In the wake of the Trump takeover, the big push among the media over the past week has been concern over the "fake news" that dominated Facebook over the course of the 2016 campaign, and they are right to be concerned. Misinformation, in any form, is a terrible thing. It causes people to make uninformed decisions and only divides the country further.
But the media isn't blameless when it comes to fake news. The public consumes fake news because the media has lost credible voices.
Everywhere you turn in the media, it seem, the loudest voices are those pushing for an agenda rather than trying to find the truth. There has never been anything wrong with having a worldview that shapes your reporting; in fact, you can't have good journalism without it. But our media culture is one today where story lines are chosen to fit particular agendas, and realities that don't fit those story lines are discarded. The reality on the ground isn't as important as advancing a point of view.
I see it in the liberal media on websites such as Slate who freak out over every move that Trump makes, and I mean everything. Don't they know that when everything is an outrage that nothing is?
I see it in the conservative media when nothing, I mean nothing, that Barack Obama does can be considered good. They couldn't even let the man defend a pro-Trump protester at a Democratic rally without spinning it as him losing control of the crowd.
The media that is created as a result of all this is pure crap, and it's killing our country. Liberal and conservative ideologies are fine if we could just have some basic intellectual honesty when tackling the news and issues of the day.
Intellectual honesty - that's really all we need to help us get back to finding truth. Why does it have to be so hard to find people in the media who have it?
Those voices, while few and far between, are out there if we'll just pay attention to them. Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show, is trying to be one of them. I hope I'll hear from some others.
But part of our problem right now is that, for many, we simply don't want to listen to them. We want to be mad at our neighbors. We want to hate the other side. We want to talk and we don't want to listen.
It's a phase we're in. Sometimes it feels like it's going to last forever. I hope like hell it doesn't, and for my part I'm going to do everything I can to help us get back to finding truth in our discourse, because there's never been a more important time for truth in media.
Peace and God Bless America.
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