OPINION: In Support Of Free Press

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It’s been a while since I’ve read so balanced and honest an editorial in defense of free speech and free press (“A Letter To The Editor Is One Person’s Opinion,” Sept. 15, 2018). Congratulations and thank you.

As every conscious citizen already knows and ought to acknowledge, attacks on both speech and press are generated and promulgated at the highest level of our government. Virtually all news outlets are fake news (including The Brick Times, of course, after publishing a letter about impeachment). Fox and kindred propaganda machines get a pass…or rather, praised, as they applaud and instruct their most faithful fan.

In effect, the roiled and offended supporters of the power-that-be will do whatever they can to suppress free speech whenever it impacts their leader in a negative way. Tweets have also been abundantly employed, cascading like a mighty Niagara.

I believe this support is well organized and strategically mobilized against free press and free speech that is unsupportive or critical of the leader. I learned this truth the hard way. I used to check the online comments following various letters I submitted over the years to the Asbury Park Press. I noted that the contents of my letters were usually not even challenged. The multitude of ad hominem rants included a few that called for my lynching, with one individual offering to bring the popcorn. This animus against me personally was multiplied by a routine “piling on” of attacks with nary a whimper or objection from people who may have thought as I did. Effectively, most reasonable people simply yielded the battlefield of Facebook and other “antisocial” media platforms to a rising surge of disdain for or indifference to facts, full adoption of and obsession with axiomatic “might over right” – “brawn over brain” – “surface beauty over inner substance.”

Virtually every quality I learned in religion and seminary and believed to be a virtue reversed roles with its anti-virtue doppelganger. Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth were transmuted into desirable virtues. Their opposites, once considered virtues, became worthless waste in this new zeitgeist.

Forgive me. This started as a sincere and simple note of praise but then it got sidetracked.

Please continue your good work.

Nicholas S. Molinari


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