Public Notice: Antidote to Fake News

img_5094Politicians have always understood that public notice is the enemy of falsehood. The relentless march against its implementation has never been so unrelenting as in New Jersey.

A case in point was so noted recently in a column mention in the December 19 New York Times when Jim Rutenberg reported that my former employer The Star-Ledger was once again doing battle with the state’s governor who was fast-tracking a bill to end legal notice in print newspapers.

The paper’s editors claimed the bill’s intent was to “defang the watchdogs who expose their (governments) bad behavior.” Chris Christie, the governor of said state, and most recent object of some national scrutiny, probably would like a little less exposure.

Public notice is the first, best guard the representative democracy has against fake news, bad or good facts, bad or good governance. It seems like we are just now getting around to the basic sense the founding framers built into our framing documents and our first session of our first congress.

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