… and consequences.
My bachelor’s degree is in English and my minor was French. I have always been very interested in language and originally wanted to be an interpreter at the United Nations. (Considering how useless that body has become, I’m glad I changed my mind!)
As a result, I pay a lot (maybe too much) of attention to the words used by the media.
I don’t even know where to begin to assess the words used by the main stream media over the past 20 years or so. One thing I can be certain of is that “fake news” is not a new phenomenon!
I find it humorous that every element of the media is suddenly so exorcised about this. Friends, the media have been leading us around by the nose for years!
Journalism is supposed to be non-partisan. NOT bipartisan! NON-partisan! But a skilled journalist can select words that appear to be neutral; when in fact, they are quite slanted. The slant ultimately generates whatever opinion the writer wants the reader to have.
The First Amendment gives the press nearly unfettered freedom to go, see, do, and write whatever they want. We have been subjected to the news that the media wants us to read, not necessarily the news as it is.
Why is this important?
Oh, where to start????
Just look at the daily news! Whether the old-fashioned ways by newspaper and TV news or the multiple social media outlets, we are bombarded with the news that each writer wants us to read or hear. The truth seems to be arbitrary.
Without truth, what do we have?
We teach our children that they must be honest. They are to be polite; to be nice to other children; to be respectful of adults; to mind their manners; and a myriad of other directives.
As adults, we expect to read and hear the truth about our world. Because we were all assured as school children that the media was non-partisan, we believe whatever media outlet from which we get our news. We find it very hard to believe that the news outlet(s) we have trusted for most of our lives is dishonest.
And the result is we are all at each others’ throats.
No one wants to accept that what they have trusted and believed in could be wrong.
Too many people believe that because they didn’t get what they wanted in the recent election, they have the right to say whatever they want, to protest, to destroy personal property, etc.
I cannot remember a time in my life when so many people have called so many other people so many nasty, vicious, anti-American, vulgar – you get the idea – names! The worst part of this is that much of this is done on national television and all over the Internet! Just what I want my grandchildren to see and hear!
What is to be gained by doing this? What happened to United in these United States?
United does not mean that we all must agree. How boring would that be?! But we should think twice before making sweeping statements and declaring – demanding – that everyone agree with us.
Just think how combative a family would be if every member demanded that every other member agree with everything they said? Talk about dysfunction!
So, where do we go from here? If you are one of those people who feel the need to “make a statement” on one social media site or another, think twice. If you become overly angry because you read or hear something with which you disagree, stop reading or listening. Given all the incorrect information out there, I don’t believe 10% of what I hear or read.
Finally, how does this affect our children? All of them are “plugged in” on a daily basis. There is no way they can escape the daily vitriol. I worry about what the current discourse portends for the future.
Ultimately, we are going to sink or swim together. I’d rather swim.
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