Friday, April 06, 2018

These Aren't The Droids You're Looking For

Get your news right here: biased and poorly researched news, but at least I am honest about it. This puts me in a league, I believe with such media stalwarts as Fox and Friends. Though I don't think the crew over there are quite so open about the biased part. Fair and balanced? Who cares? If you want news that makes you feel good about what you already thought was going on and needed and needed affirmation, pick the biased kind.
Why challenge yourself to check out different points of view? Changing your mind is a sign of weakness, unless you do it in a very careful, "Presidential" way. If you find yourself tipping onto a point of view that might cause others to question your leadership capacity, take that course correction to the straight line and speed up. Even if there is a brick wall in front of you.
If you are reading this blog, you probably already know about Sinclair Broadcast Group. They proudly announce on their web site that Sinclair is the leading local news provider in the country. Which may or may not be true, but it is that last bit about being a "news provider" that makes me itch. I thought that news existed, and humans felt compelled to report it. Or not. I remember learning back in sixth grade that journalists were required to be objective. Not encouraged. Required. This is why I chose not to become a journalist. I didn't imagine that I could stray from my own opinions on things for very long. I am happy to feel that I bend people's positions, from time to time. Lawn darts: not as dangerous as you might have imagined, for example. 
Which is pretty much what Sinclair does, but with way more money and political capital at stake. Still, they recently felt the need to respond to criticism about promotional announcements made by their local affiliates: “We aren’t sure of the motivation for the criticism, but find it curious that we would be attacked for asking our news people to remind their audiences that unsubstantiated stories exist on social media, which result in an ill-informed public with potentially dangerous consequences,” commented Scott Livingston, Sinclair’s Senior Vice President of News. “It is ironic that we would be attacked for messages promoting our journalistic initiative for fair and objective reporting, and for specifically asking the public to hold our newsrooms accountable. Our local stations keep our audiences’ trust by staying focused on fact-based reporting and clearly identifying commentary.” And that would be great if local stations were not acting as a robotic chorus for the thoughts of their overlords. 
Hey kids: Fake news is fiction. Find your news where you can, because there isn't a lot of objective fact-based journalism going on right now. That is not the time in which we find ourselves living currently. Keep that five pound grain of salt nearby for each and every time someone tells you they are going to give you the straight scoop. Do keep this in mind: It takes a lot of money to run a newspaper or television station, just ask Charles Foster Kane. What makes the headlines is exactly what pays the bills. How do you suppose those news guys afford all those snappy blazers? 
Just promise yourself to think about it a little bit.  

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