Dr. Larry Burriss

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) --  For as long as I can remember I’ve had an idea for a science fiction story about journalists. In the story we live in a world where journalists can do anything they want in pursuit of a story: lie, cheat steal, even murder. Of course, all of their stories are truthful, complete and accurate, so I guess there is some kind of trade-off.

Now, I find my fantasy story may not be as far-fetched as I had perhaps imagined.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT) --  There’s an old, old saying that you can run but you can’t hide. And a corollary for the Internet age is that you shouldn’t post anything anywhere that you wouldn’t want you grandmother to see.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. --  Remember when Sergeant Joe Friday used to say “Just the facts”?  And remember when the heart of journalism was gathering facts and then writing a story based on those facts?  But what is supposed to happen if the reporters working on a story know the facts they are being given are wrong?  Should they challenge the source?

    That was the question a New York Times editor posed recently, asking if reporters should openly challenge public officials’ misleading claims.  The public seems split on the answer, but the quick answer is:  no.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn. --  Almost everyone agrees that broadcasters should be prohibited from broadcasting “indecent” material.  And Federal Communications Commission rules, in fact, ban such broadcasts.  So let me ask you this:  What, exactly, is “indecent” material?

    This is the issue argued last week before the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case that challenges how the government regulates indecent broadcasts.  Note that the issue is not if the government can regulate such material rather, the question deals with how the rules are enforced.


MURFREESBORO, Tenn.  --  At the moment former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich appears to be leading other republican presidential contenders in the polls. I say “for the moment,” because by the time I finish writing these comments someone else may very well be the front runner.

A couple of my friends have noticed, with some chagrin, that everyone, including the media, seems to delight in attacking the front runners. The Japanese have a phrase for this sort of behavior: the nail that sticks up is the one that gets hammered down.