To: Bill O 'Reilly email@example.com
From: Richard Mathis firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Helen Thomas and the FCC Doctrine of Fairness
Dear Mr. O 'Reilly:
Anyway, I thought that you might like a preview of what 's in Thomas ' book, set to be released on June 20 by Scribner. She doesn 't mince words and goes straight to the heart of the matter from the get-go. On the second page of the forward she writes that there are unqualified people who are "blurring the profound differences between news professionals and entertainers. " In the next paragraph, Thomas writes that "[t]alk show hosts, many of them on the far right politically, are viewed as journalists. Hardly. A journalist is detached, and the story is the thing, not the daily harangue of 'talking heads. ' "
Gees, Bill, I wonder whom she might have in mind as examples. Maybe you can ask her when she comes on your show to talk about the popular sentiment expressed by Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism when he wrote that "Americans think journalists are sloppier, less professional, less caring, more biased, less honest about their mistakes, and generally more harmful to democracy than they did in the eighties. "
On this Thomas opines that the current government has managed and manipulated the news with the acquiescence of the press. She thinks that the media has failed the country by backing off the search for truth. Even worse, she thinks that certain media moguls and their corporate media outlets have acted as cheerleaders for the government! Moreover, she claims in her book there can be no democracy without a free press to present the facts and all sides of the story.
To prevent tyranny, Thomas passionately believes that a free and impartial press is absolutely necessary for a democracy. When we don 't have such a free and objective press then elections get stolen, important issues get glossed over and we go to war under false pretenses. Thomas also believes that a significant part of the solution is that we need to reinstate the FCC 's fairness doctrine that requires that the public have access to differing viewpoints on all key issues. Indeed, how can we possibly have any meaningful dialogue without knowing the facts and without the free, open and rational interchange of ideas and viewpoints? We can 't. Democracy diminishes, leaving only demagoguery to mob-rule the day.
Brother Bill, I can 't begin to tell you all the wonderful wisdom found in Thomas 's new book. (Actually, I will in a more in-depth review.) You need to hear what the dean of Washington journalists has to say herself. So please add Helen Thomas to your guest list, along with Media Matters, and a few other suggested speakers that I'll pass along to you. We surely would love to hear your comments about the press and the current state of affairs.