It started with Rupert Murdoch’s 1985 purchase of 20th Century Fox, and with it, Fox News, and the Wall Street Journal. Instead of promoting accurate, objective news, Murdoch chose a philosophy of political manipulation, with fear-mongering and conspiracy theories as the primary themes. This seems to have given other news outlets permission to play fast and loose with the facts. After 1985, television stations manipulated the facts only slightly and occasionally. (Some of you may be aware efforts to present advertisements as news stories.) Light manipulation is no longer the case. The extreme deception and “spin” being applied to the Presidential primaries show we can no longer trust the major media outlets to provide us with anything resembling accurate and objective news.
News anchors and writers rationalize this by saying there is no such thing as objective reporting. All reporting is subjective. While there may be a ring of truth to this, it also provides a great excuse for making “no effort” at objectivity. After dropping the ideal of objectivity, the game simply becomes, how can I manipulate the audience. The rationalization for distorting the news is typically made with an appropriate amount of disdain and contempt, a position of ego perfectly suited for this kind of behavior.
OT Neal provided a possible reason for the contempt underlying their rationalization. He wrote:
The United States now has a new enemy within, and they are the millennials (“Capitalism doomed? Majority of millennials reject system,” April 27 Review-Journal). They are in a deep state of torpor, living their lives through the absurd wisdom of social media. They attend schools and colleges, but emerge as know-nothings who believe they know it all. They don’t like capitalism, and intend to vote — if they can — for socialism.
Millennials are clueless and their time to run this country is coming. God help us. It is sad to see the true American “greatest generation” — World War II Americans — fade away. But it is a blessing that they will not live to see what this arrogant and ignorant generation will do to us…….
It seems Mr. Neal is an old school purist who believes in the rights of the rich to ripoff the poor and middle class, also known as extreme capitalism. Concepts like honesty, moderation-in-all-things, and equal-rights-for-all don’t seem to enter this type of mindset. But then again, it is a comparison, using millennials as the enemy and supporting a position of ego, that is not based on fact, but opinion.
As a general theme these days, news is done on the cheap. Is there any reason we should trust the accuracy of the national news we are presented with? (Local news is usually accurate, because the news staff lives within the community, and is immediately accessible.) Is national news serious news, or is it entertainment? On television, it does seem that personalities have become more important than the actual news. But what happens when the news staff is told by management to promote one candidate over another? How can we trust the news presented to us, if it is being manipulated by CEO’s/the station owners? And the written word is not always honest, either (but it is in writing, and permanent, and people “tend” to be more careful).
The television news media, and some newspapers, openly support Hillary Clinton as “their” candidate, while excluding Bernie Sanders. Associated Press’ coronation of Hillary Clinton prior to Super Tuesday’s primaries is one good example (the goal may have been voter suppression for Bernie supporters). Ignoring the fact that superdelegates don’t vote until the convention, and including the superdelegates “theoretical votes” as part of their count provide two additional examples of major media distorting the news to promote one candidate over another.
Bottom line! National news outlets have become shallow, manipulative, and not worth our time. There are simply better things to do.
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