By Angry Old American
Copyright Angry Old American, July 19th, 2020. All Rights Reserved.
Everyday we see headlines of the next big news story. What exactly is “The News?” Could there be such a thing as “Fake News?” What has happened to free speech in mainstream and social media? With media outlets actively censoring content according to political bias, what will be the future for News in America?
What is News, and where does the concept of News originate? News is relevant information about events that are “New.” In ancient times, News was gossip circulated within tribes. Local gossip was shared with other gatherings as traveling merchants circulated these stories. Often, the best gossip became expanded into legends. Later, Bards and Minstrels were employed by kings and noblemen to circulate official messages. They became the first syndicated news service. Most people were illiterate, books were very rare; music and theater were reserved for nobility. Bards would compose lengthy “Songs” of over a hundred stanzas. Along with the kings message, this duo of word and melody also spread local gossip from one settlement to the next. They became rock-stars of their age.
What do we get today when we read, watch or listen to “The News?” We get second and third-hand information; except on those rare occasions when we hear recordings or view photographs and video. Even those recordings pale in comparison to direct experience due to out-of-context editing.
“The News” is a show; much like those provided by the Bards and Minstrels of old. The content of The News in dictatorial cultures is exclusively determined by the ruler. In a capitalist society, the content of this news show is determined by the desires, viewpoints and opinions of the highest bidder. These bidders are advertisers and major investors in the corporation that owns the media venue.
A recent trend known as “Cancel Culture” relies on pressure applied by advertisers on News venues to censor content and opinions. Social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube actively censor raw News content and opinion as a way to placate one exclusive political bias. Cancel Culture is an intrusion of dictatorial intollerance upon religious and political freedoms previously protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. “News” does not equate to “Free Speech.”
Everyday over 7.79 billion residents of this world produce millions of “news worthy” stories. Odds of one-in-a-million would provide 7,790 news worthy stories each day. The New York Times claims to run only 150 news comments and stories during a given day (250 stories on Sunday), which accounts for only 0.0187% of the available News.
News Syndicators screen and select the stories made available to be published or broadcast. These stories are categorized by local, regional, national and global markets. The largest syndicated news feeds are Reuters, Associated Press, and United Press International.
What makes a news syndicator so powerful? If the financial powers want to promote a new pharmaceutical product, they might pay to emphasize the rampant spread of a selected disease. If they want to provide cover for a pharmaceutical medication that killed a bunch of people; they could pay for that story to be ignored or burried, and run with an “urgent bulletin” about Justin Bieber’s new hair style. Ever wondered why those banal stories ever merited inclusion in “The News?” Slight of hand; magic!
Where do these Syndicated News Services get their news? Initially, it was from individual local newspapers and magazine publishers. Today, syndicators “Mine” their news digitally from a variety of sources. The cheapest are public domain government records which are easily accessed for free. Commentary by “experts” is inexpensive and often free. If these “experts” are backed by industries that will profit from news exposure, then their opinions may come with a financial incentive (kickback). Independent news researchers (snitches and spies) and photographers (paparazzi) charge big money for “The Inside Scoop.” Increasingly though, news is captured by video or photographs gathered by ordinary people’s cellular phones; or by shills who actually make-up the news from scratch. The gold standard for “News” that stands the litmus test of litigation for slander or liable is “Three verifiable independent sources.”
Topic Specific News Consolidators specialize in information about sciences, industries, finance, military, sports; just about anything under the sun. They too set the priority of content according to the highest bidder.
Mainstream Media News in America is 90% owned and controlled by only six corporate entities. These conglomerates are Comcast ($148.2 billion, NBC) run by Brian L. Roberts, Disney ($88.1 billion, ABC) run by Bob Iger, Time-Warner ($60.6 billion, CNN) run by Jeff Bewkes, News Corp ($56 billion, FOX) run by Rupert Murdoch, National Amusements ($43 billion, CBS) owned by Summer Redstone, and Sony ($38.1 billion) run by Kazau Hirai. Along with television networks, most every newspaper chain, magazine and book publisher (including textbooks and religious tracts), radio network, movie or music producer and distributor, and social media hub is tied to one of these six entities. Each one selects “The News” and sells a custom made interpretation (Spin) of the content to the highest bidder.
Consider a televised news show. News must conform to an established format to maintain a patina of credibility. News Show Producers hire professional set designers, makeup artists, costumers, cameramen, lighting and sound technicians and grips, directors and writers which are orchestrated to impress the viewer that the show’s message is legitimate. Producers must attract enough capital investment to support their program; or the show does not go on. Selection and emphasis of content, and the Spin of delivery will always cater to the financial interests backing the production.
When we watch or listen to Fluffy and Rex on our morning news, they talk so naturally and sincerely to us; as though they mastered each topic and share the honest truth with each of us personally. They accomplish this with warmth, wit and charm; like they were sharing their own opinions. We are scarcely aware that they are reading word-for-word from a teleprompter. There are no ad libs on “The News.” Even interviews are scripted; often provided complete with arguments!
