Brian Baker: Since when did information need such protection?

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On Saturday, Feb. 25, The Signal published a guest column by Ron Bischoff entitled “Learning to evaluate the ‘fake news.’” In it he noted the calls from several people and groups to somehow control the flow of news – “curate” it, according to Obama – in order to somehow “control” the tsunami of information (including so-called “fake news”) to which people have access.

All this in the interest of making it easier for people to evaluate whether their information is “real” or not, of course.

In his column Ron made a case for why that was a terrible idea.

Well said, Ron.

For those of us old enough to remember it, this current press jihad against a non-Dem president isn’t anything new. We saw the same thing when Reagan was a candidate and then president: years of hysterical hyperbole predicting the literal end of the world in a flash of nuclear fireballs as the “actor” and “cowboy” took the reins of power.

Instead, he brought about the peaceful end of the Soviet empire.

Trump is now doing the same thing Reagan did. He’s ignoring the Establishment press and taking his message directly to the American people. Naturally, just as in the Reagan era, the press loathes him for it, as well as for his “heretical” policies.

But now we’re in the internet age and information flows much more freely. The Establishment press is no longer the gatekeeper of information, and they simply can’t have that!

Hence the calls for “curation,” which is just another word for “censorship.”

Orwell’s “1984” paints a grim picture of what happens when the government controls what information the citizenry is given. That’s not a road we want to travel.

Further, the very purpose of the First Amendment guarantee of a free press is to ensure that the people have full and free access to all the information out there – especially that which might be unpopular or controversial.

After all, popular ideas don’t need such protection, do they?

Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.


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This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. charles maurice detallyrand

    “Hence the calls for ‘curation,’ which is just another word for ‘censorship.'”

    Strange, there weren’t any calls for censorship from Obama in that question and answer forum on technology and innovation. Here is a short excerpt in case you didn’t actually look it up.

    “But there has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.

    And that’s hard to do, but I think it’s going to be necessary, it’s going to be possible. I think the answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can say, this is reliable and I’m still able to argue about — safely — about facts and what we should do about it while still — not just making stuff up.”

    Not making stuff up, like say Obama was calling for censorship…

    1. Brian Baker

      Your “facts” are about as meaningful as your fake name.

      “”We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to,’ Obama said at an innovation conference in Pittsburgh.”

      So he, and you, claim that’s not a call for some form of censorship? Uh-huh… Kinda like under Obamacare “if you like your doctor and health plan you can keep your doctor and health plan”, and the Benghazi massacre was caused by a YouTube video no one saw? That what you mean?

      1. charles maurice detallyrand

        Brian just what exactly do you believe that link you provided proves? Where again is the call for censorship? Do you understand what the word curate means?

        1. Brian Baker

          Asked and answered, bubba. Stop wasting my time.

          1. charles maurice detallyrand

            Answered how, with a link that shows nothing? Man you’re funny. Typical response Brian, but I suppose you can’t actually provide evidence to support your claim so I’d expect you to tuck your tail and run as you usually do.

          2. Brian Baker

            Why don’t YOU learn to actually read? I couldn’t have explained it any more clearly, and with my audience — you — in mind I used the smallest words I could.

            BTW, for someone too chicken to use their real name here, you’re certainly quick to accuse OTHER people of “running”. You coward.

          3. charles maurice detallyrand

            Do you understand what the word curate means Brian? I don’t think you do…

          4. Brian Baker

            Here’s the part of what you wrote that I actually believe: “I don’t think”.

            Now THAT I believe. You just babble nonsense. A self-impressed pseudo-intellectual loon.

          5. charles maurice detallyrand

            Ok grandpa, you want to know what’s looney? Posting an off the cuff remark from an outgoing president at a forum on technological innovation where he specifically states we cannot censor and that perhaps we need to levy technology in new ways to better present and preserve information as somehow cause to worry about that president trying to censor us as if he’s calling for creating the ministry of truth from 1984.

          6. Brian Baker

            “where he specifically states we cannot censor”

            Like he “specifically stated” that if you liked your healthcare you could keep it, and the Benghazi slaughter was due to that video?

            Are you just stuck on stupid, or what?

          7. charles maurice detallyrand

            You know what evidence is right? Do you have any?

  2. Gil Mertz

    Of the many lies Obama told, I think his most audacious was when he said to the White House press corps at his last briefing:

    “I want to thank you all for keeping me honest”

    Only those in the mainstream media who worshiped at his feet believed that whopper.

    1. Brian Baker

      Yeah, Gil, that was a real howler.

      Lyin’ Barry thanking an uncritical press full of worshippers who never criticized him.

  3. lois eisenberg

    Let the truth be told is not on donald’s agenda !
    The truth will set you free!
    Again the old whataboutism creeping into the post!
    And again the personal jabs!

    1. Frank Rizzo

      I know you don’t like facts, Lois. Here is an example of your craziness:

      “Trump Can’t Accept That His Allies Are Targeting Jews – So He Blames His Opponents”
      It’s from “the Intercept”

      But it turns out it’s from a Fake News creating Bernie supporter.
      On top of being hypocrites, the left is now full loony tunes.

  4. lois eisenberg

    “We won’t know what’s in the Republican health-care repeal plan until they pass it
    The GOP is writing legislation in secret, which they once falsely accused Democrats of doing.” The irony of it all !!

  5. lois eisenberg

    “Pence used personal email for state business — and was hacked”

  6. Ron Bischof

    A useful recollection of history, Brian. I remember it well.

    As with the “Fairness Doctrine”, government attempts to regulate speech are bound to have a deleterious effect on liberty.

    1. Brian Baker

      I couldn’t agree more, Ron.

  7. Nee

    Sadly, there are now Universities offering classes on “fake news and social media”. I attempted to make up a sarcastic syllabus on a column about it. The young ‘uns could only come up with their buzz words: alternate facts, propaganda, triggered, fearful of the educated youth. That last one had me laughing so hard, I needed a Depends.
    So the class is going to cost the student 4k for 3 hours of time where they all get to cry snowflake, micro agress and then learn what the “truth” is??? They have no idea all the professors are wearing RCG’s!!
    The truth is not their truth and no one on the left appears to be able to handle it. I can’t wait for the large cups of crow to hand out if the changes promised effect a robust economy all done without “media” intervention, fake news and any other crap they can dish up.

    1. Brian Baker

      “Sadly” is right. Too many of our universities nowadays have turned their efforts to indoctrination rather than education. That needs to change.

  8. lois eisenberg

    “Since when did information need such protection?”
    Right here and now with “donald’s latest torrent of early morning tweets– complete
    with misspellings and evidence-free allegations”

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