Saturday, January 06, 2018

Saw #ThePost on Friday

[VIDEO] It allowed me to come to some conclusions especially with the term "fake news" flying around since Trump ran for President in 2016 and during the administration of President Trump currently. It depicts a battle - mainly legal battle - between the press and the government.

Basically some documents were smuggled from the Pentagon analyzing the war in Vietnam and those papers which have been publicly released shows a history of deception by the government as far as their Vietnam policy. The papers apparently start well before America became involved with the Vietnam War and it's escalation. There was a court case NY Times vs. U.S. which allowed the Times and the Washington Post to publish government documents without an reprisal by the government. In other words, the gov't can't censor you because they don't like the fact that you published some documents they didn't want you to see!

Allow me to share the big picture of the movie. We have a free press in this country, and resultantly free speech. With that said and I tweeted this out during the course of the movie - not during the movie of course.
There is no issue with me if President Trump pushed back against the press - or least the press he refers to as Fake News. Among conservatives I've seen that they believe the press has a bias against them. They believe the press or mainstream media trends liberal and in their coverage of Republicans or conservatives is colored with a liberal slant. Thus perhaps for many on the right - or perhaps "alt-right" - it's refreshing that the President isn't going along with that and is effectively punching back.

Our nation is supposed to have checks and balances between the President, Congress and judiciary. Who checks the press? We do need a strong press to check the government and it's three branches. A strong press is worthless if it's unwilling to check the government. As addressed in the movie, there were occasions - and perhaps they still ocurr - that newspaper publishers & editors or producers, reporters, journalists, etc. can be chummy with politicians on occasion. Thus it's possible to think that perhaps the press would cover for the politicians that they are chummy with when things are found out about them.

With that said when Trump takes on CNN or MSNBC or the NY Times it's entirely OK with me if her refers to those outlets as "fake news". We should consume news or information, we need not think that everything they say doesn't have a bias. We need not believe they don't have an agenda and perhaps it doesn't always benefit the people who consume the news & information they publish.

So it's OK with me if Trump calls the mainstream media "fake news". It's also OK with me if the media pushes back against Trump. What we're seeing is healthy. Who says the politicians shouldn't challenge the press - of course without suppressing them legally? Also who says the press shouldn't challenge the politicians?

BTW, if you check hashtag #ThePost on twitter you may see mostly negative views of The Post. Many have opted not to even watch the movie thanks to the liberal politics of Tom Hanks and Merryl Streep. Indeed another tweet I saw connected this movie with the Harvey Weinstein scandal. And I've learned that the film has only earned a half-million dollars when it was released New Year's weekend. Although when I saw the movie it was almost a full-house in my theater.

It's still a great movie and yes I can separate the politics or even complicity in some social context i.e. Weinstein from the work of art. Then again that's the beauty of America, we have the right to support or not support whatever we want for whatever reasons we have. Besides, I gave that dreadful Al Gore global warming sequel a chance even though I'm not likely to ever want to see it again!

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