I love dispelling myths. If you look and listen to what’s around you, you’ll always find a large segment of society, oft-times a majority, that readily accepts what they see in the news or on social media. Sometimes it’s just a matter of accepting without question, a news report, or an opinion on a news report. At other times, those mythical conceptions are born out of listening to the loudest voices. Either way, it is fun (for me) to break down those myths.
There have never been so many “news magazines” on television. Nightline, Frontline, 20/20, 48 Hours, Sixty Minutes and on an on and on. Some are devoted mostly to murder cases but all in all, they deal with exposé of subjects which are both in and out of the regular news. I admit that I have watched all of them, and find them interesting. Like so many other things in the world today, when I see comments on the internet, about a subject such as those news shows, I am shocked at how few people actually “get it”. I mean, how few really get what they are about. I am speaking of both TV news magazines, as well as special news stories done by the so-called regular news. It was P.T. Barnum who said ” there’s a sucker born every minute”.
I can tell by those opinion filled internet posts, just how many people believe that when Sixty Minutes, or Frontline, or for that matter a special report by any of the four daily national networks, or your local news, is truly about reporting the news. Most people seem to think that they sit around their meeting room, and select something that is in the news for their story. They then go out and investigate the story and tell us what they’ve found. If that’s what you think happens, you are in fact, about 10% correct. Any honest member of one of those teams will tell you (some have) that they do indeed sit around that room and decide on an interesting topic. Then they decide what the answer is. Then they go out and look for information and take news footage which will prove their point. Whether it’s the truth or not, is irrelevant. They of course, don’t tell you that. They make a point of making it look like an honest search for the truth, by including a few contrasting points of view within the story line.
Frontline (PBS) recently did a story about concussion producing head injuries, in football, especially the NFL. They were especially concerned with vilifying the NFL. I still watched the show and enjoyed it. I learned some things, but I can tell you without a doubt, that while they were attempting to make the show look fair, it was about proving their own opinions on the NFL, not giving equal consideration to all sides of the argument. In the end, the NFL was in the process of beginning payments to former players already, so the effect the show has, was minimal.
Many, many years ago a news group, I believe it was NBC News, decided to do a story on an ongoing issue with the Ford Pinto. Those cars were at times, bursting in flames from rear-end collisions. A pretty serious matter and it was worthy of a news story. Ford had claimed that the Pinto did not suffer this malady any more than any other car.
NBC (or whoever) bought a Pinto and a junk car and ran the junk car ( without a driver) into the back of the Pinto. It did not burst into flames. It purchased another Ford Pinto and another junker. More speed this time, but no flames. They did it again. Still no fire. So finally, they set an explosive charge (fire bomb) on the back of another Pinto and set it off when the junk car made contact. They were now satisfied and they ran the story. One member of the news team couldn’t take it any longer and divulged (to another news source) what they had done. The so-called investigative reporters defended what they had done. They said they simply added some drama to the facts. What they did, was make sure the end story said what they wanted it to say, damn the facts.
During the 1990s, President Clinton was lobbying for more federal money for public schools. His detractors felt that it is not the federal governments job to do that. Their feelings were that such matters should remain local so the tax payers, had more of a say in it. I seem to remember the story was done by CNN, a cable news network often referred to by the political right as the Clinton News Network. They set out to do a story that showed just how horrible American high schools were. They were not seeking out the truth, only to prove their opinions. They traveled the country from left to right, and up and down, trying to find a high school that looked bad enough to show how bad our schools were. Finally at a school in the Midwest, a local administrator suggested they look at an old room they had which was in the beginning process of reconstruction. It hadn’t been used in years. CNN took lots of pictures and used them on their news story, about the condition of our schools. CNN could have cared less about the truth. They never looked for the truth, and when they found it anyway in school after school, and when it didn’t say what they wanted it to say, they pretended they never saw it. They didn’t care about the truth from the moment they discussed doing the story. They decided they believed that more federal monies should be used for schools, and they set out to foster that result, the truth be damned.
There is indeed a sucker born every minute, don’t be one of them.
The Cost of Gas
I recently put gas in my car, at $1.49 per gallon. It seems to me that the early 1990s was the last time it was that cheap. I and every other consumer in the country is happy to have such an occurrence. Like always though, it causes me to think.
When gas prices are high, which is much of the time, all I hear is how greedy the oil companies are. I hear the chants of how can they make record profits at our expense? I try to keep in mind, that very few Americans (especially younger ones), understand the pricing and purchasing of oil futures, or the laws of supply and demand. They would have to actually be taught those practices by unbiased teachers, who actually understood it themselves, for that to be the case. I do wonder however, where those people ( the profit police) are when prices are low, and oil companies are losing money as they have been in the past year. They seem silent. They are surely now thinking that oil companies have lost their greed, and have become generous. I mean, if the reason there are high gas prices and oil company profits are equally high, is greed, than certainly the reason for low gas prices and oil company losses, is the opposite of greed. Right?
I most enjoy the reactions, or lack there of, of the mainstream portions of the political left. I use to wonder why the press did not call them on that, but then I remembered, that the press themselves are the American left.
I especially enjoy the more extreme political left. They call for the end of greed in the oil industry, so that working people can afford to drive their cars, when prices and profits are up, and then complain that low prices will allow Americans to drive more, causing more pollution and greenhouse gasses to multiply and destroy this good Earth. Sometimes it seems that nothing satisfies that faction of America. I don’t know why because they’re certainly not hypocrites (sarcasm)
I grow weary of the idea that the Constitution of The United States of America, is a document intended to be interpreted with the times. Too many Americans are buying into that fallacy. It is correct that behavior in the world and this country changes and the times need to be constantly examined and understood, but not the Constitution. The root of a totalitarian government never changes. Evil never changes. Justice never changes. Those who suggest that the Constitution means something different every few decades are in the business of excusing crime, immorality and injustice.
The Constitution, was not created for the purpose of making allowances for those who commit crimes, would reinterpret morality, or those who would use government to overstep its boundaries. It was created to stop those behaviors.
The Bible is going through the same indignities, as people interpret it as a means to excuse sin and immorality rather than to condemn it.
Whew!! I feel better now!!
As is always the case with non-photography posts, this one will be moved to the middle of August, where other such articles reside.
God Bless, Wayne