Should The Media Be Held Responsible For Intentional Lies and Distortions?

Freedom of the Press

The right, guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, to gather, publish, and distribute information and ideas without government restriction; this right encompasses freedom from prior restraints on publication and freedom from Censorship.

As I’m observing our country today, IMO the press has become as much of a political weapon as it is a source of honest news. The term “honest” as I’m using it is where the article does not have any intentional lies, half truths, misrepresentations or intentional distortions. What “we” are observing today are the many different mediums outright lying, providing distorted pictures and videos that portray something other than the truth. This isn’t a one-sided issue either. It’s both sides of the aisle manipulating their base with intentional lies and distortions. My question is, do you believe the 1st Amendment should be revisited?

Generally, the First Amendment prohibits prior restraint, that is, restraint on a publication before it is published. In a landmark decision in near v. minnesota, 283 U.S. 697, 51 S. Ct. 625, 75 L. Ed. 1357 (1931), the Court held that the government could not prohibit the publication of a newspaper for carrying stories that were scandalous or scurrilous. The Court identified three types of publications against which a prior restraint might be valid: those that pose a threat to national security, those that contain obscene materials, and those that advocate violence or the overthrow of the government.

Are we witnessing the media advocating violence? Have many news sources crossed that line? If so, what is the remedy? I admit that I’m ignorant in this area and am looking answers to what I believe is a growing problem that is really threatening our country right now. What say you?

The (not complete) answer is that you are accountable for digesting what you see and read, and one solution is to digest as many information sources as you can on a story. This can still be done although admittedly as media has been consolidated (and this consolidation is one of the biggest unknown stories of the 21st Century…intentionally so IMO) it’s become more difficult.

Also, practice the true scientific method. When you see a story that resonates with what you believe, assume the story is FALSE and see if you can disprove it.

Far too often we choose what to believe first and look for evidence to confirm that what we believe is true.

At any rate, yellow journalism is the price we pay for a free press. There is no way in hell I would want to create any legislation to stop it.


No, we have free speech. There was a big market of people angry about the election results and they took advantage of them. They would just have gone elsewhere.

Granted one of the reasons they were so angry was the media push polling made it look like Hillary was going to win.

They should be more mad at Mueller for leading them on so long…

I like your response but it places all of the burden on the viewer and none on the medium that is promoting violence through their distortions of the truth. Many will not do as you suggest so, violence may ensue. Should the medium bare any responsibility?

The burden should be on the viewer.

That’s where we’ve gone wrong

Can you give an example of a media piece “promoting violence”? I’m thinking you’re using this phrase in a way that doesn’t have a legal basis.

For example, a piece of media that simply makes people angry because of the content is not “promoting violence.”

When has the press not been used as a political weapon?

Hell, thomas jefferson used to have his own newspaper where he would print slanderous lies about his opponents…


I am always amused by the vision some people have of the past…

They seem to think that it was a black and white world where dragnet, leave it to beaver and bonanza were documentaries…


I may be…as I said, it’s not my area but when I see large segments of Trump’s sentences being left out and then piece mealing in words to imply something totally removed from what he said, it creates emotions that may very well turn into violence. So, did the article incite violence?

Which is faster, the pony express or Twitter? “We” are in a whole new world my friend.

Now we have doctored videos that don’t just say something. It fools the viewer into believing with their own eyes. It’s a tad different now…don’t you think?

To fully understand your position here we need examples in order to discuss. What are you referencing?

I’ve got to run and go stimulate the economy but I’ll check back. I’d really like to hear from both sides. This is NOT a one-sided issue.

Any source, whether it be a reporter, relative, or a President, generally has a pool of good will from which people are generally willing to believe what they say, or at least their intentions. If people constantly lie that pool is depleted and it is likely fewer people will be willing to take them at face value.

If people choose to believe the worst about Trump and his intentions it is because he has constantly gone out of his way to make it obvious that is exactly what they should believe.

I remeber the doctored videos about Acorn and Planned parenthood so you are correct

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So it was ok for the media to lie and distort back then because ot was slower?


Just don’t be a gullible consumer. Problem solved.


No, that does not meet the legal definition of inciting violence. Inciting violence requires actually advocating violence and constitutes a clear and present danger of such acts.

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When they wrote the second amendment it took five minutes to load a bullet into a gun. That doesn’t mean we should throw away our rights.

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Hillary got millions more votes than Trump, just like the polls predicted and the media reported. The fact that 70,000 or so votes in three states put Trump over the top for the electoral college doesn’t change that.