Freedom of Speech

Edward_R_Murrow

We will not be driven by fear – Edward R. Murrow

Edward Murrow was a great journalist. Well known in his field, he made reporting news a priority and did not shy away from anyone, whether it was Hitler, McCarthy, or the President of CBS. I think Mr. Murrow believed the news belonged to no one and that no one was ever above the truth.

The most striking thing about Edward Murrow to me, is that he was a radio journalist. In the course of his career, I wonder how many people told Mr. Murrow that if he wanted to be a serious journalist, he should write for a newspaper. Yet, Edward Murrow stuck to the microphone…..until CBS decided to put him in front of a tv camera. Even in front of a tv camera, he projected a journalistic profile that was to be taken seriously, and most surely inspired many.

I feel like I relate to Edward R. Murrow. When I dreamed of being a journalist when I was young, and then later in life when I got the chance to work at a newspaper, I was inspired by the way Murrow focused on the truth.

These days, I call myself a blogger. In no stretch of anyone’s imagination could I ever be considered a journalist, or even a legitimate writer, for that matter. I don’t even consider myself that great of a blogger either.

This may relate to a previous post you may have yet to see:

Still Got Something To Say

But I believe that my lack of writing ability or popularity in the blogging world is beside the point when it comes to freedom of speech.

The internet has opened a whole new world where those who are courageous enough to use it, may share ideas, inner most thoughts, and yes, even facts. And perhaps for the first time in our country’s history, people have a place so protected by the constitution, that not even our government can figure out a way to shut it down (not that they haven’t tried, of course.)

Freedom of speech is so sacred in fact, that the constitution that protects it, was written over 200 years ago!

Of course, there are some bullies who seem to think that freedom of speech should only be given to those that have power ~ forcing some who do not have power to fight and struggle for this freedom.

There in lies the paradox – how can one fight for power without the freedom of speech? 

These days, bullies with self-made power, aren’t sure what to do with a world where facts can be shared so freely; facts that might not line up with “homemade” facts that have before brought so much power to them.

Edward R. Murrow demonstrated in action, what President Eisenhower so strongly put in words:

I can think of a few bullies in Sumpter who could benefit from listening to President Eisenhower’s words.

Not in the actual writing do I relate to Mr. Murrow. The way I feel somewhat akin to this great journalist, is how he allowed no one to force him to write anything but the facts. Never did he falter and never was his integrity of reporting the truth ever in question. Until one day, when he was confronted by a dark force that he could not rise above.

Because of all he had achieved as a journalist, I don’t think Murrow’s career came into question because he began losing an audience, because he lost his journalistic ability, or because he broke some invisible “politically correct” rule.

Edward R. Murrow came up against the one enemy of truth that he could not defend against.

Money.

Edward R. Murrow was called into the office of the CBS President because he would not alter his reporting of the facts to suit the sponsors.

In another instance, one of Murrow’s most famous stands for journalistic integrity came when it seemed that he was the only person at the time to be brave enough to challenge Senator McCarthy. Murrow actually served to show the American people the truth about this renegade senator who had made a narcissistic grab for power by destroying so many lives with his gross misuse of the constitution.

(sounds like a few people in Sumpter)

I believe it was this very courageous stand against McCarthy by Murrow that was the beginning of the end for Senator McCarthy. Sadly, no one then could predict that despite the brave, courageous stand that Mr. Murrow made, the fight for truth would be eventually lost the way corporate media today seems to be based on entertainment.

Reporting the facts has become an after thought.

Just like Murrow, I have been bullied by those who do not want me to write or speak my mind. Their first efforts are spent in just attempting to discourage me from wanting to write. When they find their efforts fail, they turn to other tactics like making me look bad by manufacturing lies about me with the hope that people just won’t believe me. If that doesn’t work, they then threaten me with legal action. Funny thing that “legal action…”  these bullies don’t seem to realize that the very same legal world that they want to use to get their way……is the very same legal world that actually protects me from their non-sense.

Senator McCarthy even went as far as calling Murrow a communist. But without actual evidence to back up his claims, people chose to believe the truth and I think this is when McCarthy really began to lose popularity.

I have been confronted by narcissistic bullies who believe themselves to be powerful and believe that they should be in charge because they believe themselves to be the only ones who have all the answers and so they believe they should be charge.

I have a question – if they believe that those they do not approve of should not be in power simply because mistakes might have been made (in their own – sometimes narrow view) then how will these bullies explain away mistakes they themselves are bound to make while they are in power? Or do they actually delude themselves with the idea that they will never make mistakes?

I refer to these bullies as big fish in a little pond.

After all, it does little or no good to be narcissistic while living in a big pond does it?

It would be kind of like being one light bulb in a football stadium!

If Edward R. Murrow had not already made this closing line famous…..I would use it at the end of every post:

“Good night, and good luck.”

No Fear editorial by Edward R. Murrow

‘If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

 ~George Washington