*Especially if it leans a certain political way.
Herein lies my issue with the Newseum, an expensive D.C. museum that promotes expression of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (namely, Freedom of the Press) and telling through exhibits the evolution of communication in the United States. On that former point the museum falls victim to its own media bias; and on the latter the museum seems all over the place.
Anna Grace wanted to visit the museum, fair enough. I plunked down the $40 USD for the two of us, and we spent a couple of hours with the exhibits.
The story behind the fall of the Berlin Wall was familiar to her, having spent the last seven formative years of her life in Central Europe. Still, little trivia like the borrowed pen with which Mikhail Gorbachev inked his final act (his had run out of ink, no irony there), signing over the now former Soviet Union’s arsenal to Russia fascinated her.
The exhibit devoted to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. is well done. Given that she was barely two months old when the attacks occurred, this is the same history to her as WWII history is to me. The pages below are from the edict issued for the, “Last Night,” for the terrorists, and translated by the FBI, along with international headlines from the following day.
In other matters of terrorism, a small space was given to Rolling Stone magazine’s glamorizing of the Boston Marathon Bomber of 2013.
Also in the “Terrorism” Gallery, the current FBI’s Most Wanted List.
Within the museum is a lengthy gallery with original newspapers from noteworthy days in history. This page is from a 1765 Boston Gazette, writing about the Stamp Act. We all know what happened shortly thereafter.
In a nod to the press actually doing their job, this punny ad was also on display.
Rather curiously the museum devoted a section to what they deemed, “The Digital Disruption of News,” to include criticism of (mostly conservative) news bloggers. The gallery included videos of late-night comedy shows poking fun at, you might have guessed, conservative politicians.
And toward the end, an exhibit on “First Dogs” (not that we minded), but see what I mean about the museum being all over the place?
If the Newseum toned down its bias it would be well worth the ticket cost. Then again, Anna Grace experienced this bias for herself and it gave her pause. Over lunch we talked about a number of current events that dominated her personal news feed and her “belief” in what she was reading. Perhaps the $40 was money well spent, after all.