"There are three estates in Parliament but in the Reporters' Gallery yonder there sits a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. It is not a figure of speech or witty saying, it is a literal fact, very momentous to us in these times."
Edmund Burke
(1729-1797) Irish-born British statesman, parliamentary orator, and political thinker
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We hold this truth to be self evident.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The Fourth Estate; the news media; those that report and keep honest record. This quality is far more important in these times. Burke is speaking of the freedom that the press must have; to be unfettered by political, corporate or even social influence; something that is so painfully lacking in the modern press.
     -- L. Hanson, Edmonton, Canada     
    To coin an old boxing term, the news media are bobbing and weaving in support of the current administration.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
     -- watchman 13, USA      

    Reality precludes a higher rating. Burke's is a worthy observation from a long departed past. Truth embodied in his thought may indeed be evident, but the importance of the Fourth Estate as cited in the quote has little actual presence in the current mass-media paradigm.

    Except for irreplaceable gems like Sy Hersh, the publicly suspicious Press Corps of yore is now mostly gone from D.C., replaced by primped, stylized, earnestly assiduous TV stenographer-interviewers, talented script-readers. Mainstream reporting on policy and economics is pure propaganda in large measure, well supported by lies of omission and naked disinformation.

    When it comes to the world's two foremost working journalists, one is in Russia, in exile and in great danger from resident U.S. "Embassy Officials", aka CIA jackals.

    The other just completed his 3rd year of house arrest in a London Embassy. He's in grave danger too, should he ever set foot outside the Ecuadoran door.

    English authorities have even threatened to storm the Embassy and arrest Julian Assange, in complete defiance of international law and national sovereignty.

    Then there's the West's last genuine NEWSpaper publisher, The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger. He's being actively threatened with charges of treason, also by the British government, for publishing Edward Snowden's revelations.

    Snowden, of course, informed the world that George Orwell's 1984 was really just government-secret-police-surveillance-chump-change ... at least when compared to the scared, run amok Power Structure's satellite-video-phone-computer-drone-informant-based network is.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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