I don’t like the tactics many Conservative media outlets use to scare people into voting, buying, and living the way they want them to. My gripe with corporate media as a whole is that most of the time it’s trying to tell people what to think and how to feel, and not just giving them news and honest information. Writing a slanted story is perfectly fine, so long as you don’t call it “news” in the process. I discuss issues on this blog, but it’s not a “news blog”. No blog can ever really be a “news blog”, since the nature of a blog is to editorialize things. All of the major American media outlets are guilty of editorializing news stories, with Fox News having the most offenses. A recent example is the news that president Obama will be extending the Bush tax cuts for anyone making under $250,000 a year, but not to those making more. A less-corporate sources had headlines such as President Seeks Extension of Bush tax Cuts for Those Making Under $250,000. Fox news headline read something like Obama Hikes Taxes On High Earners, seeks Bush Tax Cut Extension for Everyone Else. the language in the first headline is simple, honest, and accurate. the language in the second headline is dishonest, as it implies that the President would be creating new taxes, as opposed to just not extending a tax cut. The wording has a negative tone, and sets the stage for an article with a slant towards the political Right.
Because of this blatant bias, many people, particularly those on the left and in the center, look elsewhere for news. Usually that “elsewhere” is the internet, where anyone can find a number of independent and (mostly)unbiased news websites. There are also many interesting and insightful political blogs that offer unique and well-thought perspectives on social and political issues facing the US today.
However, the internet does have some of it’s own Fox News-style pages, and one of the worst is AddictingInfo.org, a website that, sadly, is supposed to be “progressive”.
This is one of their current headlines: If You Have A Brain Tumor, GOP Rep. David Dreier Thinks You Should Die
Now, the average person would see that and think “Oh, my God! Did this man actually say he thinks people with brain tumours should die? That’s terrible! What a monster!”
No. He didn’t even talk about death.
What Rep. Dreier ACTUALLY said, was “While I don’t think that someone who is diagnosed with a massive tumor should the next day be able to have millions and millions and millions of dollars of health care provided, I do believe there can be a structure to deal with the issue of pre-existing conditions,”
I don’t see where he says he thinks all people with a brain tumour should die. Do you?
Now, I don’t agree with his statement, at all. I think health care is a human right and that if someone is sick, affordable or free treatment should be provided, like in the rest of the First World. if I wrote for a news station or website, my headline would be “GOP Rep. Dreier Says “Million and Millions” of Dollars Shouldn’t be Spent on People With Pre-Existing Conditions”. That’s taking words he actually used and turning them into a piece of information, without any slant or bias.
This kind of hyperbole is NO DIFFERENT than what Fox and CNN do, but for some reason people just don’t seem to notice or care. Liberal communities on social networking websites flock to AddictingInfo as if it’s a beacon of truth without bothering to ask questions or do research on their own. I have no problem with editorials - I run a blog that has nothing but. I don’t even care if they’re factually inaccurate editorials. What I do care about s when someone takes an editorial that’s factually inaccurate and tries to pass it off to people that want to believe the subject matter is true as “news”. Not only is that pandering, but it’s offensive to the intelligence of every single member of the progressive community.
According to their site, “Addicting Info started as a resource to discredit all the lies and propaganda that the right-wing spreads.” I fail to see how creating their own myths and fabrications disproves anything. Not to mention, even though I am proudly liberal, our side fucks up, too. Our representatives make mistakes. Our senetors can and have been bought. I’m sure plenty of left-leaning elected officials in our country have said and done insanely stupid things and have created their own myths, so why not drop the partisan bullshit and just provide an investigative journalism service that treats every politician equally? The internet can always use more of those. The website would probably double it’s viewer base if it took a truly balacned view of things.
Our society is collapsing because of the way media has divided us. We’re not a society of curious people who seek facts and accuracy. We’re a society of people who sit and wait for a cue card from Rush Limbaugh or Ed Schultz that tells us what emotion to feel at which group of people on that particular day. We’re a society that lets emotion dictate how we think. and not logic. Because we put emotions first, we’re easily manipulated by just about everyone. When i see my fellow Progressives, people who consider themselves to be more “enlightened” than the people watching cable news, fall for the same old shock doctrine, I lose more and more faith.