As The Connector moves into its ninth year of publication, we will be taking a closer look at the media by exploring First Amendment issues. How *free* should Freedom of Speech be? The First Amendment does not give politicians the right to betray the public trust by intentionally lying. Nor does the First Amendment give permission to broadcast news personalities to intentionally spread incendiary lies that are meant to cause harm and divide the American people.
Proposing greater FCC regulation of the broadcast media is a topic worthy of exploration. So is the concept of censure. This year we will be exploring defamation, with special attention paid to online defamation: slander and libel. Another topic of grave concern is racism. The Black Lives Matter movement has made us more aware of the subtle, not always easily seen, practice of systemic racism. Another project we will be tackling this year is Homelessness. Take a look around. The homeless are everywhere and growing in record numbers.
Tent cities and homeless encampments are cropping up in cities, towns and in rural communities across America. The situation could grow far worse than it is now. The NYT recently reported that over six million people will suffer from eviction or foreclosure within the next few months. We are currently interviewing experts, non-profits and individuals who are helping the homeless. We are intent on showing the magnitude of this problem and to help put an end to the stereotypes and misunderstanding around homelessness. In the midst of the pandemic, over 40 million can displaced if the eviction moratorium is not expanded.
Where is America as a culture? The Connector’s mission has always been to tell the truth by identifying the individuals who deserve recognition. This month Barbara Lloyd McMichael writes about the evolving history of the Department of Justice and past Attorneys General, from Warren G. Harding’s AG, Harry M. Daugherty, to Donald Trump’s AG, William Barr. From hereon, Barbara will write a monthly column, Building Back Better, that focuses on what our leaders are doing to restore the soul and conscience of America. In her column, A More Perfect Union, Annie Searle writes about the most important issues of our times: The Pandemic, The Solar Winds Breach, and Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. For a good chuckle, check out my latest essay, Getting Snowed, about a GOP press summit that I attended when President George W. Bush was running for reelection in 2004.
Take care and stay safe! –Patricia Vaccarino