I am not posting this satirically as I originally intended. I had half of this post drafted and then realized the subject matter would be done a disservice by making it into another joke. As anyone who reads this blog might know, I value free speech. I also can be a world class troll if I need to. Maybe that is why I am such a proponent of the First Amendment. I believe through free speech we are granted the ability to do real journalism based on fact and truth without fear of retribution or intimidation.
That being said, free speech and journalism fails when our journalist become lazy and start taking shortcuts. Shortcuts like just pasting an interview into an article with no analysis of the facts. Journalism where the author of an article becomes a mouthpiece for the subject of his piece. I have seen many easily researchable errors while covering Charles Carreon. I also see something sinister happening where Matthew Inman (under advice) is no longer fixing these errors in interviews because of the legal action taken against him. Journalist are allowing Mr. Carreon to frame the conversation as he sees fit, and not standing up for the truth.
Dave Thier of Forbes – Quotes Charles Carreon that IndieGoGo is going to take 9% of the Bear Love fundraiser. When called out on actual facts he in the comment section repeats 9% then does not respond to figures actually obtained from IndieGoGo.com
Michael Cavna of the Washington Post – Repeats Carreon’s line that the picture Matthew Inman drew was of Carreon’s mother, even though it was of the FunnyJunk admin’s mother.
These are but a few of many examples of letting one person frame a debate with journalist who could, and should, place emphasis on the truth. Without a diligent press our freedom will fail. We cannot as a free people allow shortcuts or lack of analytical thought to take us down a dark path. This is also a reminder to anyone who reads a news article, think critically. Do not assume fact because it is in print. Research it if the subject interests you and be a party to our freedom.