Friday, July 14, 2017

Just What is Fake Media?

Everywhere I look these days, I see someone write about the fake media. "I don't trust the media," they say.

"It's all fake," they say.

Just out of curiosity, how long have you not trusted the media?

Was it before our current president started calling it fake news?

Maybe it was when Fox came to town and changed the dialogue to one of opinion instead of facts?

Was it when Dan Rather broke the story about George Bush's lackadaisical service in the Texas Air National Guard,  and was then ran out of broadcasting? (A story that to this day has never been proven true or false, by the way.)

Do you not trust the media because big corporations own most of it?

Maybe it's because Judith Miller at the New York Times reported about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq - weapons that the federal government insisted were there?

Is it because Rachel Maddow is one of the smartest person on the planet? Or may you simply think she's overrated?

Do you only mistrust MSNBC and CNN, or do you include ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX in your "fake news" mantra?

Do you mistrust the White House page on Facebook, which as of today has turned into a massive propaganda machine, the likes of which even Edward Louis James Bernays (November 22, 1891 − March 9, 1995), an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda, who is often called "the father of public relations," would applaud and Hitler would salute? Or do you trust that?

Do you trust newspapers more than TV, or the other way around?

Do you trust Rush Limbaugh over someone else? Why would you trust the opinion of a single person, regardless of who he/she is, over anyone else, anyway?

I used to be in the media, so I am genuinely curious. People tell me all the time they don't trust the media, but I have yet to have anyone explain to me exactly why they don't trust it.

"Because I think it is one-sided/liberal" is not a good answer unless that can be backed up with fact, and so far no one has been able to back it up with facts, at least, not to me. Just because someone doesn't like what the media reports doesn't make it one-side or leaning in one direction. Just because one reporter messes up doesn't make it all wrong.

The media is not liberal, that's simply opinion, an opinion that's been chanted long and loud for far too long, but still not a fact. Determining whether something is liberal or conservative is opinion, not fact, because that's what the political divide is, opinions. Facts count. Opinion doesn't. We live by opinion these days and look where it's getting us. But it facts (and science) bring us the Internet and radio waves and TV. Not opinion.

Opinion doesn't do anything except make people's stomach's hurt and create bad policy. So what are the facts that make you not trust the media?

Even people that I have known a long time, people who have for years handed off stories to me from various news sources they trusted, no longer trust the media. Is this simply because one person says the news is fake?

I trust the media. Maybe I am in a minority here, and I understand that journalists are at the mercy of editors and owners and therefore they are constantly being undermined by big money and that stories are buried and changed based on dollar bills and not facts. I know this.

I also know that if one reads (which, apparently, most Americans do not), then you can read stories from multiple news sources and anyone with an IQ above 90 can figure out that if the story reads the same everywhere, it's a press release and probably not to be trusted, but if it has been researched and told differently from various sources, then the key things that are the same - names, dates, places, for instance - are probably true.

That isn't to say that journalists don't make mistakes, but I think that most journalists, even the highly paid ones, try to bring truth to the newsroom. I do not think journalists themselves set out to deliberately mislead. I think politicians try to use journalists to deliberately mislead, and it sometimes happens. I had it happen once myself and was incredibly unhappy with the politician who used me thusly. I no longer consider him a trustworthy person, though he seems none the wiser.

I know many people will disagree with me, even friends, but I do not think the media is the enemy. I do not think government, as an entity in and of itself, is the enemy. But I do think that certain individuals within the government, and within the media, may be the enemy. Apparently people can no longer tell the difference between an entity and an individual. And therein lies the problem.

1 comment:

  1. News, fake or not...
    Politicians using journalists for their agenda instead of printing the truth.... or printing the truth in spite of politicians...
    Whatever it is, at least people, some people, will start to question things and start conversations Some even research for the truth. Then the first amendment goes into play and we have democracy and free speech at it's best or worst... it's up to us to decide which.....then it becomes free will.
    Problem is ... nothing is free, there is always a price to pay. We just have to hope that the price isn't too high ....

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