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War, Winston Churchill said, is too important to be left to the generals.
True enough. It can also be said that war is too important to be left to Presidents…or Congress…or to politicians.
While we're on the subject of what should be left to whom, let's conclude that politics is far too important to be left to either politicians or journalists.
Thomas Jefferson saw a free press as a necessary check and balance to the arrogance of government but that check fails when the press itself is not free.
Today's media is, for the most part, corporate owned, bureaucratically-controlled and intellectually dishonest. Even today's so-called "independent" web-based media is mostly driven by business plans, fat cat venture capitalists and philosophical constraints.
When business controls journalism, business concerns control the news. A handful of media companies control the nation's newspapers, television stations and radio outlets.
Time to change that. Time to put news back in the hands of ordinary citizens who are fed up with the status quo. Time to take "citizen journalism" off the table of panel discussions and put it into the hands of, well, citizens.
That's why Capitol Hill Blue this weekend opened up its web site to any reader who wants to blog and become a citizen journalist. You don't need to agree with the philosophy of the owner of this web site. I own this place and I don't subscribe to any party or philosophy anyway. You don't have to belong to any political party or subscribe to any particular philosophy. You just need to be a concerned citizen who wants to take part in a revolution against the status quo.
Our blogs are open to Republicans, Democrats, lefties, righties, independents, liberals, conservatives or political agnostics.
We want to spark discussion – open, honest discussion – into the many problems this nation faces as we head into the November Presidential election.
We want to know what's going on out there in America – not filtered through a television newscast or a pundit's column but from you – the citizen in the street, the person most affected by what happens in the voting booth in 11 months.
Will it work? Heck, I don't know. I'm reminded of a quote in the movie, Citizen Kane, when Kane's guardian, frustrated by the millions Kane is willing to lose in his newspaper "whim," asks: "Charles is this any way to run a newspaper?"
To which Charles replies: "I don't know how to run a newspaper. I just try anything I can think of."
Some warn me that this idea will fail because opening the site up to the masses, they say, is "doomed to fail because it will turn into a mob instead of a movement."
Perhaps. I'm hoping it doesn't and I'm willing to gamble it won't.
The end result depends on you – the readers of Capitol Hill Blue.
Join us. Let's prove the naysayers wrong.