Monday, July 27, 2015

The First Amendment Needs Support

Who is safeguarding us from the government?  Should the news media act as a watchdog on our government?

A survey from the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center shows 69% believe that journalists should act as a watchdog on the government – well below the 80% of the previous two years.  Why wouldn’t it be 100%?  Why would people not expect the media to keep a watchful eye over the government?

Maybe people have lost faith in the media to fulfill such a role? Perhaps other groups or people are to be viewed as watchdogs, but who would they be? Could it be that the media, with its biases and shortcomings, is in need of a watchdog itself?

Are authors and book publishers watchdogs of the government, the media, and everything out there?  Everyone needs some watching.

The study went on to show that a substantial number of people – 70% - believe the news reports with bias.  1 in 5 people think the First Amendment goes too far.

The Newseum survey also showed how dumb people are.  One in three Americans can’t name any of the rights the amendment guarantees.  Only 57% were able to cite freedom of speech as one right protected by the amendment.

This is an indictment of our education system, the media, and parenting.  Everyone should know about the constitutional protections of the First Amendment.  This is preposterous!

You’d think it’s so obvious that people would know about – and care to protect – the First Amendment, but I guess so many don’t.  We can’t take it for granted that our citizens know anything about anything.

For a watchdog, like the media, to be effective, citizens need to read the media and be active and act on the knowledge it comes upon.  When we have people not knowing basic things, how can we expect them to tackle the tough topics? 

Book publishers and authors have many challenges in getting book sales and in finding readers.  One of the problems appears to be ignorance on the part of a substantial portion of the American Citizenry.  As Bill Maher often says: “Don’t underestimate how dumb Americans really are.”


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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