Advice to the Free Press …

I wrote a post last night that was intended to occupy this space this afternoon.  It was a blowing-off-steam rant, and while it might have felt good to write, and while you might have declared “Hear! Hear!!!” upon reading it, it was of little or no value other than as a vent for my own angst.  So, I scrapped it … well, actually I still have it and you may yet see it one of these days, but just not today.

Robert ReichInstead, I came across this video clip by former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, that I think has far more value than my rant.  Reich served under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, and has been the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley since January 2006.  He speaks with reason rather than rants, reminding me much of our friend Keith.

In September 2015, his book Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few was published. In it, he warned that widening inequality would generate a blue-collar backlash that could take the form of a demagogue who blames immigrants and minorities for the growing economic stresses felt by the working class.  Sound familiar?

Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Reich has produced a number of articles and short videos explaining the dangers he believes lie ahead under Trump and his team of wealthy cohorts. In this particular video, he offers 9 points of advice to the free press that I find to be both reasonable and imperative for the press to observe if they are to remain relevant in this “Era of Trump”.

The video is short, just 2 minutes 34 seconds, and I really hope you will all take the time to watch, for although you and I are not writing for The Washington Post or the New York Times, we are writing for a public audience, our voices, albeit small, are heard, and we have a responsibility also.  So, without further ado, I give you Mr. Robert Reich …

39 thoughts on “Advice to the Free Press …

  1. Jill, many thanks for being included in the same paragraph as Robert Reich. His message is data driven and experienced. We need more and louder voices like his. Unfortunately, as I noted on your next post, it cannot get into the closed information sourcing for Trump followers. He told them only to listen to him and everyone else is lying about him. That sounds like a con artist doesn’t it? Keith

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    • I consider that you are in a league with Robert Reich, my friend. I only wish your voice reached as many as his does. I agree that we need many more like him, but I also agree that his voice does not likely reach those who most need to hear it. It’s rather like I feel sometimes, and as Hugh has said to me more than once … I am spitting into the wind, preaching to the choir. But still, we give it our best … maybe we make a little bit of difference somewhere along the line, make somebody think about something in a different way.

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  2. In September 2015, his book Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few was published. In it, he warned that widening inequality would generate a blue-collar backlash that could take the form of a demagogue who blames immigrants and minorities for the growing economic stresses felt by the working class.

    I’ve been an admirer of Reich for a long time. There were voices sounding this same alarm bell, including myself, even before 2015; although, very few listened to us. It is certainly no consolation to have been proven correct after the fact.

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  3. Even so, these talking heads. Really make profit off of public opinion. Their CV’s and job credentials, etc. Is how they make a living. Gotta pay the grandkids education or some other drain, that necessitates book tours and radio interviews as part of the circus, … I guess? When did anyone pay you to come and give a talk? Yet, I’m sure it would have as much insight, as any other? I expect I’m being uncharitable? Cheers Jamie

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    • There are big wages earned by those in PR media and reporters on national newspapers , but the media is just like any other business and the manipulation of public opinion is vital in the modern world. We need to keep our eye on who is doing the manipulation and what is the intention behind the information. Is it to make the world a better place for the struggling masses ? or just a money spinner.

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