The Fourth Estate commonly know as the press and has been also labeled “The Fourth Branch of Government” wields an ungodly amount of power in the shaping of the minds of its audience. The rise of power has been a slow but steady growth to the bastardized animal we now witness at the gate. The initial storyline for this post was going to be focused on which division of the Fourth Estate put forth the most truth in an unbiased method. To my dismay and wasted hours of research, a truly unbiased source could not be found, it appears that most if not all media in a quest to garner readership pander to either a financial motive or and ideological ilk. My focus was on American media outlets, and the closest in “my” uneducated determination to offering (to steal a tag line) fair and balances source was no other than the Druge Report, that’s right the once lowly scourge of the internet now offers all views for the taking. Kudos to Matt Druge for creating first a grassroots blog basically to a full blown media outlet that has earned respect the hard way, by being first with breaking news! It is not my intent to be a cheerleader for The Druge Report, just recognize that out of all the major media outlets The Druge report lets you choose who you the individual values as unbiased.
The major players in the daily media onslaught are in no particular order, Fox New, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, FOX, AP, Reuiters, and a litany of internet, newspaper, blog and online journalism, the major issue with all these sources is that they are all fighting for the same slice of the pie, and in there quest to have that pie and eat it too, the standards of journalism are mortally tested and ignored on a minute by minute basis. The once lofty “canons of journalism” of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, IMPARTIALITY, fairness and public accountability are barely existent in the race for the prize, ratings and viewership. The motive you ask, advertising dollars!!! Where in times past the craft of the story negated any fear of reprisal from the editor out of fear the “angle” or the byline would alienate any financial relationship with the client, now we have a willy nilly pandering to the food source of the beast, the advertisers. So it seems like everything else in our world the dollar is the almighty factor in the equation to the “spin” of the tome.
The once stoic news reader of the past has been replaced with shock journalism, catchy tease promos, inflated tidbits of minutia that 30 years ago would be relegated to the gossip pages are now headlines. Flashy promos by local news proposing that “we are on your side” or “where you get your news first” are all created to bombard the general public with sensationalism of mostly droll material. Palatable in small doses but annoying none the less and mostly harmless. The major quest for the hearts and minds of the common man is now playing out in the political pundit arena where biased news can do major damage in the shaping of the mind and blind acceptance of any substantial truth can be life altering. This paradigm of propaganda comes at such a crucial time in the development of our collective futures, it makes total common sense to stop and reflect on this very pragmatic rhetorical question, “What is the motive”? I see individuals online, in the news media, TV, and radio spouting and regurgitating so called facts that are so biased, so far from the reality of morals and basic truth without hesitation expecting the general public to buy into there perception of truth as fact. This acceptance without reason will be the downfall of man. The old adage “don’t believe everything you read” now has to be expanded to all the sources of media we are faced with deciphering in our individual search for personal truth.
Rampant laziness is the primary reason, we want our news in quick bites, we do not want to think, we want to be told, we don’t want to understand we want to be understood, conversations are now based on “beating” the other person with more so called facts that the opponent might have in there quiver of arrows. The two sides to any discussion is now my side and your side is stupid and uninformed, the meek are emboldened to be lions when in a ideological circle of like minded spewers of rhetoric, all this at the loss of the intellect based on contemplation. It was said the American Indian had few words in there communication to the “white man”, this is because the American Indian had a rule when they discussed serious issues, and that was they never spoke until the speaker was done. Rather than thinking of a defense to what was being said they sought to understand what was being said. I bring this up for the following reason, next time you are in a conversation with someone heated or not, don’t think what you are going to say, but try to understand what the person is saying, when they are done, never interrupt, then you say your peace. This is called contemplation and listening, a lost art that our mass media and politicians have lost site of. Our great orator currently could take a lesson from the American Indian, and stop selling and start doing.