Donald Trump stood in front of a crowd aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina, and announced his call for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims coming into this country, which was rewarded by the standing room only crowd with a 24 second standing ovation.
The day before, Fox News and Fox Business channels were forced to suspend contributors for using profane language during live interviews in reference to President Obama.
Now one might find themselves asking how these two seemingly unrelated incidents have any connection. In truth, it is not hard to find the common denominator.
Let us first remember the role news agencies play in our society, and in any democracy.
News agencies have the responsibility of informing the American people about issues going in on in their city, state, and country so that when it comes time to vote, voters can make an educated decision.
It is their obligation to present information and statistics regarding political issues in a fair and unbiased manner, so that the viewer, and more importantly, the voter, can formulate his or her own opinion.
The issue plaguing our country and flooding our airwaves is that these news agencies set out to project their own opinions, constantly blurring the distinction between fact and editorial commentary.
It is generally acknowledged that “news” agencies, and I use that descriptor cautiously, are now a part of the political machine.
All one has to do is switch on either FOX News or MSNBC to reach this conclusion.
Generally speaking, when people turn on the news at night there is a certain level of assumed, or at least expected, validity.
When people watch the news they expect that what they are hearing is true and nothing otherwise.
These so called news agencies go on the air, ignore the responsibilities of the fourth estate, strip themselves of the commitment to remain unbiased, and effectively lie to the American people.
When a doctor lies to a patient, that doctor can be punished for medical malpractice.
If a lawyer does not perform according to his or hers professional standards, they can be tried for legal malpractice.
The same can be said for financial advisers and stock brokers, who can be punished for professional malpractice.
What happens though when a journalist or a group of journalists do not perform according to their professional expectations?
What happens when journalists do not meet their responsibility?
And moreover, what happens when lies become truth, and when opinions become fact?
Donald Trump rises to the top of the Republican Party with 30 percent of the vote.
There is nothing more important to a democracy than a well informed electorate. When the difference between fact and fiction is blurred, it can lead to calamitous decision making.
It leaves the electorate vulnerable and easily misled, and furthermore it puts the democracy our founding fathers so hardly fought for at risk.
In a way, it is ironic to see FOX News scrambling to distance themselves from Trump’s rhetoric.
After all, he is, like the monster was to Victor Frankenstein, of their own creation.