A free press should practice real journalism. It should check facts, uncover lies, refuse to publish error and distortion, stand up for the public good. Regrettably, the American free press has completely discarded this role, and is now simply a stenographer to power.
The appointment and confirmation of the new Attorney General of the U.S. is a case in point. Even setting aside the public questioning by some members of Congress, purely on a party line basis, the mute recording of obviously insincere and false pronouncements after the confirmation by the White House and its operatives shows the press has no ability to ferret out lies. George W. Bush claims the new attorney general will follow the law and never allow torture. Obviously, the entire world (apart from the U.S. government and the U.S. corporate media) knows that torture has been an organic instrument of the U.S. military and intelligence services since Day One of the "War on Terror" (in fact, even much earlier).
Why does the press not publicly examine in detail the views of those who believe the government practices torture and then lies about it? Moreover, why does the press not use recent history to demonstrate the strategy of the U.S. government and the military in hiding, lying, covering up and misinforming the public about its illegal practices. If photos of Abu Ghraib Torture Palace had not emerged and entered the public domain, Donald Rumsfeld would no doubt still be Secretary of Defense, and he would be mocking those who claim the government allowed torture, much less implemented it, and he would be denying that any untoward activity took place at Abu Ghraib at all. The U.S. government and military still has not released even more shocking photos from Abu Ghraib, including forced sodomy, forced rape, and other despicable abuses against Iraqi civilians, many of who had absolutely no connection whatsoever with the insurgency.
The "Free Press" keeps itself free from fact finding. It continues to create and allow an atmosphere where government lies and misconduct remains largely unchallenged. It creates an atmosphere where the public can be mollified by insincere and lying government reassurances that things are not so bad, after all.
The "Free Press" refuses to fully investigate the financial scandals of the sub-prime market lending, the real effects of the weakened dollar, the likely impacts of the impacts of foreign governments performing far more financial transactions in other currencies, including the pricing of oil on world markets. The "Free Press" keeps itself free from the most shocking and dangerous bad news and instead focuses on sex, lies, and sensationalism in the celebrity domain.
Loss of liberty in America is not a matter of great concern. The seeming unemployability of one of the great political science professors, Norman Finkelstein, due to his political activism on behalf of Palestinians and against the abuses of Zionism are completely unmentioned in the public press.
We can’t get an honest report on the emerging police state in Iraq, which quiets the insurgency at the complete cost of Iraqi freedom. We don’t hear how many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Iraqis have to have their retinal patterns entered into government files and then checked before they can leave or enter their home neighborhoods, a pattern that may be used by a police state government right here in the U.S. in the years ahead. But we get almost minute by minute accounts of the latest antics of Brittney Spears, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and Hannah from Montana.
The Free Press is free of service to democracy these days, and the democracy is at risk