Remember the days of having to write a book report or paper and being graded on it? Do you also remember having to include the sources for the information that you used? I sure do. Yet today we have people in the media that actually get paid to say whatever they want, whenever they want, and it doesn't have to be true or factual. We have media outlets that only share small portions of information while intentionally holding back the larger portions, because it might not be in-line with their personal beliefs. Looking back, I have a greater appreciation for the teachers that checked my work and verified the validity of what I wrote. I also remember when those in the media reported the news in a neutral fashion. We didn't know about their personal opinions because the true professionals didn't share them. Their job was the report the news and nothing more. They handed us the facts so that the audience could make their own decisions. No one told us how to think. That part was our job. Now they try to force us to think like they do. Sadly, so many people are too lazy to think for themselves. It takes too much effort to do that. As I look back on a time when I felt like journalism was a noble profession, I feel ashamed and embarrassed of what it has become today.
When you have a job and you screw up or do something wrong, you are usually reprimanded and sometimes even fired. Someone with authority over you will call you out for your mistake and tell you not to do it again. It should be no different for those in the media. If you say something that turns out to be false (esp. if you did it knowingly or without proof) you should be relieved of your duties and forced to find another profession. The best way to keep this from happening is to have a credible source, be able to prove what you are saying, and then go forward with it after a superior also confirms its validity. We have news programs whose sole purpose is to divide people. They will have guests on, with various points of view, just to argue with one another. (It's like putting two starving animals in a cage and shaking it). Once that happens, everyone in the argument loses all credibility. I am not listening to that. All I can think of when I hear people trying to talk over one another and debate one another on 'heated topics' is that I just want them all to STFU. There is NO WAY that any human being will ever learn anything or walk away feeling informed after listening to something like that. It will only leave you angry at the opposing view. By the way, what WAS the opposing view? Can you tell me about it? Exactly. See how that works?
Now we have people that get paid to devote either the beginning of a program or even an entire program to spreading hate and creating further divide in our society. They do it under the guise of entertainment. (It seems our standards for what counts as entertainment are pretty low these days). Basically, these people would have no job and no income if they were happy, with anything. They are paid to bitch about whatever their staff can dig up for them and people with nothing better to watch this trash. I think that is very sad. Now, if they want to call out some kind of actual criminal, expose a financial scam, or even report on some kind of predatory/violent behavior, I'm all for it. By all means, please expose these types of predators. But TV and radio shows with no other purpose except to complain about something they don't like or agree with need to go away. They don't do anything to enrich our lives. We don't learn anything from these people. In fact, I think they are a poor example of a human being because they are willing to look and act like a hateful fool for the almighty dollar. If you don't agree with something, take action and put forth real effort into making a difference. Don't sit behind a camera reading words that someone else wrote and complain about topics that you didn't even do your own research on. These spiteful folks are not funny or interesting. In fact, I think some are so out of touch with reality that they have no place discussing most topics. If you give them an audience, they will talk all day about anything they can to make you mad. How is that helpful? As the old saying goes, "if you don't buy it, they can't sell it." I have been preaching this for years when it comes to animals and animal welfare. I think the same statement applies to people that spread hate for a living.
In today's world, social media allows people to post anything they want about anyone (true or not) and there is zero accountability. You can lie, make up your own stories and details, say things to literally ruin someone forever, and skate off into the sunset with no repercussions. I say this is WRONG. If it is your job to deliver the news, then just do that. Leave your opinions out of it. We don't need to know what you think might happen or what will happen if ___. Only say what you can prove and if you cannot prove something, think enough of yourself (and your audience) to keep it to yourself. Why? Because spreading misinformation is technically gossiping. To me, this is one of the most unforgivable things a person can do. Which is more dangerous? The idiot that spreads misinformation or the idiot that believes it? I say both are equally as dangerous and are largely responsible for the state of our world today. We have too much idle gossip with malicious intent and not enough neutral information. It is for this reason that I literally stopped watching the news in 1996. (No, I'm not kidding). I found it to be negative, toxic, biased, etc...There were not enough positive stories being shared. Even back then, I could tell that most news was being delivered from only one perspective...Theirs. Somewhere along the way, the wheels fell off in this industry. The constant need for shock value (day after day) is just ridiculous and exhausting. I do believe you can be a well informed person and not watch the daily news. You can read from or listen to credible sources. This also includes not believing anything newsworthy on social media until you verify it for yourself. It also takes effort that most people are not willing to make.
