This past Sunday on the Sunday morning news shows offers a prime example of what I am talking about. Jake Tapper of CNN was interviewing Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Tapper, a man who got his first break working as a spokesperson for a liberal Pennsylvania Democratic Congresswoman, was asking the Senator very opinion-directed questions and asking him why he didn't support Tapper's outlook. Johnson spoke directly and honestly and told Tapper he was wrong and proceeded to tell him why. Tapper, once again supposed to be running a news program, lit in to the Senator, talked over him, accused him of using propaganda and frankly showed just who he was for the world to see. That's not a news program, if it were he would welcome a different point of view instead of resorting to belittlement and a talk over. Chuck Todd of NBC News often does the same thing and he is also a political operative (he was a lead spokesman for liberal Tom Harkin of Iowa in his 1992 campaign). And then, of course, there is George Stephanopoulis, of Clinton fame. Old George always interviews those of opposing views with an opening baited question designed to put a guest on the defensive rather than in place for a candid discussion. If they want to have shows that are clearly identified as opinion shows, that is fine and they are welcome to their views. But trying to frame them as journalism and news, which should mean open to discussion of all angles in a calm and thinking atmosphere, the networks are failing in any attempt to present news as what is actually happening and it is by design.
While this happens throughout our media sources, television is the most dangerous for it is basically pictures and words passed to a passive learning mind in an easy chair. The printed word requires active learning and makes it more difficult to slip nonsense as truth through to the human memory system. Over repetitive use, we find ourselves accepting things that we wouldn't if they were in black and white print. Sometimes we just become mesmerized to the show and watch without really paying attention, yet the information is maintained within us in the deep pockets of the human mind. Having the opinion that each of us wants is fine, for America is a land of many opinions. But for the media to substitute a biased view for truth based upon selective information and with a large listening and watching base that has been prepared to accept nearly anything as long as it is politically correct, it is like putting gasoline on a fire that consumes everything in its path. We need to guard against that and pay better attention. And we need to apply it to our children as well, because since schools have changed dramatically in what they teach and how, only parents can fairly oversee the result and counter it when necessary.
IN SUMMARY, take whatever position you want but have enough skepticism to learn whether or not you have all the facts. Don't rely merely on a talking head or on a smoothly written article which is short on factual information. Question what you read and hear and think about it. If it seems lacking, do some research on your own. It might just surprise you. Now go have a great day.