Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Believe what you read

Related imageTruthful political reporting may never be a reality within our lifetime. We have grown accustomed to a vial level of disparagement within politics and those instances have been around since the very first candidates vied for favor and support.  The problem now is not in the lie but in how many accept those lies as reality.

When Meryl Streep (Gummer) spoke out against Trump she made an impassioned plea toward, what looked like to her, an obvious attack of a reporter’s disability.  The problem was that she only looked and saw what she wanted to see or more likely what others wanted her to see.

Our country has been an active participant in negative campaigning from the very onset of the campaign process.  Jefferson and Adams  (two of our illustrious founders) swapped barbs so filled with vitriolic venom that in comparison to Trump and Hillary our current politics would be considered tame and timid, nothing more than kindergarten insults. But even that’s not true. You may want to read your history, just be careful what you read.

The problem is not in the exchanges but in the overall acceptance of these untruths and the level of depravity that promulgates these obvious lies and half-truths.  Within modern news media, the ability to swarm and inundate has become an art form relegated to the political purposes of vesting control away from any semblance of truth toward the total annihilation of that truth, regardless of the consequences or effects their efforts have on another.

News used to be considered the fourth branch of government, with the honorable duty to sift through piles of steaming excrement for the express purpose of finding that shiny, golden nugget of truth.  But that reality has never really existed.  The press portrays themselves as these bastions of righteous purveyors of right and wrong, with the ignoble sentiment of non-profit motivation toward weeding out the truth from the evils of society.

For many, the media is simply the conduit of expression and whatever they say is well within the rights of free speech, not unlike the printing and supporting of outlandish political views espoused by one candidate’s supporters over another.   When did the public begin to believe that the press and the media were unassailable and indisputable?  When, if ever has the media ever been simply a reporting arm of the truth?

The news cycle is nothing more than a means toward ratings and profits and please don’t take this the wrong way, I believe in commerce and in the positive aspects of making a profit for a job well done, what I do not like is the constant barrage of inaccurate information that streams constantly to all of our senses in an endless loop of disparagement and discord.  Profit it seems trumps the truth with only the desire for sensationalism guiding the motivations of these scandalmongers.

Any instance that can be manipulated, excoriated and castigated is sought out and set as the news of the day with only influence and profit as its inspiration.  I understand the pressures of competition and the need to expand and improve but when the means of that expansion is the denigration and vilification of rumor or the manipulation of anecdotal excoriations of another than perhaps it’s not entirely the fault of the media but in those that support, read and accept those words.

Like Meryl Streep, who actually believes what she said, having been deceived and supported to such an extent that any chance for the truth has been forfeit due to the inordinate pressures of her surrounding and political choices.  Here in lies the real tragedy;   due to the media and its hold over the population at large, the news that is delivered is sensational and dramatic leaving everyone who reads it with a taste for more of the same.  It is this endless cycle of demonstrable hyperbole that has always existed that now holds our fate in its grubby and blood stained hands.

There are bits of truth within the media but the majority of the news is embellished and overstated and the public has lost its ability to discern and judge, leaving the media wide open to promote any agenda it sees fit to outperform its competition and manipulate the minds of those who fail to read critically and objectively.

The real tragedy is the repetition of a blindly accepted premise without the benefit of supporting facts and details.  “Don’t believe all you read on the internet” has become a call phrase to be careful what you read, and be more careful of the conclusions you make from what you read.  The same has been true of our media and news outlets, we must show some constraint in what we repeat, what we accept and how we verify what was said or reported.

It may have been reported that if Thomas Jefferson was elected that he would create a nation where “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced”.  But it was never the words of Adams it was his supporters who wanted to be sensational and divisive.  It was the news media who orchestrated and promoted these spurious allegations of immorality and discord.  www.reddit.com/r/badhistory/comments/4m5cok/did_thomas_jefferson_or_his_supporters_really

There may be more direct invocations by the candidates now but they learned from the press how to conduct themselves and in part are forced to play the game within the rules set by the ever present media machine.  But we are to blame for the levels of vitriolic rhetoric that currently exist.  We buy into the news, we accept, often blindly the words espoused from one political view over another.  We are the sheep, surrounded by ravenous wolves, circling our encampments with the intent of total bondage and slavery to their whims and designs.

The wolves are nothing without our support and our acceptance; they are nothing more than figments of internal desires and machinations.  We can continue to huddle in fear or we can shed our sheepish skins, transforming into lions of the desert, ever ready to pounce on those who deceive and mislead.  We may never know the truth in total but we can surely do more to verify our opinions toward a more honest level of acceptance.