When I first read quotes about how television brainwashed people, I thought to myself, of course, “Commercials try to sell you things you do not need.” Commercials sell insecurity, needing this or that to have the appearance of a better life. I hardly watch television; with Netflix, I can watch commercial free. Wonderful. Then I thought about why shows would be the cause of the brainwashing. Well I suppose it would be the content of the shows and what they portray that could be cause for alarm, however, TV shows, are in general understood to be fiction and are simply entertainment. Some shows are better than others but that would be subjective and dependent upon the watcher of the show.
However, I noticed how I would feel when I was exposed to the news in every public space, for example metro stations, the elevator at work, food courts, etc….. I did not like what the news was portraying and I stopped watching the news altogether.
I was accused of living with my head in the sand and not facing reality. So my question is whose reality? Yours? The news broadcaster’s reality? The answer is yes. I decide to do an experiement this week and expose myself to the news voluntarily.
Before we go any further in this reflection about news, there are a few definitions to keep in mind:
- News: the televised news broadcasts by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN’, FOX, MSNBC / CTV, Global, and CBC, etc… otherwise called the “mainstream media”.
- “News” – this is sarcasm. It means that this was reported as news, but to me is a joke.
No big deal news- jumping to incorrect conclusions.
There was a time when this type of information was found on Twitter and Facebook or other social media. The incorrect conclusion would go viral and then the actual facts would be revealed. Not anymore. On Oscar night, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner of the Best picture category. Immediately they were compared to Steve Harvey, who incorrectly announced that the runner-up, Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez, was the 2015 Miss Universe winner.
In reality it was a partner from the accounting firm who handed Warren Beatty the wrong envelope whereas in Steve Harvey’s case, it was simply human error.
This of course was cleared up in the news over the next few days, but if you were watching the news on Oscar night or the next day, not having watched the Oscars (i.e.: Me) you would have thought they had made a huge gaffe, much like Steve Harvey, but in reality, it was the person who handed out the wrong envelope.
People make mistakes, and this is the Oscars, nobody died. No big deal. However, it becomes a bit more important when the news broadcasters get selective in what they report and affect your reality.
Political News – leaving out important words
Trump’s first inaugural address to congress took place Tuesday evening. Tom Brokaw stated in his commentary on NBC, that the President should not single out immigrant crime…………. I thought to myself, seriously? Again? Will Trump ever learn? (It is a rhetorical question)
Now I am no fan of politics, period. However, I actually listened to that speech as part of my experiment with news. He spoke of immigration, yes he did. However when he spoke of incidents, such as shootings and other crimes, he specifically referred to illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants with prior records and instances of prior deportations. The impact of inferring that Trump singled out immigrants (omitting the word illegal), leads to more division, on a night when, for once in his political stint, he was trying, albeit a bit late, to unify. His words, not my opinion. There were more examples of what was misreported that night but then this post would be about Trump, which is not the point.
I do not agree with or support Trump, however, it does make me question why there is so much division. He cannot be soley responsible – that is a crock. I do think that politicians should take responsibility; we all should. But so too should journalists when they report in an irresponsible fashion. Propaganda is spread this way. As is division of the people. Impacting their reality.
Women’s council – Selective omission?
Our own Canadian Prime Minister even got a shout out for helping create a “Canada−United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders.” To be honest, I almost fell off my chair because of what I have heard Trump say, (we all know what he said, no need to reprint ) I have no clue what that council is, nor what it will entail, because I did not hear about it in the news this week. Wait what?
I Googled “CBC Trump Trudeau” because heck, did I just media ban myself into ignorance over a new Women’s council? – I mean after the women’s march, this would be relevant or at least worth mentioning.
I clicked on the first article. “Prime minister and U.S. president speak by phone after meeting in Washington last week.” It is the most recent one. Information about how Canada deals with illegal immigrants is discussed. Apparently, here in Canada, illegal immigrants are taken into RCMP custody. Is our Prime Minister a cruel human being, a racist, or anti-Muslim anti-Semite, anti- Chrisitan? NO! But our country has laws and it appears we are allowed to uphold the law without infering intolerance with any religion. Go figure. Oh, and no mention of the Women’s council.
