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.