"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, June 11, 1807,
http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mtj:@field(DOCID+@lit(tj100173))
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Reader comments about this quote:
Most papers today are owned and run by liberals and are sold out lock, stock, and barrel to getting Obama over the finish line. Sad to say that the Republicans won't be much better if elected but Obama and Michelle need to be retired.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same.
     -- Al, DC     
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    "Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle." ~ Indeed it does. If I happen to catch the news on TV or or read a newspaper, it's only to see what propoganda is being pushed today.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    By way of example: where is the media's reporting on the unconstitutional / anti-representative republic / criminal Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin's hit list. In its place is affixed a fable of a peace prize winner's exploits in eliminating enemies to the State.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Plus another half star, as my personal hero Jefferson is only half-right in this observation. Consider: if any given newspaper is indeed an intentionally "polluted vehicle", what would the great Jeff say about the cesspool that is modern TV 'news?' If one is deeply interested in the topic at hand, auditing a newspaper account brings an individual's higher cognitive functions into play as they read. While studying the words, a person's entire range of experience and perspective are simultaneous co-players in judging their value. Deeply involved reading is an information-gathering experience occurring on many levels simultaneously. The same is demonstrably NOT true when the auditor is viewing a video signal. Even so, U.S. print media is indeed a propaganda-replete cesspool all of its own. Still, there's great value to be found in reading English-language foreign newspapers online. One can learn more about the truth of America by spending a single day reading the British dailies, despite their own deep flaws and purveyed propaganda, than in a whole year of consuming U.S. media - video, print or otherwise. For instance, if any of the regular commentators here, all of whom I think are well-intentioned, are unaware of either "The Downing St. Memo" or "The Chilcot Inquiry", your perception of the U.S. invasion of Iraq is a virtual prisoner of intentional deception. Even cursory study of those two BIG stories in Europe, especially in the U.K., reveals how our perceptions are subject to continuous maintenance via naked omissions of vital fact, and nauseatingly repetitive propaganda. If you don't know of these two stories your perceptions are hostage still - so that a very few are enabled to practice High Crimes against humanity and Planet Earth.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    Mann, you make a good point. Propaganda for a specific country is developed in accordance with the conditioning already set in place. Yes, reading the international news from other countries will give one a different perspective than what one can expect in his own country. Something Americans could learn from is seeing the USA from the outside as the rest of the world sees us. The same is true for religion -- it is obvious to all devout Christians that Islam is BS -- but the same is true for the Muslim countries how obviously the Jesus story is a bunch of hooey. The only way to realize truth is to examine one's own beliefs and prejudices objectively -- an uneasy task indeed. Yes, reading is important, Mann, but we are reading more and writing more as a society than ever before. What we need to learn to do is DISCERN. No more promises!! See the world as it is, take the world as it is, and act in accordance with the truth as best one is able -- corrections to come.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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