April 03, 2006

Free Press?

Our local newspaper, the Appeal-Democrat, published an editorial today criticizing an interview that aired recently on NPR. More specifically, the editorial criticized not the comments of any NPR personality, but those of an emigre from Russia, who compared a proposed fence along the southern U.S. border to the Berlin Wall.

To disagree with the comments made is perfectly acceptable. But then the editorial concludes by implying that airing the comments is an acceptable reason to halt taxpayer support for NPR.

The Appeal-Democrat seems to be saying that the government should only allow news that corresponds to a particular point of view. Ironically enough, immediately below the editorial was a message that appears every day on the editorial page: "This newspaper is dedicated to furnishing information to our readers so that they can better promote and preserve their own freedom and encourage others to see its blessings. Only when individuals are free to control themselves and all they produce can they develop to their utmost capabilities."

How can we be free if, in order to receive funding, public news organizations must be selective in what information they provide?

No comments: