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Political parties masquerade as press

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press. Great idea, what could go wrong? Well, in this age of inundating media it turns out that flooding the "news market" with opinion disguised as truth has perhaps given propagandists more than an equal footing. It is like ancient Greece where those who yelled the loudest held the floor. There is no such thing as "alternative facts" only propaganda. We were also taken in by actual foreign powers having no free press, which pulled an electronic version of the Watergate break-in and used our unfettered media to carry out their agenda. This will continue unless we unite against it.

Allowing political parties to convey their version of the news without disclosing the fact that they are a political arm also usurps freedom of press. This is "yellow press” plain and simple. I'm not against them doing it if their moniker is in their title. The factual news needs a disclaimer if it's politically motivated.

Giving a partial "fair and balanced" version doesn't satisfy acceptable truth either; it's still lying and leaves us susceptible to better liars. My guess is that Trump wouldn't be president without these exploitations of the free press.

Dave Freytag

Rapid City

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