"DUNCIE, DUNCIE DOUBLE D
DOESN'T KNOW HIS A, B, C"
(Victorian playground chant).
No one can seriously deny that a free press is fundamental to the working of democracy but controversy lurks in defining "free".
Bob Woodward of the Washington Post and Watergate fame had no doubts "...the function of a journalist is to deliver the best possible version of the truth."
The Gene Kelly character in the Spencer Tracy make of "Inherit the Wind," put it equally succinctly ..."To comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."
So why did Stanley Baldwin, the one-time Conservative Prime Minister feel it necessary to liken the 1930's British Press to ladies of negotiable affection in saying "Power without responsibility is the prerogative of the harlot"?
The answer had been written not in Baldwin's day but scathingly seventy years earlier by Anthony Trollope in his novel, "The Warden.".
(Tom Towers was the master journalist of The Jupiter newspaper)..
" Each of them (Ministers of State), was responsible to his country, each of them must answer if inquired into, each of them must endure abuse with good humour, and insolence without anger.
"But to whom was he, Tom Towers responsible? No one could insult him; no one could inquire into him. He could speak out withering words, and no one could answer him; ministers courted him though perhaps they knew not his name; bishops feared him, judges doubted their own verdicts unless he confirmed them; and generals in their councils of war, did not consider more deeply what the enemy might do, than what The Jupiter might say".
Truly the more things have changed, the more they have stayed the same. The press is still owned by a small number of extremely powerful
individuals dedicated to preserving the status quo.
Can anything be done to counteract this source of heavily biased information?
Yes, Duncey-Duncey, there is. Do learn your alphabet...
...then start your own website to pass on what you have learned!