With Biden and Ryan’s debate behind us, the nation is still asking, “What happened to Obama?” in his first debate and can he fix it in the next round?

In thinking back: America saw 90 minutes of both presidential candidates, side by side, unfiltered from media interpretation. That reality-experience rocked politics.

The next day, headlines such as “Emperor Obama: He Wears No Clothes,” flashed across the nation (unionleaders.com).

Then we’re told, by corrupted media, it was because “Romney lied?” Really? Or did he simply use his own words to tell who he is? I’m thinking we saw truth against spin in a stall.

What we take from this: Our America suffers immensely because of our failed media. You think it’s fun to have media bias behind your candidate, whom ever he/she is? How foolish you are. The price could cost us our take-for-granted-freedoms.

The wise, desire media exactly in the middle, issuing unbiased information including the two sides of every story and let me tell you folks — there are always two-plus sides. Always. Then, we, the voters make the choices, not spinners, not big money. We are the last line of defense.

Biased media on the team of a candidate clothe the story in their agendas, which causes their favorites to get lazy and forget to do their own due-diligence. Once elected, this big lie converts into our national policy. It makes one sick to her stomach.

Obama has had this advantage, or one might say in regards to the debate, disadvantage for years. Old media has been his PR team. They hide the ugly stuff and promote hype then seek to destroy any who oppose him.

In the old days, and I know all about those days, having been in the news media for years, the old guard news directors demanded personal fact checks and balanced stories. To do less could get a foolish reporter a solid reprimand and perhaps a pink slip.

And, up-line, where corporate crunched the numbers when it came to profits, those boys knew not to dabble on the news side. It was sacrosanct.

News media 101: “Free press” means without interference, without deliberate bias. It was established by our forefathers as the watch dog. The media is expected to criticize, dig, sort, compare and bring to light actions from the darkest corners regardless of who sat in those corners.

Why was this important? Because our Founding Fathers saw what happens in countries where government controls information.

The Web is an amazing resource. But, beware there’s all kinds of talk about Presidential and/or U.N. control of cyberspace.

So, it’s simple. Responsibility for gathering unfiltered information is up to us; to be our own fact-checkers. I easily check upwards of two dozen sources daily and more when I’m writing. If a phone call’s needed, I make it. Beware again, in case you haven’t noticed, popular Web fact-checks are corrupt.

How do we sort thousands of sites? First, know yourself. What do you stand for? For me, a candidate must hold firm to founding principles, which have guided this nation’s greatness; he/she must support a strong national defense and reject foreign intrusion into our laws and must choose personal freedoms over a bigger government. I trust very few to filter that information for me.

If those are the candidate’s values, I’m in. Otherwise, he is simply “wrapped in the veneer of celebrity sophistication,” (nationalreview.com). Maybe that’s why, at the debate, Obama came across as an “empty chair.”

• Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix television news anchorwoman.

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