"Off the top of my head: The next American Revolution"
2014-04-09 by Gabriel A. Fraire [www.gabrielfraire.com] from "Sonoma West Times And News" [http://www.sonomawest.com/sonoma_west_times_and_news/opinion/columns/off-the-top-of-my-head/article_6a4d7ace-c018-11e3-971d-0019bb2963f4.html]:
Journalism has changed. That shouldn’t be “news” to anyone. I believe the reporters in this paper do a good job with accuracy and presenting all sides of an issue but this is the exception.
Today, it seems like most “reporters” feel they must insert their opinion on every piece. And there are entire networks and newspaper conglomerates with the sole intention of being one-sided in their presentation of the “news.”
And with the Internet, oh my goodness, complete fabrications can be posted and then accepted as fact. Not just by Internet surfers but “news medias” will pick up these fake stories and run with them as if they were truth.
Recently, late night comedian and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel created a fake video of a wolf walking the halls of an Olympic Village dorm. He then had an Olympian tweet about a wolf in the hallway. CNN and ESPN picked up the story and ran the video as “news.” Obviously, no one bothered to check the source.
A good journalist (in the “olden days”) did research, gathered facts, then presented a story showing both sides of an issue. It was required that one had to have more than one source before a story could be run. Today, it appears that often no source is checked. This makes it very difficult to discern what is real and what is not.
I am of the Vietnam era. The first and only “war” nightly broadcast on television. Journalists covered Southeast Asia with feet on the ground, eyes open, cameras recording. We witnessed the atrocities of war almost first hand and it made us sick and it hastened the end of the war.
Since then, warriors and war mongers have learned, keep the press out. Now only “embedded” journalists are allowed to report and record. And we have discovered, and many now finally accept, that our government will and does lie to us. So, it is very difficult today to know the truth.
If we care enough to seek the truth, each and everyone one of us has to be our own “old-time” journalist. We have to research, gather information, weigh the possible validity of that information, discuss the issues with others then try and make an informed decision. I know very few people who do that.
Most of us pick our “channel” or “paper” and just believe what they say or write. We find the media outlet that most reflects our point of view and then use it as our guide in making decisions. It is creating a bigger divide in this country. Whether is it propaganda from one side of the aisle or the other you must remember it is propaganda. You cannot believe everything you hear, see or read. You must use your brain and your ability to think. And if you do not have either a brain or the ability to think please do not participate.
It seems like every day the divide widens between the “left” and the “right,” the “haves” and the “have-nots,” the one-percenters and the rest of us.
Revolutions are never a proactive movement they are always a reactive movement. When people are pushed to the point of having nothing else to lose, they react.
I don’t want to live to see the next American Revolution. I hope that somehow in some way we as a culture will see that this terrible divide is not good for anyone. That we need to work together, that we need to put our own self-interests aside and start thinking what is best for all of us. I hope that is possible.