Why Is It So Hard To Find News Coverage of Libertarians Even During Election Campaigns?

[I]n the last century, before radio and television, every town had from two to seven battling, competitive newspapers to back third-party candidates. New and different points of view were eagerly written about in the eternal quest to wrest readers away from the competition. In fact, that's how such third-party candidates as Abraham Lincoln got national attention. Today, however, in the age of one-newspaper towns and 30-minute TV news shows, there seems to be no one who wants to write or talk much about fascinating 3rd parties and their candidates.

But with the 1996 campaign of Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne, this situation began to change. Slowly, perhaps, but change nonetheless. Since he was so much the favorite among the "new media," including radio talk shows and the Internet, the old-line news organizations began to sense their impending obsolescence and so begrudgingly started to take a little notice here, a little notice there.  Still, it deserves never to be forgotten how the owners of many news outlets deliberately impose censorship.  Here is but one such example:

Subject: Re: journalists
Date: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 14:26:21 -0500
From: Hugh S. Emerson
To: Rick Gaber 
CC: "Chris Meissen" 

>From: "Chris Meissen"
>I don't mind. I use my real name instead of aliases because I
>believe I should either stand by my statements or publicly recant if
>proven wrong rather than hiding under an anonymous assumed name.

I used to be employed as a field engineer servicing [a major broadcast network's] distribution equipment, specifically their affiliates' satellite dishes. I've had many talks with TV newsmen. The most telling was one who confessed that he didn't think he could continue his job and live with himself because he daily saw "the difference between what I am forced to report and what's really happening." He told me that, at the first meeting with "corporate's" news director [from the corporate holding company that owned the station, not the network], the ND told them that "our job as reporters was to shape public opinion." When someone protested that their job was to discover and report the truth, the ND responded, "Whatever the public's perception is is the truth and it's your job to make sure that they have the proper perceptions." That man's statement is always in the back of my mind whenever I see or read anything in the "news," that the job of reporters today is not to report hard, verifiable facts but rather to shape public opinion using selected facts presented in carefully arranged fashion.

- Chris Meissen (Forwarded by Hugh Emerson)

Doesn't that make you mad? Are you going to take it any more? Crack the de facto blackout on The Bill of Rights and on those who advocate it. Vote Libertarian and influence the future.

"Perhaps an editor might begin a reformation in some such way as this. Divide his paper into four chapters, heading the 1st, Truths; 2nd, Probabilities; 3rd Possibilities; 4th, Lies."
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Norvell, June 11, 1807

 "Truth and news are not the same thing."

- Katharine Graham, owner of The Washington Post
"The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists. When professional antagonists become after-hours drinking buddies, they are not likely to turn each other in."
- Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, 1973
"Everybody denounces pack journalism, including the men who form the pack. After awhile, they begin to believe the same rumors, subscribe to the same theories, and write the same stories. It is the classic villain of every campaign year. Many reporters and journalism professors blame it for everything that is shallow, obvious, tawdry, misleading or dull in American campaign coverage. Campaign journalism is, by definition, pack journalism; to follow a candidate, you must join a pack of other reporters; even the most independent journalist cannot completely escape the pressures of the pack."
- Tim Crouse, The Boys On the Bus, 1972
"The gravest threat to freedom of the press is from the press itself--in its longing for a respectable place in the established political and economic order, in its fear of the reaction that boldness and independence will always evoke. Self-censorship silences as effectively as a government decree, and we have seen it far more often."
- Tom Wicker, On Press, 1978

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  • Libertarian Radio Programs

    Editorial Hypocrisy: Under the First Amendment (theoretically), governments can't interfere with the press: no licenses, regulations, taxes or other political nuisances. Newspapers jealously guard this freedom while editorially advocating taxes, controls and nauseous government on the rest of us--what hypocrisy!

    "The purpose of most Democrats is to invent the scariest justifications and rationalizations for the perpetual accumulation of power by politicians and bureaucrats.  The purpose of most Republicans is to come up with the feeblest, most transparent and pathetic reasons to oppose them.  The purpose of most mainstream journalists and columnists is to focus all attention to those just mentioned, and to make sure that no sensible, rational, Constitutional, moral or far-sighted opposition ever sees the light of day, or if it does, to present it only in the most bizarre, twisted and frightening way possible." -- Bert Rand


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