Broadcasters often confront organized pressure groups intent on promoting their viewpoints and silencing opposing views. 

Because they are vocal and can arouse negative emotions in people who don't have all the facts, these groups are assuming powers far in excess of what their numbers would suggest.*

Textbook publishing is now a major focus of these groups.


Those Who Don't Know History

" Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

 We're seeing efforts around the world to rewrite history books to make events more agreeable to those in power.

This might not be too surprising in dictatorships that strive to cover up embarrassing events in their country's history.

We expect more from the United States, "the land of the free."

As we point out in banned books, special interest groups try to ban some 500 books in the United States each year.

Just as insidious are attempts to "rewrite" or slant history to agree with political, religious or personal preferences.

Things such as slavery, Indian massacres and the internment of a group of people in the United States during World War II simply because of their race, are being downplayed to a point of only being given a passing nod. In Texas certain historic events and "awkward facts" have been completely deleted from textbooks.

Although these things might be uncomfortable to face, they happened; they are a part of any accurate rendering of history.

An informed citizenry should be wary of ever letting such things happen again.

" We can't have an informed citizenry if historic facts are hidden from future generations."

It seems that for many people freedom of speech as stated in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights too often tend to be limited to only speech and ideas they agree with. The most recent example is the conservative opposition to allowing the Al Jazeera English TV channel into the United States.

Ironically, Burke, who made the statement, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it," is widely viewed as the philosophical founder of modern political conservatism.  

*The writer encountered such a group early in his television career when a group threatened to sue the station if we did not provide them with equal time to air their minority views.

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