As someone who worked in news, I found the #FAKENEWS movement particularly troubling. Growing up, we watched the evening news on the television every night and read newspapers. The first amendment exists to protect the media from retribution for covering stories – good or bad. The news media has been responsible for exposing illegal and heinous acts across the globe. Through video, words and photographs, it allows us to see, almost immediately, what is happening.
When I worked at ABC News, I sent out letters stating that as an impartial news organization, we could be perceived as working in association with other parties. I also wrote for FoxNews.com. I defended the news media for a long time about fake news, but through my experience as a legally qualified candidate for a federal office, I must admit my disappointment.
The fact that the news media has biased its coverage of the elections to only cover Democratic and Republican candidates just destroys everything I held true about journalism and news. The FCC states, “rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest." The news media must report about all legally qualified candidates… including Independent or other third party candidates. Partisan politics is destroying our country. This is “narrowcasting” versus “broadcasting.” Local news media has been negligent in doing the job that the public has entrusted them with: delivering the news. Investigating facts and reporting on it.
In my heart, I do believe in journalistic integrity. In my profession, in science, we learn about trying to minimize BIAS. It is a hard thing to do well. Remain neutral. Be impartial. However, even before the days of the internet… where clicks are counted, ratings were important for broadcast television along with sales of magazines and newspapers.
Let’s face it, our economy is driven by money. The media earns revenue in order to continue to exist. People’s salaries need to be paid. So, the question remains, what is the driving force behind the news on a national or local level? The media is quick to report about the co-mingling of money between industry and politicians, but do you know where the largest percent of campaign money is spent? In the media. Commercials. Television, radio, print… even online. Those who pay for airtime, get it.
So, when WE THE PEOPLE complain about politics being for sale… know that it is. This is why the media is so hesitant, if not resistant, to giving independent candidates any news coverage. It is their way of creating bias by working with those who pay for advertising. In NJ’s 4th Congressional District, 45% of the voters are unaffiliated with any party. THIS IS THE MAJORITY and those people deserve equal NEWS coverage of all legally qualified candidates. PERIOD.
Sad to say, the media is an active participant in fake news. In fact, they may be the number one catalyst for the partisan vitriol we are experiencing right now. I’ve been trained as a medical journalist and find it incredibly frustrating that while running for political office, despite being a breath of fresh air and a unique candidate, the news media has pretty much ignored my story because I have not purchased my way in. I'm not in it for power or political favors. I entered into this for participatory government as our founders intended. No ego. No greed. Just because I have lived my life helping others. Altruism is honorable and should be encouraged. Perseverance and old-fashioned campaigning should be celebrated. Clearly, I am not buying my way into politics. Shame on the media for contributing to that mentality.
Now, it’s time to tell the truth. Vote for change on November 6th. If elected, I’ll bring back the Fairness Doctrine to prevent media propaganda from continuing to destroy our country. Vote for the person, their skill set, their life experience, honesty, relatability, ideas, ability to tackle those problems legislatively that impact your life tly versus a partisan party puppet.