Fake news: A fake concept

I know that living the rigged, liberal media life seems glamorous, but let me tell you, working for the global news conspiracy is not all that it’s cracked up to be, even on a high school newspaper level. I would know.

I’m joking, of course. But the current political climate and its effects on the integrity of the media are no joking matter.

Whenever a certain high ranking political figure doesn’t like what’s being said about him by the media, he dismisses it, calling it “fake news,” sometimes rejecting cold, hard facts. Facts that have been proven.

Because he is now the so-called leader of the free world, citizens follow his lead, casting off any news that is somewhat critical of the president on the terms that it has obviously been fabricated by the “rigged, liberal media.”

Of course there are stories out there that are not factual by any means. Of course Republicans are not the only ones to blame either. But there is a clear and present danger posed when any official, regardless of party affiliation, threatens First Amendment rights to freedom of the press because he or she doesn’t like that the press is being critical.

The founders protected our right to a free press in the very first amendment to the Constitution because they felt that strongly about it. It’s known as the “watchdog media” for a reason. The media is intended to be a check on power, for citizens to do research and keep the public informed, and even be critical of our government’s actions.

It seems as if America is rejecting the very ideals she was built on as citizens are quick to condemn civil liberties. Freedom of press rights are stolen in oppressed nations like North Korea to keep dictators in power. Do we really want our president to take away our rights, reject our democracy and act like a dictator?

Already our president is planning on weakening our First Amendment protections by “open[ing] up” libel laws so that a person in power can sue the media more easily.

“Over here, they don’t have to apologize. They can say anything they want about you or me, and there doesn’t have to be any apology,” he said. (www.washingtonpost.com)

I shouldn’t have to apologize to my president for writing this critical article of him.

I will fight for my right. And so should you.

This is not a partisan issue, but a democratic sentiment that should unite Americans. It is our responsibility as citizens to do our research and become educated on our country and the world around us.

Let us not be intimidated by a loud voice, but hold our government accountable for its  actions.