Tuesday, August 15, 2006
And bad or dishonest reporting is destructive and unpatriotic (note that reporting bad news honestly is not, a distinction that dishonest media defenders sometimes try to elide). Can a free press survive if the public concludes that it's in the business of purveying politically motivated propaganda on behalf of civilization's enemies? And, if this kind of thing keeps up, will people be able to resist coming to such a conclusion? The press often responds to business scandals by noting that misbehavior by businessmen is likely to undermine support for free enterprise and lead to public demands for free enterprise. I fear that the same dynamic may lead to reduced support for a free press, and to demands for government regulation of reporting in wartime.