Ah yes, the good old standby of ideologues around the country: the press is biased against our beliefs. Depending on which side of the fence that you stand, a particular news agency can be the beacon of truth, justice, and the American way or a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Here is a truth that nobody is going to like. You’re right but you’re wrong.
It is true that MSNBC and CNN are not giving the current president the same treatment as his predecessor. It is also true that Fox News and Brietbart are covering our current president differently than they did his predecessor. The way news agencies covers the policies of a politician depends solely upon the magic letter next to his or her name on the ballot. This is not journalism.
In real journalism, real journalists report the facts without opinions, they use unbiased language, and they give full attention to all sides of an issue. You will not find that in today’s news. Don’t believe me? Take some time and examine a random news article from one of the big news agencies from your favorite social media platform. I’ll wait…
If you were objective, you should be surprised right about now. Opinions are mixed with facts, opinions are presented as facts, chocolate is mixed with peanut butter, and articles are filled with biased language. How can this be?
The easy answer would be to blame Ronald Reagan for getting rid of the fairness doctrine that used to force journalists to present all sides of an issue. Unfortunately, the truth is another of those things that nobody likes: it’s our fault.
Yes, the whole reason why the press is dysfunctional was caused by that person in the mirror who stares at you in the morning. We have allowed the press to be subverted by the politicians. We fall victim to the sweet siren song that the talking heads sing to us every night at 7:00 and 10:00.
The reason that happened is the same reason when you ask children to take out the trash, they won’t hear you yet, if you stand in a closet in a neighbor’s house and whisper “ice cream,” they will hear you loud and clear. When our preferred news agencies tell us what we want to hear, we nod our heads in agreement. When those other news agencies tell us what we don’t want to hear, we mumble about how the media is biased and ignore what they are saying.
What can we do? The swamp is deep and murky and our leaders have a vested interest in not draining it. Right now, our best weapons are our voices and diligence. We need to tell the press to stop feeding us bovine fecal material and be weary of opinions being peddled as facts.