Comment: The Whole Truth?
Media: Responsible Reporting or Ministry of Propaganda?
no secret. The US media doesnt get the facts right. I mean
thats been documented, not by the media itself but by the
bragging idiots who admitted that they just made up the stories
they published. I hope that history forgets these vile, selfish
pinheads. Jayson Blair (ex NY Times, Janet Cooke (ex Washington
Post) , Stephen Glass (ex New Republic), Patrica Smith (ex Boston
Globe) and Jay Forman (ex Slate.)
Jason Blair was working for the New York Times! ( 'The Jayson Blair
Project' being made by Showtime will air in 2004.) Even if he was
only relegated to small stories on the back page, he was still being
more widely read than half the writers of the known universe! He was
in a position to do good if he could have managed to extend his perception
of the world beyond himself for five minutes, but of course he was too
ego-centric to do that. To hell with him.
But even beyond these jokers, I have no faith in the modern news media.
It isnt hard to read between the lines. I think there are enough
people in this world who have seen enough movies to start to recognize
the symptoms of manipulation. You know youre being set up when
the music gets all quiet and tense and when the heroines hand
starts slowly reaching to open a mysterious door. Is anybody surprised
when either a monster or a cat jumps out anymore? Well the media is
taking us down that same ugly pathway. They have grown high on their
power to make us jump when they say boo!, but this is an
exploitation of their power and they are setting our whole civilization
up for failure.
Would it really have been so hard to have one or two stories of investigative
reporting to determine whether or not the Bush brothers really rigged
the election? Doesnt that seem newsworthy? Even if it didnt
prove to be true, doesnt there seem to be enough evidence that
the story should be followed up? I mean, they backed away from that
faster than they would a nuclear meltdown. It was almost as if they
were afraid they were going to uncover an ugly truth that nobody wanted
THATS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE NEWS MEDIA! And why did Al Gore stop
his investigation into the same thing? Because he was probably guilty
of the same damn election rigging the Bushs were doing! Why else?
But did the media look into this? NO! They gave us this big line of
propaganda that we were supposed to swallow that said the nation needed
If people are rigging our election system and the only way to get elected
is to cheat, then I want to know about it. Its the medias
responsibility to look into this stuff. If they dont, who will?
And if nobody does then what entity is going to preserve our freedoms?
Lately, the media seems to think it is their responsibility to divert
the attention from the American Public away from anything real, and
distract them with fluff like Ben and Jen gossip. Is this just because
the tabloid fare regarding celebrity movie stars sells more papers?
I suppose stories that are completely made up would probably be more
appealing too. But the problem is that the media has gained its power
by claiming to be an unbiased (which is never true, but at least they
used to try) factual account of what happened. People have a kind of
faith in what a newspaper, by definition, is supposed to present.
By cashing in on this faith and leading people down a road of lies,
the modern media has revealed itself to be nothing less than what Dante
referred to as a false councilor the sin for which he reserved
the ninth, and most horrible, level of hell.
the media afraid to make the public angry by telling the truth? Are
they afraid of losing their readership? Well, newsflash, sometimes you
have to make people confront the ugly reality. You have to do this for
their own good. And if you lose readers in the moment, theyll
come flocking back to you later once the crisis has passed and they
see the evil you saved them from. If you think it is appropriate to
let people skip and jump down a path to destruction while maintaining
the illusion that they are living in a marvelous fantasyland, then I
deny your understanding of goodness. What we need is a media that is
unafraid to tell us the hard facts and to enforce a system of accountability,
in all cases, not just for the poor and weak.
This is one of those issues that doesnt seem like a big deal because
most people cant perceive how dangerous it is. But the thing is,
the media is so powerful that it can make a villain out of anybody overnight.
I remember a case a few years ago when a man diffused a bomb at the
Atlanta Olympics only to be accused of having set the bomb in the first
place. It turned out, about three months later, that the guy, Richard
Jewell had done no such thing and that he actually was a hero, but did
the media make up for their mistake and restore the guys reputation?
Of course not! (The actual fugative Eric Robert Rudolph is still at
large.) But even in a situation less dramatic, what could be the effect
on you if the media, for some reason, took an interest in your life?
Sure, it may work out in your favor and the lies the media tells might
make you a superstar. But at the same time, they could just as easily
turn you into an undeserving villain. Wouldnt you rather be judged
on the truth of the achievements and errors of your life than some crude
falsification designed only to sell papers?
what about the very sanctity of the foundation of America? Were
the most powerful nation on Earth. Wouldnt it be nice to be
able to know for sure that the causes to which we are applying our
strength are actually just? We have the capacity to radically alter
billions of lives overnight. Wouldnt it be nice to know that
we could actually trust the facts upon which these world-altering
decisions were being made?
it be nice to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the brothers,
sisters, and sons that we have sent to die in far off, arid lands, were
irrefutably fighting to preserve freedom, liberty, and truth? Wouldnt
it be nice to erase the suspicion that these brave, young souls were
not being sacrificed so that some rich American oil baron could further
line his already stuffed pockets? Isnt that one of our rights?
Not just as Americans, but as human beings?
© Ben Jonjak November 2003
About the Author:
Ben Jonjak is an American writer living in Lima, Peru. His writing has
appeared in various print and
Comment and Lifestyles
all rights reserved- all opinions expressed are the writers own responsibility.