Saturday, October 21, 2017

36.3 - Not Good News: Americans increasingly ignorant of Constitution and ready to jettison free press

Not Good News: Americans increasingly ignorant of Constitution and ready to jettison free press

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found that nearly half of voters, 46 percent, believe the news media fabricate - just make up out of thin air - news stories about TheRump and his administration, a figure that includes 76% of GOPpers, 44% of independents, and 20% of Democrats. And that doesn't even include the "undecideds," who are in effect saying "maybe they do." Maybe they just get in a room and just make stuff up about poor beleaguered TheRump.

Well, what should be do about such terrible lies? According to a poll from The Economist from a couple of months ago, they should be punished, as a majority of GOPpers and a plurality of independents in the poll agreed that courts should be able to fine news outlets that publish "biased or inaccurate" stories and even Democrats only managed a roughly even split on the question. Worse, significant minorities, including nearly 20% of Democrats, said in such a case the courts should be able to shut down a media outlet.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised by these frightening results: Last month, the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania reported on the results of a survey of Americans' knowledge of the Constitution.

Among the results:
- 53 percent incorrectly think that undocumented immigrants do not have any rights under the Constitution;
- 37 percent can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment and only 3 percent can name all five (speech, religion, press, assembly, and petition); and
- only 26 percent can name all three branches of the federal government.

Everybody go out and get a copy of Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm - and read it.

Not Good News? Really Depressing News is more like it.

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