Posted by: hillary210 | July 10, 2009

On De Tocqueville

As De Tocqueville wrote,  “I approve of [the liberty of the press] from a consideration more of the evils it prevents than of the 

advantages it ensures.”

 

I would have to question De Tocqueville’s statement by reversing it: I approve of the freedom of the press from a consideration more of the advantages it ensures than the evils it prevents. I wonder about De Tocqueville’s take on the USS Maine and the Spanish-American War situation, a war basically fueled entirely by the media. I understand that there have been instances where the free press did indeed prevent evil, however aren’t the advantages of a free press (IE freedom of speech) a requisite to the prevention of evil (via the press) in the first place? The media wouldn’t be able to question the government’s authority, point out flaws, analyze events, etc. in a way that reveals truths that ‘prevent evil’ if the right to free speech was not ensured to begin with.

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