Is There Too Much News?

By Paul S. Maxwell Paul Maxwell Report Archives

Well, yeah, there is too much news.  It seems like it never stops.  Its tweet here and tweet there and fake news here and fake news there.  Storms are raging up and down along the Korean peninsula, fires are raging around Santa Rosa, Americans are starving in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, a hurricane is headed for Ireland, executive orders are falling on a sixth of the U.S. economy, and that’s just for starters.  Which means -- especially for those of us in media – that it is time to really pay attention!  If we don’t, we’ll all be in really deep you-know-what.

Let’s step-back a moment, though, to focus on a pair of serious points.  First, there is a 1st Amendment enshrined in the Unites States of America’s Constitution, and it declares: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Second, members of the United States government, when they join it, must take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.  The President, Vice President, Congressfolk and members of U.S. government agencies all must take that oath and, presumably, have read and understand the Constitution.

Now let’s catch up with the weekend’s recent news. 

Complaining for months about “fake news” wasn’t enough for our President.  On camera, he said, “It is frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want to write, and people should look into it.”

The President threatened to lift NBC’s (imaginary) license.

Earlier, the President tweeted, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”

The so-called independent Federal Communications Commission has five members.  Only one member, Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, bothered to comment on the reality that the 1st Amendment takes politics out of license renewals.

The three Republican members of the Commission, including the Chairman, haven’t spoken.

Only one Republican Senator, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, has commented directly, tweeting: “Mr. President: Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect and defend the 1st Amendment?”

The other 49 Republicans merely shrugged.

This is serious.  While “fake news” is nothing more than reporting that makes the President whine, we need to pay attention while reporting the news or we won’t have the chance to get things right.

Random Notes

Its cable week in Denver as the Society of Cable Technicians’ Cable-Tec Expo gets underway.  But it is more than cable, it is really the Internet infrastructure week as the Expo replaces what was the NCTA show.  And while it is run by and for cable techs, there sure will be a lot of the other Internet Service Providers paying attention to the exhibitors and policy-makers.  I’ll be there most of the week and will follow-up soon.

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