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Has the Mainstream Press Gone Brain Dead?

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By Harry C. Alford

NNPA Columnist


There was a time when the general public could count on the mainstream newspapers, television and magazines to verify claims and explanations so that erroneous material would not deceive us. That seems to be in the past now. A great example is the expose of former presidential candidate John Edwards. 

Rumors ran amuck about the extra-marital affair he was having but the mainstream press refused to fact check it. It was none other than the National Enquirer that flushed it out. Keep in mind this affair was going on while he was running for President of the United States. 

How could it go this far with only his tacit denial? It wasn't until actual video footage was acquired by the Enquirer that the rest of the world would know the truth of the matter.  This is quite dangerous for a democracy replete with a free press and we can't get to the truth in an orderly manner. It makes us vulnerable to propaganda and false perceptions that could lead to faulty decisions. Such was the case in Germany when the Nazi Party came to power under lies and mistruths. False perceptions can lead to war and terrible decisions that affect millions and alter the good path to the future. We deserve a better press.

One of the best ones is the story that Sen. John McCain likes to repeat.  He flew combat missions for 23 days and then was shot down and captured and spent five and one half years in a prisoner of war camp. He claims that the captors offered him early release because they wanted to kiss up to his Admiral father. 

However, he claims he turned them down and demanded that he stay in the POW facility. This is such a whopper! If you are a POW and you are released, there is nothing you can do but be released and your nation will send transportation for your return. Do you think the captors can be forced to keep you even if you were that stupid? 

It is an extremely false claim that the press just will not challenge or even investigate. They take it at face value and consider it something noble. It is totally unrealistic. They kept him for five and half years because of his father. 

Remember he (the father) was the enemy, assisting in the bombing and killing of over 2 million Vietnamese.  They weren't trying to please him.  Sen. McCain was a soldier doing his duty.  He was no great hero like Douglas McArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Colin Powell - not even close.

Now let's get to Vice Presidential running mate Sarah Palin. Her family and their stories are a great series of "doozies". It's like the "Trailer Park Chronicles" and the press seems to be giving them a big pass when it comes to fact checking. Nude pictures, confessions by Black teens, extra marital affairs, teenage pregnancy, etc. are filling the rumor mills and no one seems to be working to find the ultimate fact on these claims.

The biggest of all, is her claim that the baby born last spring is her's not her daughter's.

She calls a press conference and announces that she is six months pregnant. She's wearing the same clothes as always and no one on her staff or in her closest circles had a clue - they are shocked. 

She never wore maternity clothes from there on. On the day she claims to have broken her water she was in the lower 48 states and immediately after that got up on a stage and gave a 20 minute speech. I am a father and I am well aware that when an expecting lady breaks her water it is indeed "Showtime". 

You must immediately go to a hospital and prepare for delivery. But not Sarah Palin, in fact, after her speech she calmly went to the airport on her own and took an eleven hour flight home to Anchorage, AK (changing planes in Seattle). From there she went to the hospital and delivered the child.  If any of you believe this then you will believe anything.

While this charade was going on her child, Bristol, just happened to be out of high school and staying home for over five months claiming a case of mononucleosis. 

Simultaneously, her husband took a leave of absence from his oil field job and stayed home also. It appears to me that Bristol may have been on lockdown and Papa made sure no one came around to see any physical changes. 

This begs investigation and it looks like we are going to have to rely once again on the National Enquirer or another rag like that. America deserves the truth because our future depends on it. What has happened to investigative journalism?


Harry Alford is the co-founder, President/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.  Website:  www.nationalbcc.org.

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