There are several news outlets that are known to push information to further their own agendas. This also includes trying to hide information that most people would want to know. They make millions doing this because no one calls them out on it. So if you listen to what they put out there, knowing they are limiting what is being shared with you, what does that say about you? Why would any sensible person be OK with this? And what about the unintelligent people that are too lazy to seek out the facts and just don't give a damn? They only care about hearing what they want to hear or hearing about whatever will benefit them personally. What about the policies and issues that affect all of us? What happened to that way of thinking? If it is not in-line with their way of thinking, they literally don't want to know about it. Well isn't that just lovely? We have a society of people with Swiss cheese brains and the media that profits off of feeding them misinformation. Now we have a bunch of angry, hateful, misinformed people that are willing to accept being labeled as a dummy. If this is the category you choose to put yourself in, due to your own unwillingness to learn and grow, you are more dangerous than a nuclear weapon. Please don't drive, vote, reproduce, or apply for a job...Anywhere. If you are not properly informed on the issues for which you are allowed to vote (when people literally died for you to have that right) I don't want you anywhere near me. If you aren't qualified to speak on current issues in the country in which you live, how are you even qualified to make a someone a sandwich?
Gossip starts off small and can quickly snowball into issues that might not even exist. If you gossip to me, you will gossip about me as soon as I'm not around. If you listen to gossip, you are no better. This is where it all starts...Whether it is a child in school or a desperate news reporter, both are trying to get attention for the wrong reasons. If you are spreading lies (for the sake of attention or pandering to a certain group) you are basically putting yourself on the same level as a kid in junior high. The only difference is, you are old enough to know better, yet you are getting paid for it. At least the kid has somewhat of an excuse. I have seen people on social media that knowingly posted fake stories and photo-shopped pictures for the sake of attention. Their purpose was to spread some hate. They wanted to get a rise out of people, get people upset so they would share whatever bovine excrement they were spreading, and it worked. Without people even taking a moment to question if something was even true or not or do 30 seconds of research on it, they shared it, and so on. Just because your friend shared it, does not make it so. The same can be said for most media outlets. Next thing you know, you have thousands or millions of upset (misinformed people) that are angry about a non issue. When this happens, all focus is immediately shifted off the good things that are actually taking place, any real issues that you might want to know about, and other pertinent and factual information that is critical to us all. Apart from being paid for it (or not) how are certain people in the media any different from some low level gossip on our friend list? THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.
Do you want to instantly feel better and give yourself more peace of mind? Cull through that friend list like you are trimming a tree in Springtime. Today is always a good day to trim off the dead limbs in your life. This also includes turning your TV off of channels that contribute nothing to your well being. If some old gossip from school is trying to bend your ear with toxic crap, you know what you are dealing with. If they are delivering the National news, they aren't being very responsible with their position. There is no end to the damage that these people can do. Stop listening to people that do not value the truth, that will say anything for money, that will allow a higher power to tell them what to say, or could care less about your well being. If they think so little of themselves that they are willing to report/spread misinformation on any level, they certainly don't think much of you! People will shovel as much shit at you, on you, and around you as you are willing to take.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for well known people both in media and the entertainment industry that keep their personal beliefs to themselves. Even if someone shares my same thoughts and opinions, I really don't care. I don't need them to tell me how or what to think. Sometimes is takes more strength to keep your mouth shut than it does to speak. While I appreciate and respect their opinion of those who are well known, I think sometimes they forget to respect mine. Maybe we all need to take a history test, get hit with a pop quiz on current issues every now and then, and have to do it in English in order to keep our right to vote? That would certainly level the playing field. If you are a well known person or a person of influence, use your position wisely and be a role model. Be a respectable human being. It is OK to hand people information. It is NOT up to do you to tell them what to do with it. It is up to them. It is irresponsible to do or say anything to incite hate. Even if someone doesn't feel the way that you do, it doesn't give you the right to terrorize them or say bad things about them. Perhaps they are misinformed. Maybe they have a friend telling them all the wrong things. Maybe they don't know any better. I think we all have a responsibility to try to stay neutral if we can and find some kind of common ground. If someone is going off the rails in a direction that doesn't make sense to you, question it. Do your research. People can only spew hate and misinformation if you give them an audience. Choose to educate yourself and take your power back. You always have the option to not listen, delete the person from your life/friend list, or change the channel.
Lastly, I do read the news every day. In fact, I read sometimes 30-50 articles per day about various topics I want to know more about. There are fact-based news sources out there if you will simply take the time to LOOK for them. Meaning, they do not say or print something they were not first able to prove. Yes, those sources do exist. No, you will not find them by lazily turning on the TV and flipping through channels. If you want the information delivered to you in a neutral fashion, then get out your own shovel and go dig for it. When I looked for exactly that, I found it, and it took me less than a minute. If you can spend an hour shopping for clothes or shoes online, certainly you can devote 60 seconds to locating a credible news source. (I just did it for you- you're welcome). Most people will only seek out or read news that tells them what they want to hear. The question is, do you sincerely want fact-based news?
"On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock."
– Thomas Jefferson
"Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
– Albert Einstein
”The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson