After the mainstream media helped get us into war based on nonexistent Weapons of Mass Destruction, I stopped subscribing to newspapers, or reading them much beyond their headlines. I stopped watching CNN or the evening news. Somebody was always bound to tell me the next day whatever was propagated the evening before. I began to enjoy the news retold by friends and acquaintances.
I have come to see the mainstreams as Weapons of Mass Mind Control. They give us partial or false information and then manipulate our feelings about it. They offer us an extremist point of view, not a balanced one. To whose end? Good question.
“If we had real investigative journalists, we might find out.” I thought, “but since we don’t, I’ll go to other extremists with opposite points of view—the fringe media. Maybe I’ll be able to find the facts that were conveniently dropped out of the mainstream.”
It was interesting to read opposing opinions written around the same facts—and I was able to find facts that had been suppressed. However, it was time-consuming. Working people don’t have time to read the Sunday Times, much less delve into the information networks of alternative social and political movements.
All news sources have their own biases through which they filter the facts they report. There is nothing wrong with having biases. As a science teacher, I show my students how to write a hypothesis. A hypothesis is actually a statement of a biased opinion. You predict that something will happen and then you state why you think as you do. Then you test your bias. If your biased opinion is proved wrong you have to write a whole explanation as to why you might have been wrong. You can’t just forget about it, move on, and keep your old, comfortable, biased opinion. Based on this method, the Scientific Method, the human learning curve over the past 500 years has been steep indeed. It took us from seeing a man in the moon to seeing a man on the moon.
It would be nice if journalists held themselves to the same rigorous rules, but they don’t. First of all they state facts, with no “if” clause at all. “If it is true that Sadam has Weapons of Mass Destruction, then America should invade Iraq.” Secondly, if the prediction is proved wrong (“Sadam didn’t have Weapons of Mass destruction, therefore we shouldn’t have invaded Iraq) it’s yesterday’s news. They don’t bother looking back.
If scientists had taken the road that journalists are taking today, we never would have gotten off the ground.
Stop howling at the moon, journalists.