Ask the Psychologist Issue #12: A Free & HONEST Press In A Democracy
There have been a few additions to what I previously sent out as well as a response from a friend that I feel is worth sharing.
Quiet a point you have here Bart!
You listen to a station n get influenced by what u hear. U change station n get a different outlook n are tempted to believe what u hear
And on and on.
When do u think by yourself?
Few months ago I decided not to listen to anyone n make my own conclusions . However if I want to know what is going in, I need to listen to others
So am permanently stuck.
Ok, I can make the decision to believe or not , or decide which one is more sincere.
Truth is the problem .
Think of people of truth who remain silent in front of falsehood
Someone said There are three sides to each story: your side, my side, and the truth.
Wasn’t it SCHOOENHAUER who said “All truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third it is accepted as being self evident.”
Or Nietzsche who said’Truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions”.
So we are back to us listening to others. Because we are small, simple and afraid, we want to believe
and the others take advantage.
So we are back to square one.
Looking around us we realize democracy has gone to hell and the abject , the extreme, the despicable, the abhorrent rules the world. Call them the Antifa, the BLM. Etc..
And sadly I live in their world
Am I pessimistic ?
Time will tell
Be well Bart n be safe
The latest and one of the most frequently questions I have been asked by people is, How Do I know What To Believe in the Media? There is no one answer other than spend all day watching various news channels on TV, reading newspapers & journals and then conclude what may be true. Very few have this kind of time or skill, so there is no real answer to assure what you are being told is true. Its like a crap shoot in the end.
I included, in the current book I am presently working on a chapter, indicating a solution to the above mentioned problem, which I think would work but I doubt with the current state of affairs, it would even be considered. But here it is, since it may give you something to think about the next time you are trying to determine what to believe.
How an ideal and objective media can be formed and operated in a democratic republic
– There is a question on a Standardized Intelligent Test, which I have given years ago when I was seeing patients. It asked the question about the importance of a free press in a democracy. The answer expected, which would be correct is, to basically ’ keep the government honest’. But what has recently been occurring is this past question could not be answered the same way today and be correct. The reason is that the question would have to be changed to: why is a free and HONEST press important in a democracy? The fact remains that there is no one keeping a free press honest in our current democracy. So if the checks and balances of a press are nonexistent, what eventually happens to the government is it becomes dishonest, since the people in the democracy don’t know what is true, in order to cast a knowledgeable vote. This is the reason there needs to be checks and balances that monitors a free press to insure its honesty and its truthfulness, so fake news is not tolerated.
This is why there needs to be Rules and Guidelines governing the media itself, more or less a MEDIA CONSTITUTION, with laws and natural consequences for dishonest behavior that is more than a retraction.
By developing a licensing board, like we have in a free medicinal and psychological community. Professional media people should have requirements like honesty, due diligence, reporting criteria, etc., that should all be required when writing a story. These standards can be monitored and reported on by both the public and other licensed media professionals, to insure a reporter or news organization doesnot violates professional standards. If they violate reporting criteria and guidelines, their credentials can be temporarily removed and they would receive supervision or else seek other employment, depending on the boards mandates. Obviously, multiple violations will lead to more stringent consequence.
Can one imagine a physician making a life threatening error due to incompetence and just asked to make a retraction stating they are sorry? In many ways, reporters can drastically effect a person/persons lives by falsely reporting an occurrence and getting away with it by simply writing a retraction, where in many cases is not even seen by the public. Its time a bright light is shined on the current corruption that is occurring in our press, that goes beyond filing a civil suit, which puts the burden back on the victim the media created.
Bart P. Billings,Ph.D.
COL SCNG-SC, Military Medical Directorate (Ret.)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist CA PSY 7656
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist CA LMFT 4888
—Director/Founder International Military & Civilian Combat Stress Conference
—Initial Enlisted Ranks and Retired as Medical Service Corps Officer with a total of 34 years in US Army
—Recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award from Citizens Commission on Human Rights International & The University Of Scranton “Frank O’Hara Award” in 2016.
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