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James Perloff

Thomas Jefferson said:

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world.

(Letter to John Norvell, June 14, 1807)

Today, of course, mass media takes many forms besides newspapers. But the standards Jefferson spoke of haven’t changed. “Television network newscast” might be substituted for “newspaper” in the above paragraph.

Jefferson further said:

I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.

In a world complicated by many lies, telling the truth is sometimes not enough. It is often important to disprove the lies – especially ones that, through the psychological ploy of repetition, have been embedded in the public mind as facts by the corporate media. With the lies washed away, the truth becomes easier to see. The thrust of my writing has been dedicated to clearing away some of these lies.