To the Editor:

“ Just Thinking” (Feb.13 opinion page) claims “there are no checks and balances on America’s media” and the media “has the power to control our mindset, to incite a mob mentality, to influence, change and eventually cement a particular world view.”

We disagree. There has never been a time when the press is more “equitably accessible” – the days of news from a single local newspaper and the evening radio are over. One can choose from hundreds of TV channels and websites representing the entire spectrum of political thought. “Rightwing” identifies “The 50 Most Popular Conservative ” and the same number of progressive websites.

The argument that the media “Control[s] our mindset” seems woefully dated. The editorial assumes citizens are blank slates, devoid a frontal cortex, who imprint only what “the media” says. “How would one accurately describe the state of today’s press?” In contrast to the conclusion, “Power without accountability” we would flip this and maintain accountability is achieved by an informed citizenry who vote their beliefs. It is a convenient non sequitur to conclude that because your candidate did not win, the voting majority are useful idiots.

Regarding the claim, “We have reason for concern when a media truth demonstrates open bias” we suspect the author refers to “truth” from left-leaning media. It is an open question whether right-leaning news is any closer to the truth. While we liked the quotation from Mark Twain that the people are not protected from the press, it is also outdated. “Protection” comes from becoming informed, often requiring multiple sources. We prefer , “The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

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