are a few columnists, radio and TV hosts who are way out in right or left field spouting their gibberish and inciting unrest, especially in the U.S. where the new president is in full-blown attack mode on any media outlet that doesn’t cast him in a favourable light.
In Canada the best example I can think of would be Ezra Levant who accuses the mass media of being “sneering smug elites”. The problem with him along with Trump and his supporters is that they don’t acknowledge the important role the media plays in a democracy that believes in freedom of speech. What’s their alternative, Stalin-esque, Hitler-esque or Putin-esque state-controlled media? If we had no unfettered mass media how would we hold governments’ feet to the fire? How could corruption be exposed? How could we be warned about impending disasters? How would we find out what’s happening outside of our immediate environment? Are we supposed to rely on the truly fake nonsense that circulates on social media? Trump accuses mainstream media of being “fake news” but it’s he and his like that engage in their own brand of fake news and lash out at any media outlet that doesn’t agree with their radical points of view.