Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Out of Control Media

I do not know what is worse: the fact that the media is power hungry and trying (successfully) to run this country, or that people actually buy into the crap that spews forth from the foul media mouth.

a) The media currently has unprecedented power. No previous time in our American history has the media exerted as much control as they now have. If you take an honest look at things, the media is basically choosing the next president. How, you may ask? Well, answer a few short questions and you will come to the answer that lies in plain sight.

How do citizens decide who to vote on? Most people would like to vote a president into office that share their own convictions and beliefs. That seems normal and reasonable.
But how do you know what a candidate believes? Most people ask other people they trust as well as getting information from THE MEDIA.
How does the trusted friend get information about the candidates? THE MEDIA (unless the trusted friend personally knows the candidate or the candidates friends - but then that friend would be biased).
Where does the media get their information? Most of them do research, but some of them rely on the research of OTHER reporters in THE MEDIA.
How does the media decide what information to give the public? Ahhhhh, here is the crux of the problem...

Indeed the media does not give all of the information they find during their research. They give the information that is necessary to make the point they are trying to make. They leave out all (or most) other "non relevant" information. But who decides what information is relevant or not? Yes, THE MEDIA. (aka. the reports themselves, their editors, their executives). The media is so good at spinning, that they can make anyone look good or bad, favorable or unfavorable. If the media doesn't like someone, they can smear the person to try to discredit him/her. If they like someone, they can make the person look like a superhero. (Although too much over the top might cost the media its credibility, so they better say "critical" things occasionally in order to appear unbiased.)

b) People believe most of the stuff that comes out of the media WITHOUT questioning it. It seems that nobody wants to do any research into the media's sources. There are very few people willing to put in the time and work required to "look behind the veil" of the media and see all the information and data to make sure that the media is not being biased.

It is much easier to simply trust that the media has the common good in mind and would not abuse their power and influence people in a biased fashion. who wants to do all that research themselves? Who has the time to do it? Easier to let someone else look into things. There are groups out there that do that, aren't there? Surely they would blow the horn on biased news agencies, right? Yes and No - I wish things were only that simple. In the end, it is easier to just believe the media.

OK, people know that the media is biased. So what? I'll just listen to the stations that share my perspective on things. Then I don't have to listen to people who disagree with me. But then won't I hear only ONE SIDE of the story? Well, let's not talk about that... I don't like those other people and I certainly don't want to hear their opinions (note that my choice stations report "news" and the other stations report "opinions"). So how will you know the whole story? Multiple stations are reporting the same thing, so it must be true and unbiased.

But what if multiple stations (aka the media) is exerting a unified power over the people? Whatever, that can't possibly happen. (can it?)

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