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To the Editor:

We are still blessed today to have freedom of the press. The government has not infringed upon that right.

Nonetheless, the “mainstream” media, and I mean by that the folks that we trusted for years to bring us factual accounts of the country’s news on the well-known acronym stations and in the well-known and trusted newspapers, have changed.

Many are now owned by huge conglomerates that set the tone for what you hear, see or read in national news with few exceptions. What comes out in one newspaper or on one newscast is often much the same as is reported in all the other newspapers or newscasts. And sadly, many of the scripts are unreliable.

There are more ways to tell a lie than just out and out telling it. One basic way is to choose not to report all the facts, in other words, lying by omission. Most of the Big Acronym television stations and many of the Big newspapers omit the substantiated facts of our country’s great economy, low unemployment numbers, better wages that reach more than the wealthy and the unwillingness of Congress to stop the hordes of illegals swarming at, and illegally crossing, our borders. 

Why does any of that matter? It matters because we Americans are misinformed, led to believe lies told so often that they are accepted as fact. Often a story is printed or is broadcast citing “unnamed sources” which is not acceptable journalism. How can we make informed decisions politically, socially or any other way if we are not subjected to truth? 

It is time for us Americans to stop being lazy listeners and again realize that we must be on guard always for canned scripting which parrots “catchphrases” that are exactly alike and disseminated across many media outlets. When it comes to national coverage of the news, don’t believe everything you hear or read, especially now, when journalism is not necessarily fact-based.

If you want accuracy and truth about a blazing news bulletin, check it out in alternative news sources — online, on radio and on other cable news networks. Look at it from all sides.

Be smart. Look for and encourage fact-based investigative reporting from your national news provider. Be intellectually active. Develop a critical ear. Demand truth and not rumor. Demand better from your national news outlets! If we could do it years ago with what we had to work with then, surely truth can surface now and national news outlets can still report it.

Give it to us straight. We want it all. A free country cannot stay free without news outlets that respect the rights of the people to hear or read the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

D. Johnson

Murfreesboro

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