If there’s one area in this country that shows how blind and naive it’s citizenry is to the organizations that influence it the media is number one. Some people would say that government is number one, but I disagree. Let me ask you a question; which one has more of an influence on you? It seems to me that now more than ever the media is the single biggest influence on this country and it’s citizens, and thus has a lot of power. Power to entertain, to inform, to promote agendas, to form and sway opinion, even to create and destroy policy, procedure, and people.
In times past, I believe the media was more a reflection of our society than what it is today. I believe the media of today has taken on the role of not only being a reflection of what is seen in society, but is now creating what is seen in society. Do you see the difference? It’s the difference between looking into a normal mirror and a funhouse mirror. In one you see an accurate representation of what is placed in front of it; in the other you see a distortion of it that is barely recognizable. I believe that this comparison is illustrative of the media of yesteryear and the media of today.
Think about it. How much of what you see on t.v. is truly reflective of your life. Examine it a little more closely. Is t.v. an accurate reflection of you, or are you and the life you lead more a reflection of it? For those of us who are older (of which I’m one) it’s easier to see the shift in the media of yesteryear and the media of today, and it’s ability to accurately portray it’s presentation of what it sees, and reflects back to us. How many times have you watched or read something in the media that you later found out wasn’t true?
Do me a favor. Close your eyes, take a minute, and travel back in time to when you were a kid watching your favorite t.v. show. Got it? Okay, now go back to when your were a little older and started watching the news on t.v. and actually being interested in it. You not only watched the local news, but the national news. Now come on back to reality. In your opinion, how has the media changed? More importantly, how has it changed and formed you?
Make no mistake. The media of t.v. is a far different animal than it was when I was a kid. The puppy I used to sit, watch and play with, and that I enjoyed so much has morphed into the wolf little red riding hood encountered in the classic fairytale just waiting, looking for, and ready to seize every opportunity to destroy if given a chance. I realize that this statement isn’t going to be a popular one, and that there are few who will probably agree with it, but think about it.
As an example, look at the national news. The national news is a 30 minute broadcast. In each program you may have up to 15 stories, or more, often with a sound bite accompanying it of a few seconds duration. What do you think the odds in Vegas are of every story being 100% true and unbiased? If the news media is so trustworthy then why do so many of them report the same stories with different facts, and why do some report stories that others don’t show at all? Let me give you an illustration. The other night none of the major news networks reported this story about a woman in the wall street protests out in California that made anti-semtic remarks on air, but Fox news did. My question is why did three networks ignore it, and one air it? Last of all why is the word “slant” so often used in journalism, as in how to slant a story. The definition for slant is: “To present so as to conform to a particular bias or appeal to a certain audience.”
I find it reprehensible that the media in this country has taken the role of creating and manipulating truth rather than presenting it as it is. They talk about freedom of speech, and pursuit of truth, and yet fail to do them with integrity, and the result is a view promoted and distorted by hipocracy. The media that cries about it’s constitutional rights and privileges has failed the very thing it should hold in highest regard. It’s promotion, presentation, and portrayal of truth and its’ freedom to pursue it.