Have you wondered why so much ‘news’ media carries Ukraine 24/7 as if that all that in the news? Or culture wars? Or…
Because it pushes buttons. Gets clicks. Blames individuals, blames groups, engenders hate. It’s like beating a wasp nest with an infinite number of angry wasps.
After 68 years on planet Earth (I refuse to talk about the planet I used to live on, isn’t that right Alf?) I have come to a conclusion…
Democrats are not the main problem.
Republicans are not the main problem.
If you think either then you may be helping to create the problem because you’re missing the bigger picture. There has always been some hate, some killings, extreme partisanship. In the worst societies it dominates, and dominates by design and intent, whether it be politicians, media, or both. This is the model much of media follows, and therefore: sometimes unwittingly, so do we. At first radio talk shows led the way: from Father Coughlin on. Just before WWII, inspired by another nations hate campaign aimed at certain groups. Media has gotten so much better at it. Many pols know it, use it and media follows offering one sided coverage and a lynch mob mentality… there’s big bucks to be had in unregulated hate-based media.
A lot of mass news media has become; less what’s the news today-based, more “what pushes our select audience’s buttons”-based.
This is what deregulating the media has created: multiple propaganda venues instead of objective news outlets. Bill Clinton started. Republicans wanted it. The concept that such would lead to mixing of entertainment and news to the point it was less news, more kingdoms offering talking points to shoot out at villains was probably not something most considered.
In some ways it’s akin to the Nazi pep rally they had at Madison Square Garden in the 30’s. It’s no accident that so many pols running for office, and in office. rely on rallies: claiming they prove they are the most popular, rather than the actual vote, rather than polls. Can’t blame them for the last. Polls have been polluted by special interest groups and parties having “polls.” Why should you or I trust some one sided special interest group, or political party, claiming they have a poll confirming whatever hate they have to sell is what the public wants?
We are being trained, Pavlov-like, to blame everything that goes wrong on one side, one person, one president, one party, one religion, one race, one ethnicity. Media and pols are far too invested in one side is “evil,” “stupid,” “incompetent,” framing. We certainly are NOT being trained to think critically.
Hate is a huge profit model, and a faster, more powerful, pathway to fascism. A super highway paved with hate. Goebbels used media the same way.
Media has so many of us behaving like a son who heard his father use hate filled words and phrases: tossed at a playmate he invited home to play with him.
And we hardly realize it, because the partisan media, and pols, have made this behavior the norm.
The boy knows no better.
A universe of misinformation draws us into black holes hard, to impossible, to escape. The camera man or woman may frame the shot well, the board op may use the most clever graphics, the sound engineer mix to perfection, but actual content has us stuck in event horizons of hate.
No, media before deregulation certainly was no Garden of Eden. But looking back it surely seems so compared to this Goebbels-like mess deregulation has concocted.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for almost 50 years, first published in fall of 1972. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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