The next article “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets U.S. President Donald Trump” showed that the CBC knows how to take pictures, not just report on “news”. No mention of the Woman’s council.
There is also a CBC opinion piece and in this opinion piece the author ridiculed the fact that Trudeau got to be a feminist again while Trump got to take pictures with women leaders. No mention of the Woman’s council. So I do not have much more information. I also have no respect for CBC “NEWS”.
Maybe it is an actual council that will benefit women, or maybe it is just Trump posturing after, well you know, acting like an ass when it comes to women. Time will tell. Or perhaps the news will have something to say about it, one day.
If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
When it comes to the news and newspapers, I think I will form my own opinion and do my own reasearch. I will leave the un and the mis to the so-called professionals.
Montreal, Quebec and the Concordia University bomb threat
In my city, there was an incident where a person sent a letter to Concordia and threatend “amateur explosives” because of their issues with Muslims and religious activity. The University was evacuated and police presence was installed at both McGill and Concordia. In the news it was reported that there were bomb threats and that the letter stated things had changed because Trump was in office. (not at all the point or focus of the letter) Again, the issue is with inference and where the focus was placed. The major point of the letter was clearly anti-muslim issues, which I do not agree with, or condone. But the news chose to focus on issues which were not the point. There is a need to educate people about diveristy and to be critical about what they are fed. Watch out for the same old buzz words. To be fair Concordia responded well with their focus on diversity.
“We are an open university and we have students from 150 different countries and many faith communities.”
Alan Shepard, president and vice-chancellor of Concordia. I can say that I wish it was the same way everywhere. Why can’t the news promote that as a buzz word or catch phrase for the day and perhaps have a positive impact on someone’s reality?
“News” – Complete falsehoods that contradict the laws of Physics
Then there is the wonderful example of total and complete bullshit. Not out of context, not jumping to conclusions, not even human error, but simply reporting what you have been told, because that is the official story. Now when it comes to people pointing these examples out, they are called conspiracy theorists and that is actually the least of the insults they get thrown their way.
The example that jumps to my mind is 9/11. The laws of physics support that the buildings crumbled to the ground because of bombs, not planes. These are laws of physics. Not official reports, not supported by miraculously undamaged passports found at the scene. You do not need that to support laws of physics. However, there are other mundane details like evidence that completely fly in the face of what we were told on the “news” by the main stream media about 9/11. That is denial of reality.
There are late night comedy shows and news satires presenting their take on the goings on in main stream media. The value here is laughter. In the interest of really bringing the point home, here is a video from Conan O’Brien that demonstrates how we are being fed catch phrases, scripts and this is the real programming: click here for video
In other words, the news is no more than a television show where the broadcasters are now actors, reading a script, pretending to be reporting on facts.
It seems that we have gotten comfortable with being told what happens in our cities, provinces and countries today, rather than making up our own minds about what actually took place. Case in point, there are fact checkers now. Yes, we now have the “news” and the “fact checkers.” Pardon me, but was that not the point? Weren’t news broadcasters supposed to be presenting facts instead of spinning information, out right lying or acting out a script? Not anymore.
When I am told, I cannot handle reality, or I am living with my head in the sand because I will revert back to ignoring the news, please excuse me while I go read a book, someone’s blog or a less known investigative reporter’s article. Yes what they write maybe their opinion, but these are usually supported by their own evidence. These forms of media also bring about a different perspective, their own, and allow the reader reflective thought. The ones I read usually promote crticial thinking, do not brainwash people with buzz words, inference, innuendo, false allegations, and so-called truth – which is what “mainstream media” does.
I prefer to make up my own mind about my reality and refuse to allow somebody else to tell me what my reality is. No matter how many times I hear something repeated. Remeber, just because you read it n the newspaper or heard it multiple times on the “news”, does not necessarily make it true.
And on that note, let’s have a wonderful day, and create some good news!