Tag Archives: journalism

The First Amendment: Your Right to Burn the Flag

Okay, I have a thought I want to share.  President-elect Trump tweeted about burning the American flag, and those who do it, should be punished by either putting them in jail for a year or have their citizenship taken away.  Talk about setting people’s heads on fire!  LOL!  Yeah, I know some people are annoyed by the President tweeting, but at least it’s his voice, and not someone else’s (far as I know).  He didn’t say he was going to do it.  He was expressing his feeling, and to tell you the truth I feel the same way.  I know the U.S. Constitution guarantees our first amendment rights, and the U.S. Supreme court interpreted that flag burning is a freedom that’s guaranteed by it.  Okay.  I got it, and in truth, much as I hate it, I can accept it.  Doesn’t mean if I see you do it, I might not accidentally throw water on your sorry ungrateful butt (the way I see it), or maybe give you a disgusted look, but I won’t beat you up. 
 
I was watching “The Five” earlier this evening, and Greg Gutfield said something to the effect that being a flag burner was like wearing a tattoo that says, “I’m an ***hole.”  It identifies someone as what they are.  Those aren’t his exact words but it was something like that.  Still the point is a good one as far as I’m concerned.
 
I know that (some) people see flag burning as an expression of freedom, but I’ll tell you the way I see it is this: Just because I enjoy freedom doesn’t mean I have the right to walk around and use the F-word or use the Lord’s name in vain in public just because I can.  I’ve always thought and will always hold to the opinion that with freedom comes responsibility.  It’s a privilege to be free, not a right to abuse those who don’t see or share your view of the world.  We’re free to murder, commit adultery, support abortion, and finance Planned Parenthood.  We’re free to do all of that, and yet I’ll freeze in hell before anyone ever convinces me that it’s right or that you’re being responsible in doing so.
 
Still, I respect a person’s right to disagree with me, and even to express themselves.  I even encourage you to do it.  Use your voice, but as my Grandma said to me, “if you really want me to pay attention to you then use your inside voice. If I yelled, I only got a stern look and a firm, “be quiet or go outside” from her.  You know what I’m saying, and if you don’t then ask someone who’s over the age of 55 with gray or thinning hair, and has enough lines on their face to show that they’ve had plenty to laugh and cry about in their life.
 
Then there are the ones who, like me, see something completely different when they see someone burning the flag.  When I see someone doing this, you know what I see?  I see someone who has absolutely no respect or regard for anyone (not even themselves), and who have no knowledge  or appreciation for what others have done throughout the whole course of our country’s history, and all the men, women, and children, who have served it, and made sacrifices so that husbands, fathers, and sons could do so.
 
What’s worse is that they dishonor all those people who died, who gave up their right to live so that other people, like me, could be free.  When I see that kind of disrespect, when I see that lack of comprehension of duty and sacrifice to an ideal higher than any one person or thing it just makes my blood boil.  If they can’t appreciate someone dying so that they can have their precious right to protest and walk the streets then I’m fairly sure they don’t understand the sacrifice their parents have made on their behalf either, and if any of you have read any of my posts on my blog Wayne Augden, or on here then you know how I feel about people being ungrateful and who have no feeling of thankfulness for all that they have.
 
So though I respect people’s right to disagree with me, and to express their displeasure, don’t expect me to just sit back and take it without expressing to you how I feel about your doing it, and if judging by the American people’s last vote is any indication then there’s a whole lot more people who feel like me than you.  You might give that some thought.

A Thought on the Influence of the Media in America

     If there’s one area in this country that shows how blind and naive it’s citizenry is to the organizations that influence it the media is number one.   Some people would say that government is number one, but I disagree.  Let me ask you a question; which one has more of an influence on you?  It seems to me that now more than ever the media is the single biggest influence on this country and it’s citizens, and thus has a lot of power.  Power to entertain, to inform, to promote agendas, to form and sway opinion, even to create and destroy policy, procedure, and people.

     In times past, I believe the media was more a reflection of our society than what it is today.  I believe the media of today has taken on the role of not only being a reflection of what is seen in society, but is now creating what is seen in society.  Do you see the difference?  It’s the difference between looking into a normal mirror and a funhouse mirror.  In one you see an accurate representation of what is placed in front of it; in the other you see a distortion of it that is barely recognizable.  I believe that this comparison is illustrative of the media of yesteryear and the media of today. 

     Think about it.  How much of what you see on t.v. is truly reflective of your life.  Examine it a little more closely.  Is t.v. an accurate reflection of you, or are you and the life you lead more a reflection of it?  For those of us who are older (of which I’m one) it’s easier to see the shift in the media of yesteryear and the media of today, and it’s ability to accurately portray it’s presentation of what it sees, and reflects back to us.  How many times have you watched or read something in the media that you later found out wasn’t true?

     Do me a favor.  Close your eyes, take a minute, and travel back in time to when you were a kid watching your favorite t.v. show.  Got it?  Okay, now go back to when your were a little older and started watching the news on t.v. and actually being interested in it.  You not only watched the local news, but the national news.  Now come on back to reality.  In your opinion, how has the media changed?  More importantly, how has it changed and formed you?

     Make no mistake.  The media of t.v. is a far different animal than it was when I was a kid.  The puppy I used to sit, watch and play with, and that I enjoyed so much has morphed into the wolf little red riding hood encountered in the classic fairytale just waiting, looking for, and ready to seize every opportunity to destroy if given a chance.  I realize that this statement isn’t going to be a popular one, and that there are few who will probably agree with it, but think about it.  

     As an example, look at the national news.  The national news is a 30 minute broadcast.  In each program you may have up to 15 stories, or more, often with a sound bite accompanying it of a few seconds duration.  What do you think the odds in Vegas are of every story being 100% true and unbiased?  If the news media is so trustworthy then why do so many of them report the same stories with different facts, and why do some report stories that others don’t show at all?  Let me give you an illustration.  The other night none of the major news networks reported this story about a woman in the wall street protests out in California that made anti-semtic remarks on air, but Fox news did.  My question is why did three networks ignore it, and one air it?  Last of all why is the word “slant” so often used in journalism, as in how to slant a story.  The definition for slant is:  “To present so as to conform to a particular bias or appeal to a certain audience.”

     I find it reprehensible that the media in this country has taken the role of creating and manipulating truth rather than presenting it as it is.  They talk about freedom of speech, and pursuit of truth, and yet fail to do them with integrity, and the result is a view promoted and distorted by hipocracy.  The media that cries about it’s constitutional rights and  privileges has failed the very thing it should hold in highest regard.  It’s promotion, presentation, and portrayal of truth and its’ freedom to pursue it.