President John F. Kennedy Talks About the Free Press

President John F. Kennedy talks to reporters.

A blogging friend of mine said he misses the intelligence, wit, and eloquence of a John F. Kennedy speech. His statement reminded me of a video clip I saw a few years ago, where Kennedy spoke about the free press. I’d been greatly impressed by something he said. Something like… an informed public makes the right decisions.

However, I could never find that video clip again. Until now. Almost. Here’s what I have:

John F. Kennedy Speech to the Press and Media – AUDIO

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City, April 27, 1961

The President and the Press: Address Before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961 – TRANSCRIPT

You can find the transcript of President John F. Kennedy’s full 1961 address to the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum website. Below, is the quote from the speech that stuck in my mind. It’s about an informed public, or more correctly (I now see), about informed citizens.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

— President John F. Kennedy

Can a corporate-owned and corporate-sponsored free press/media serve American people in the unbiased manner that John F. Kennedy envisioned? Can our current news media provide objectivity, particularly on controversial topics, without the support of government regulations like the former FCC Fairness Doctrine (1949-1987)?

If either of the above questions get a “no” response from you, check out Progressive Graffiti’s “Independent Progressive News and Commentary Directory.” I bet President Kennedy would support independent media outlets, if he were alive today.


Published by JoAnn Chateau

Website owner and administrator of “Progressive Graffiti.”

2 thoughts on “President John F. Kennedy Talks About the Free Press

  1. Today we don’t have a skeptical, inquisitive, or opposition mainstream press. Our media parrot government narratives instead of questioning them. Phil Donahue was fired from MSNBC for questioning the reasons for the planned invasion of Iraq even though he had the highest rated show on the network at the time. Similarly, Ed Schultz was forced off his popular MSNBC show for criticizing our international trade agreements. The only place to find critical news reporting and commentary is in alternative media, like on YouTube, but YouTube is no longer a safe place for dissident voices.

    Censorship on YouTube has been going on for at least two or three years and is getting worse as time goes on. Many lefty news and commentary sites have been demonetized (i.e. deprived of ad revenue) or removed completely. Pulitzer prize winner Chris Hedges recently had years of his videos removed. Almost all of them were interviews with authors, scholars, and journalists. The same thing happened to all of Abby Martin’s Empire Files and all of Lee Camp’s videos on his show, Redacted Tonight. All the other lefties on YouTube have seen their ad revenue from YouTube plummet, like 80%. Google has manipulated the YouTube algorithm so that far fewer people see left-leaning videos. Many lefty YouTube show creators have moved to other platforms already, and all of them foresee the day when none of them will even be allowed on YouTube.

    PayPal has recently informed several independent, left-leaning news sites that their accounts were canceled. No reason given. Pressured by the government? Who knows.

    We are returning to the days of the blacklists. Is that Making America Great Again?

    Liked by 1 person

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