“But I have come to the conclusion that if you never believe the Press and if you always believe private gossip (within reason) you will probably be right. Private gossip is so much more serious than the Press. Private gossip is so much more responsible than the Press. I say this literally, not flippantly; for indeed, the thing is perfectly clear.”
- The Illustrated London News, February 1, 1908.
One night before slipping off to sleep I was reading Volume XXVIII of Ignatius Press’s collected works of Chesterton (don’t you keep a volume of that by YOUR bed?) when I came across the above essay. That particular passage jumped out at me.
During the recent Presidential campaign I read repeated criticism of the media and its coverage of the candidates. Studies confirmed that there was a clear bias toward Barack Obama by most networks and outlets. One network – NBC (especially MSNBC) – was blatantly in his camp.
As a result, we often did not get completely accurate coverage of Obama and his views if we relied on newspapers, television and radio.
Strangely enough, we often got more complete and accurate information from “gossip” in the form of the internet. Blogs, websites, etc. dug into his background and actions in ways that the mainstream media did not. Thus we discovered things about some of Obama’s questionable connections, his minister, his ties to the abortion industry, his attempts of conceal information, and so much more.
Yes, there was plenty of inaccurate information being distributed online – information that was not “within reason.” But if not for the “gossip,” there would be lots of true information we would not know.
Already I’m hearing people who got caught up in the hoopla surrounding his historic nomination and election beginning to wonder as he actually begins to act. They obviously relied on the Press. Those of us who kept our ears open to the “gossip,” are not surprised at all at much of what he is doing.
And there's more to come. Maybe some in the Press will even begin to pay attention. Eventually.
Until then, listen to the reasonable gossip. You might learn what's really going on.
Introduction to "A Christmas Carol"
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