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Impact of the Media and Mark Twain
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Mark Twain wrote the following about the impact of the media upon impressionable minds (not just the young, but the poorly educated as well):

When a drinker is trying to reform, we hasten to put the bottle out of sight when he enters our house--for we know the transcendent force of suggestion; when the gambler is trying to reform we keep the cards out of his sight; the law closes the mails against salacious books, lest they get into the hands of the young and undermine their morals. Then--isn't it strange!--we open the mails every day to 2,000 newspapers, and privilege them to incite the impressible young, and many evil-minded adults among millions of readers, to think poisonous thoughts, and imagine unwholesome scenes and episodes, and meditate [upon] deeds perilous to themselves and to society. And to this unwisdom we add the public court, and thus do our very best to utterly complete the debauching of the public mind, and at the same time totally defeat certain of the very ends for which the courts have been established.

Talk radio and certain television news channels spew forth their bile, their twisted and ignorant views. As with all propaganda, enough repetitions and fantasy is taken as fact. After all, it was repeated by an authority figure, citing another, wasn't it? And opinion becomes news, taken as fact.

Mark Twain's suggestion was, for a month or two, to cease promulgating this evil speaking and see if it made a difference. A very sound suggestion, but impractical.

But what if media outlets were required to publish only verifiable facts? And not pick and choose among those facts, but air them all? Would that make a difference?

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