News Anchors are actors and actresses; paid “personalities” that deliver dialogue from their prompter to sell the investor’s message. Despite their superficial “sincerity,” Fluffy and Rex are professional news whores who sell their talents to the highest bidder based on Nielsen ratings for a chosen demographic and psychographic market profile. Market share for their “Time Slot” determines their value to the corporation and subsequent income.
News has changed over recent years. In the 1990s, television, radio, and print media moved to a “Tabloid Format.” This Tabloid Format mirrors the sensational “News” found at supermarket checkout stands in The National Enquirer, Star, and Sun; throwbacks to “yellow journalism” of old. Hiring “experts” and pasting together a collection of photos and video excerpts is far less expensive than placing reporters on location for raw unique investigative journalism.
When we consume “The News,” we are getting information that has been filtered, analyzed and pre-digested; seasoned by the judgments and opinions of financial investors in the production. What do we call a Caesar Salad that has been previously consumed and digested? Either it is violently regurgitated for being offensive to “The System,” or is happily passed-on to fertilize the environment. If such an odious lump were served on a plate, most sane people would never touch it. If the public knew what “The News” really is, they would not consume it either.
Is there such a thing as fake news? Certainly the selection, emphasis and Spin of content can color the News. Value judgments, innuendo, out-of-context quotes and skillful editing of audio, video and factual data can turn black into white. Crucial facts might be omitted entirely or altered if the highest bidder has enough to gain or lose; no law against it! A simple retraction is issued after-the-fact to acknowledge an “honest mistake.” If damages were done, the investment premium covers the loss.
What we receive from mainstream media news is aptly called “Programming.” The consumer gets a morsel of news scraped from a sliver of a slice; and 99.98 percent of the news is never presented. The content chosen for presentation is crafted to reinforce or change opinions of the consumer. This is done to meet the desires of the dominant investor.
Is The News we consume the most important content available? It is important for the investors; and ultimately that is all that matters to publishers and networks.
Certainly, news of a solar eclipse cannot be ignored. However, the emphasis can change with slight-of-hand. Public interest can be fueled about “Elmo, the pet spotted cow who fell in a well.” There would be “Special Exclusive Non-Stop Coverage” complete with weeping little Billy’s background stories till poor Elmo is rescued. There are always a bounty of banal stories to select from.
The truth hidden inside our spoon-fed news does not come free and easy. Extracting the truth from News requires work. Research and independent critical thinking are used to parse facts from opinion and Spin. Until Cancel Culture erases them all, the same raw “News Feeds” are available to us that the mainstream media uses. Doing our own research is simple during this age of the internet. However, the door to unfiltered information is closing fast.
For now, finding the news is easy, but extracting the truth is difficult. A firm grasp of logic, rhetoric and logical fallacy help us filter out deception. The News is packed with logical fallacies.
Introspective knowledge about the source and validity of our own core values and belief systems are the most important tool for determining truth. Know thyself. Our lives, opinions, and history itself, have all been formed out of the clay that we call “The News.” Is the News true? Was it ever true? The philosopher Socrates once said “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Our loss of free speech to a fanatic political extreme is a tragedy. It happened in Bolshevik Russia, Nazi Germany, Maoist China and Khmer Rouge Cambodia. Books were burned, an entire culture erased; millions of people killed. Intolerant forces have embraced not only “sensitivity” censure of content; but are tampering with language itself to create a politically correct “New Speak” reminiscent of George Orwell’s “1984.”
Cancel Culture is now actively supporting the removal or altering of news “facts.” The 99.98% of unpublished news is being filtered and selectively scrubbed from databases if it does not conform to their Marxist dialogue. Google’s artificial intelligence search engine algorythm that was employed for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to remove free speech in China is now being employed here in the USA.
One might argue; if “The News” is a pile of dung determined by the highest bidder, then a Marxist perspective can only offer a more balanced perspective. This would be a valid argument if the Marxist perspective did not dominate in the first place. What we now face is an exclusive Marxist dialogue.
Which came first; the chicken or the egg? Who provided the decades of programming to produce today’s bumper crop of Marxists? They did not come out of nowhere!
Modern Communism as practiced by the CCP is great for big business and high finance. As oligarchs, these billionaires stand to become trillionaires. After erasing the middle-class and small enterprise entirely, they will control a monopolist stranglehold over the lives of every man woman and child. After eliminating the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the citizen becomes their slave.
The young rebels of today are our isolated and neglected generation. Lacking parental guidance and betrayed by their teachers, they are the product of public school political indoctrination and incessant mainstream media Marxist propaganda. Lacking the self-discipline and skills to determine the truth, these programmed zealots accept “The News“ as gospel; reacting in knee-jerk fashion. Life for them is a game of tic-tac-toe instead of a game of chess. These “Rebels” are actually fanatical conformists; sad and frightened specimens of group-think. Lacking the ability for independent critical thinking, they cannot reason or react without direction from the hive-mind and peer pressure. Have pity on them all because they are not at fault; they were never schooled!
Ultimately, Cancel Culture will rob us all of a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. What kind of person would throw away their Constitutional liberties and the Bill of Rights?
Ironically, they call themselves “Woke!”
Angry Old American