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The time was June 1938. America was still reeling from years of economic calamity brought on by the Great Depression. War was also in the wind. The beginnings of the darkness that would soon spread across multiple continents and cost millions their lives had already fully metastasized in Europe and far off places like Nanking, China. America’s hope of staying out of a second world conflict looked very grim.
Against this back drop two Jewish immigrants living in blue collar Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, struggling to make ends meet and dreaming of using their talents someday, stumble upon an idea for a comic book serial. Siegel is later credited with saying that one night while looking up at the stars he imagined a powerful hero that looked out for those in trouble. A savior if you will. From that germ, the idea of Superman was born and in June 1938 was introduced to the American public, a public desperate for heroes and someone or something to look out for them.
To Siegel and Shuster both left leaning immigrants, Superman in early serial comic editions took on the role as social activist fighting against business corruption and dirty politicians. The character would later see greater notoriety not in comic books, but in radio broadcasts. By the 1940’s and 1950’s Superman began personifying the ideal American: quiet, humble, mild mannered, but with strong fortitude and desirable character traits like being truthful and just. It also didn’t hurt that he could fly and was virtually invincible.
Through the decades Superman’s mantra would change little. His beliefs in truth, justice, and tolerance could easily have been said to be the ideal “American Way.” An America where people do what’s morally right, believe in a system of laws that are just and not arbitrary, and are tolerant of all races and cultures.
Maybe that America never really existed, but it is a hopeful vision. Today as they did in Siegel and Shuster’s time, people look to government as the answer to all their problems. Back then it was Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Today President Obama could easily be identified by some as the personification of the superhero in red cape, who promises to stamp out injustice and corruption, intolerance, feeds the poor and provides for the uninsured. Superman was fiction then and is fiction now.
America needs it heroes, but perhaps instead of new heroes dressed in business suits, making speeches, and promising the stars, we just need to look further back in time. Maybe we need to try and reconnect to an older group of heroes than Superman. We need to look to the lives and lessons learned from super men who founded this country more than 200 years ago, or better still one Superman who was hung on a cross more than 2000 years ago and came back from the dead.
Every day we are reading stories where the President of the USA, the pre-supposed champion of American Democracy and protector of the Republic is actually doing everything he can to dismantle its framework. His hope and change promised is giving more Americans pause and have them scratching their head saying “is he really trying to do that?” Yes my friends he is.
For those who are paying attention the 1st Amendment appears to be on his radar. Freedom of the press is a bulwark to our form of government. If the press do not have the ability to print stories at their choosing objectively (not saying they always do, just saying they have the ability now) then the press and media become nothing but propaganda tools for this and any future administration. The press is supposed to be the people’s bulldog, but the Obama administration is trying to put the dog on a leash and kept inside.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal last May
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai revealed a brand new Obama Administration program that Pai fears could be used in “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.” The FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring. The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
There is no place for the federal government to determine what stories are important to America and what bias if any, exists. Bias in the newsroom is the editorial staff’s right. In a free Republic the people get to decide what is interesting and important not the government. If the people choose to watch Fox News over MSNBC that is their business. If Honey Boo Boo holds their attention more than Obamacare, that is the citizens business not some bureaucrat in Washington.
This idea that bias exists and that the media should be regulated is not new. In 1949 the FCC established the Fairness Doctrine that required anyone with a broadcast license to present controversial issues or public importance in a manner that was honest, equitable and balanced. The doctrine was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1969 agreeing with the FCC’s general right to enforce the Fairness Doctrine, recognizing that broadcast channels were limited and a need was present. But the courts did not rule that the FCC was required to do so. Over time however technology and innovation has allowed for a great diversity of media and communication outlets and rendered the doctrine obsolete. In 1987 the FCC eliminated the doctrine and in August 2011 they removed all of the language that implemented the Doctrine. Efforts in recent years by the Left have attempted to resurrect the fairness doctrine but have been unsuccessful.
The main objective of the doctrine of old was diversity in viewpoints. It would appear however that diversity in news is really at odds with this new President. President Obama has openly showed his disdain for Fox News during a Bill O’Reilly interview Super Bowl Sunday. One only has to listen to most other new outlets these days and see that they are stumping for the President. Their talking points almost seem like they came from the White House press room. Fox usually stands alone, harshly critical of the President and his political party. Talk Radio’s Rush Limbaugh one of the most successful radio broadcasters ever is a staunch supporter of Conservatism and the most vocal critic of this President.
Could it be that the real objective of this President and its FCC’s snooping is to silence its critics. If so do you think that’s a good idea? I am greatly concerned about what this President and his minions are doing to this country but even more concerned what a future President regardless of political affiliation is going to do with power that dangerous precedents have established.
If you feel the Bill of Rights is as important today as when it was drafted, and the US Constitution still matters to you, than I challenge you to speak up. Let your elected representatives hear from you. Let your apathetic friends hear from you. Our way of life is being threatened subtly and will continue to be threatened in the future. You and I and our opinions, matter. Be Heard!
The American Center for Law and Justice has a petition they are putting together to let government know they have no business in America’s newsrooms. Sign up here http://aclj.org/free-speech-2/no-government-monitors-in-newsrooms