The term “fake news” has become rooted in the minds and common vernacular of the American people over the past several years. It is often slung around when discrediting claims in opposition to one’s political views. The term “media” itself has become, in the eyes of many, synonymous with not only strong bias, but public manipulation.
However, in an era in which bias and public manipulation have characterized the leadership of the American people, it is paramount that trust is placed in the hands of the press.
In recent years, the press, the very institution working to prevent the manipulation of the people by the government’s misinformation, has become a scapegoat.
The newspapers blamed for slander and lies are the same newspapers who outed President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate Scandal and revealed the Pentagon Papers, which described the truth behind the Vietnam War - the war described by politicians was very different than the one being fought. The purpose of any respectable branch of the press is to inform, and many news associations uphold that responsibility by bringing the truth of important matters to the people at any cost.
The same institutions that lead to the arrest of over 20 officials between the Committee for the Re-election of the President and the White House itself are now finding themselves being blamed for the same breed of corruption their staff risked their lives, freedoms, and careers to report.
When the political climate reaches a point where CNN has to write a report cataloging every single lie or exaggeration told candidates in the 2016 presidential debates, it becomes clear that fallacies have begun to characterize the country itself.
This toxic climate is only fed when pipe bombs are sent to the headquarters of CNN, the press is blamed for reporting about lies, and the mysterious disappearance and death of a reporter overseas has been buried by the president’s bending-over-backwards in an attempt to remain allies with the government that may have killed him.
In this new, facetious America, our faith should belong alongside the scapegoats - the news. While public officials are evasive, the media is willing to tell the people the truth, no matter how ugly or costly.
It is salient that the people of America as a whole remember the role of the press. News is, in times of such political conflict, the friend, not the enemy, of the American people.