Thursday, June 24, 2004

A Little More Ranting

Can you tell I'm on a little hiatus with my business?  Don't have another event until the Fourth of July.  When I'm busy, it's like one or two journal entries a week.  Now that I'm home taking a breather for a few days, I'm on the computer for hours.  One or two entries a day.  All this stuff swimming around in my brain...why not spit it out here?  It's my journal, by golly.  Hope you all don't mind reading it...  :-]

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of political discourse in this country. I have to wonder if it’s more awful than it’s ever been, or if it has always been as it is. It’s been a long time since I sat in a US History class…but I remember reading about the "carpet-baggers" of the nineteenth century. A hundred and fifty years ago, without the technology we have at our fingertips today, should have been the political "dark ages." News traveled pretty slowly back then…neither candidates nor voters had access to up to the minute details of world or national events. That fact, I think, served political purposes better than having the information would have. They could just get up in front of a crowd of uninformed people and whip them into an emotional frenzy with meaningless, groundless political rhetoric. Wait…does that sound familiar?

So, what gives? Why is it that, with all the information we should have available to us, politicians still stand on the dais and spout meaningless strings of emotional buzz-words? And we in the audience hang on their every word, jump up and holler when cued, then run home and squander our votes on the basis of very few actual facts? We should be more advanced than that. Information is available to everyone in this country…or is it? Where does most of our information come from? From the news media. How responsible are they in reporting the facts? This question really frightens me. Because if you don’t look below the surface, you would take it for granted that the news media DOES report the facts. Really?

When I was in high school, I enrolled in a journalism class. We were told there were very strict rules as to what "news reporting" was. It was "who, what, when, where, and how." It was NOT "Why?" "Why" was editorialism. How much news do you see, hear, or read anymore that does not have a healthy dose of "why" mixed in with it? Dangerous, dangerous ground. It should not be up to the news media to draw conclusions about the motivations involved in a story, nor even to speculate about them. It’s their duty to give us the facts, and let us draw our own conclusions. Shame on them. Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to change any time soon. Speculation creates sensation, sensation draws the audience, the audience pays the bills. We are being used, plain and simple. The public trust has been violated and shamefully taken advantage of.

Here is my question: Where do we go to get the unbiased facts? Is there an agency, newspaper, radio station, whatever, that will give us the news without any embellishment? In fact, I don’t think they know what "news" is anymore. "News" has come to be defined as anything that will draw an audience…like the stench of rotting flesh will draw flies. We NEED a source of unbiased, untainted information in this country. Unfortunately, I’m sure that only some of us will be interested in it, which is probably why it doesn’t exist. If anyone knows of such a source, I would appreciate hearing about it.

8 comments:

  1. i understand what you're saying. i just want to know the news...not what any reporters "think" about the news. or what their interpretation is...just the news. i want to interpret it for myself.

    unfortunately, i have not found that source either.

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  2. Hi thanks for reading my journal just got into writing it.  Understand how you feel about politics and media as things not good in UK either but maybe not so bad as US.  Have you read or watched Michael Moore (maybe just another bias) but it really does make you think.  Would greatly recommend 'Stupid White Men' and watching 'Bowling for Columbine'.  Guess the truth is somewhere in the middle but at least he has a different voice.  Think we could really do with a Micheal Moore in this county and as certain political elements are still trying to silence him think maybe he is closer to the truth than imaginable.

    I guess in the end it is up to people like us, normal everyday people to change things but don't know about you but I feel there is nothing I can do.  Just feel I would rather not use my vote than vote for the best of a bad bunch.  A Scottish comedian Billy Connelly said it all about politician "Don't vote for anyone who actually wants to be a politician and if you would not drink with them in the pub definately don't vote for them!!!"

    Godd stuff on the journal.

    di

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  3. Finding good reliable news is tricky, and it is the very heart of a democracy, which makes the difficulty in finding it even scarier.  I have to use multiple sources. I start with your basic corporate media, CNN, Gannett  and Knight Ridder papers,  then add the right wing and left wing apologists like Ann Coulter and Al Franken, add some international news primarily from online, keep up with voting records from VoteNote and other sources and every now and then, I just hit overload in trying to discern the real picture from all the different angles.  There are some media outlets I just hate -- Faux News for one, some I love like The Christian Science Monitor, but there isn't a single one that I completely trust.  Right now, I'm in overload and taking a little break from the news. My spirit needs the break, but I fear not knowing, if that makes sense.

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  4. Many things happened years ago that is still going on now. Heck, some of our voting machines are antiquated - literally. I did a research paper for a poli-sci class a couple of years ago, shortly after the Bush/Gore election fiasco. We do not have standardized voting regulations. There's a Federal agency that provides "guidelines" but it's each state's right to conduct the voting as they see fit. In addition, that wasn't the first election where the popular voted candidate was not the one to become president. Shoot as recent as Nixon's election there were allegations of voter fraud and misrepresentation as there was in Florida. As far as news goes, I think it takes reading a lot of different ones with a skeptical eye then using your own judgement to make a decision. Also going to source documents helps too, an example would be the speech Bush gave at the U.N. where he said that we had proof of WMDs. :::shrugging::: Not much help, I realize. Sorry! :-) ---Robbie

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  5. I don't think I get unbiased facts *anywhere.  But, at least being aware of that is a step in the right direction.  If you're always reading things with a grain of salt, you won't be surprised if you hear the rest of the story makes it sound different.

    But, I admit to purposely reading biased things at time.  You know, editorials with a liberal slant.  But I don't pretend like they're objective.

    I can always tell when I"m reading something with a conservative slant, too.  I think it's the stomach acid...  lol.

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  6. I try to look at voting records on certain issues, watch for patterns, but I hardly have the time to do that on a national level,  much easier to do here on the State level.  I ignore the printed material as much as possible.  Kristi

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  7. hestiahomeschoolJune 25, 2004 at 1:45 PM

    Lord, you said it.  I feel so used and manipulated. I feel like that every time I watch the news,and then when I don't watch the news I worry that I am sticking my head in the sand.  I do like this site http://www.unknownnews.net/
    love, Kas

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  8. The only comment I wish to make about your famous or infamous journal entry is this:  YOU HAVE OUTSTANDING JOURNALISTIC ABILITY.  If you have a story to tell you really should be thinking about your own personal contribution to the "wonderful world of Journalism."  IN OTHER WORLDS, YOU SHOULD BE IN PRINT.  

    So, why aren't you?  Think about it!
     

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