Editorial hypocrisy

Two perceptive readers of a recent Wilmington StarNews editorial noted the irony and hypocrisy of the Editorial Board. (Link below)

In this editorial the Board expressed concern about the Constitution’s First Amendment. The Founders wrote that “Congress shall make no law” establishing religion, or prohibiting its free exercise, or abridging free speech or the press.

Notice that these “rights” of the people were codified to limit the power of the federal government against us. Editors say the Amendment “sets a course of co-existence.” Still, implied is threats from government; something that editors rarely help defend us from.

But, of course, a “free” press only serves us well if informed people without a uniform political agenda control it—and if tyrants don’t get control of government. That hasn’t worked out.

During the Lincoln administration, for example, Union military forces destroyed newspapers and threw editors in jail who openly objected to Lincoln’s war against the Southern States. In the current administration federal agencies are allowed to harass, fine and take the property of citizens who oppose their unconstitutional regulations.

And, rather than assuming the “watchdog” role toward government, much of the old media seems to be a vehicle for modern day government propaganda.

Many readers have discerned frequent, often subtle, biases infused in news articles toward a left-wing agenda—government and supporting activist reports that are parroted daily at most news outlets (e.g. environmental politics, such as “global warming” theory, is never questioned, and repeated as fact with no mention of other scientific theories that challenge the religious zealotry of climate change).

Editors note that recently newspapers have had their “roles challenged” by new media. In other words, they resent that the traditional press no longer has a monopoly over information it once controlled.

One of the readers noted above wrote, “Newspapers today don’t investigate but utilize reports from the cheapest source(s) that coincide with the editor’s personal feelings.” He cited “blatantly biased” Associated Press articles that often appear in papers.

Although we often notice a liberal bias both in news and editorials, it’s only fair to distinguish press articles and reports from personal views of editorial boards.

In defense of the StarNews Board, they make it clear that their opinions, and others published on the editorial pages, do not necessarily reflect the views of the paper’s journalists and news editors. (Although I think their policy is self-serving, I include it in a link below.)

But, sadly, the once honorable profession of journalism has been culturally corrupted. Young journalism school graduates perverted by ideologically left instructors come into the news room with a mission to change the world. They are naïve and ill-informed about history, economics and government. Many arrive with utopian mind-numbed ideas about environmentalism, socialism, anti-capitalism and other “social justice” and economic distortions. They have little understanding of investigative work (or are prevented from it by their editors) and show no interest in questioning what they read and hear.

The bottom line of the Editorial Board’s “Taxes and a free press” political view rests with paranoia that they “have faced a constant stream of legislative threats to their survival”; by guess who?—Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly. Legislators “repealed newspapers’ historic exemption from sales tax on subscriptions and other circulation in 2013,” write the editors.

Now those rascally Republicans want to impose a new tax on advertising “a potentially harmful blow to newspapers” and their customers, according to editors. Taxes are an infringement on businesses, they say. That’s true.

Further, they write, “unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.” Of course it does.  So, why do these people often support government spending that results in higher taxes? This reminds me of the old observation: “A conservative is often a former liberal who got mugged.”

The StarNews publisher and his former editorial writer for years have favored increased taxes (and relentlessly criticized State legislators for cutting them). They supported wasteful projects such as public busing, a convention center, special-use parks for a few local elites, and giving tax breaks to the failing film industry resulting in more tax burden on other businesses.

Maybe the new Editorial Board has seen the light. One of the commentators mentioned above wrote:

“Welcome to the light…better late than never.” All taxes negatively impact all businesses, he wrote, “not just those that directly (affect) your for profit (corporation).”





About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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