“Fake news.” A phrase given as truth by the 45th President of the United States. Is he a racist, totalitarian monster that is trying to control the media? Or is he one of the plebeians that rose higher than the rest and has been raised seeing the fallacies of mass media coverage? Should the Commander-in-Chief be neutral when it comes to the news or does he have a right to call them out and bring people’s attention to the nature of news today?
There was a time when news consisted of hard-hitting exposes that attempted to change public opinion and lead the nation in a more moral and just direction. Although somewhere along the line, news reports lost their bite. I understand that in a world of twenty-four-hour news cycles there will be filler, but when did filler topics become headlines?
CNN came out recently claiming Donald Trump was waging a war against the press because of his negative view of their reporting. He denied their access to a few events, which translates to Trump waging a war on the freedom of the press. Or could it be a man seeing the blatant agenda of slander and attack against him?
CNN has spent much of their time since his presidential win, trying to bring Trump down. They report on his collusion with Russia, which may or may not be illegal. The only definite information that came from the leaks was that CNN helped Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders, but that is not newsworthy apparently.
What is newsworthy? An affair Trump had twelve years ago, ten years before he was elected. I am willing to bet, that was not news to even Melania, and she is the only one that should care.
A man cheating on his wife is not and should not be news. It is only important information to the spouses involved. If the majority of the population disagreed with this, then why was no one appalled by the existence of AshleyMadison.com? People cheat, it is an unfortunate truth that does not belong on the news.
In 1998, America became aware of the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal. For those too young to remember, the President had a sexual relationship, no matter what his sound clips will tell you, in the Oval Office. Much like the Trump affair, it should have only been known to those involved. The explosion of reporting on the matter may have set a terrible precedent.
I will concede to understand that there is a part of human nature that loves to watch a train wreck, like celebrity break-ups. And presidents are important celebrities. However, those are fluff pieces, shown between sports and the weather. They do not affect policies that are important to the American people.
Fox News also reported bad things in their cycle. Unfortunately, their bad reporting garnered support for unlawful military conflicts. Shortly after 11 September 2001, Fox began to spread the idea of Saddam Hussein’s enormous and varied supply of weapons of mass destruction. Or should I say, Saddam’s alleged enormous and varied supply of weapons of mass destruction.
Nothing was ever found in Iraq, yet they have been bombed and occupied the area for decades. The resulting war on terror produced hundreds of thousands civilian deaths, thousands of American soldiers dead, and trillions of dollars spent. A price far greater than that of the tragedy of 9/11. All that to protect the idea of the infallible nation.
A nation wrought with unrest and anger directed at varying parts of the of the government. A large and vocal part of the nation feels that there are separate rules of engagement that the police follow based solely on race. In the wake of this, a movement rose up behind a mediocre quarterback in the National Football League.
Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence and many of his fellow players followed suit. The nation responded with eruptions on both sides of the political spectrum. The right condemned the players for disrespecting the flag and those that served under it. The left shouted down their claims based on violations of the 1st amendment. Both were wrong.
The flag is a symbol of our nation and our nation was built with the hope of freedom for everyone. Although, at the end of the day it is a piece of fabric, and nothing worth spilling blood over, especially each other’s blood because of a few political disagreements.
Also, while protesting is a protected right, an employer can make whatever statutes it wants, and you are left with the option to work for them or not. When the NFL started seeing ratings drop, they reacted like any company would act to protect their profit margin. Even though it says “National” in the name and has a picture of a little flag on the emblem, the NFL is a private company, and should not be mandated to allow actions that are hurting them.
The bigger issue of the protest is the claimed police brutality. The right should see that the players are not standing against a nation, just a protected few that have brought violence against them. The left must understand that the movement is not being held down because of racism, but because of waning ticket sales. While that may not be a noble reason, the NFL remains a private organization and may conduct business as they see fit. There are plenty of more places that a player can protest.
Therefore, I feel there is no real emotion behind the organizers of the national anthem protest, where is the movement in the off season? Football players play one game a week for about five months. That leaves a considerable amount of time the highly-publicized players could be delivering their agendas and yet they are widely silent. And if the players are not willing to show a concentrated effort toward change, it stops being news.
A few players protesting for a minute and a half once a week should not be news. If all sports players stood together to achieve a goal, that would be news. Hell, if you could get just the NFL players to be on the same side it would be news. Of course, the NFL would still be in the right when they fired every single one of them, and that would be news too.
That is the problem with the media giants like CNN and Fox, somewhere along the line they started reporting feelings instead of events. An abundance of stories describes how a group feels about an event, rather than reporting on it and letting the viewer respond with their own feelings. We are guided toward how we should react, instead of how we may have reacted naturally.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is perfect evidence of this. The right tells people the anti-Trump groups have a disorder because they do not support everything the President does. While the left tells their group that Trump is constantly attacking everything they hold dear. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has conducted policies almost identically to every president before him.
Barack Obama made strong statements against illegal immigration and was supported in it. George HW Bush made the famous “No new taxes” claim and there has never been a time when the government was not trying to add taxes. Trump has defined himself with wall building and tariff making, the only difference is he says mean things. So, because of feelings, Trump is the worst President ever.
Trump does plenty to cause dislike. Just like Obama, he has taken a stand against illegal immigration. Just like Bush, he has sent soldiers to war. Just like under Clinton, police beat individuals for a multitude of unwarranted offenses. However, the news focuses on the wrong aspects of every major issue.
On immigration, one side says we need to keep people out and the other believes we need to let everyone in. Although simple economics will tell you that an open border with the magnet of social programs, like welfare or universal healthcare, will collapse the system supplying the programs because there will be too many mouths and not enough wallets to balance each other out. While on the other side, restricting someone from crossing an imaginary line under the threat of imprisonment or death cannot be the answer. The news focuses on your imposed feelings instead of trying to show people what the problems are.
On war, one side says we must bring peace and safety to the world and the other side says we must protect our values by eliminating the threat at the source. What no one, news source, Republican, or Democrat, will address is that none of the wars we inject ourselves into or start are necessary. We have dropped bombs on an ever-rising number of countries for decades, but then wage war in response to the blowback. Finding creative ways to support wars of aggression should not be news, it probably should be punished in a court of law.
On police brutality, one side says we must always stand with the police and the other believes any violence is too much. Even police should not side with all police all the time. Police officers are people and can make mistakes. And unfortunately, if someone uses violence against police, they should be able to defend themselves. The problem that no one addresses on the news is the non-violent crimes that continue to be the root cause of much of the violence. If a person wants to ingest a plant and there is no one around to be affected by it, why is that a crime?
Three major problems with three reasonable resolutions. Either open the border and cancel social programs or seal it shut and let tax money try and help those that contribute. Do not tell me separating families is wrong because last I heard, there were not many daycares at prisons. War is wrong because it is mass murder. You cannot bring peace and prosperity through death and destruction no matter the reason for bringing the wrath. If we stopped arresting those for non-violent crimes, their cases of police brutality would drop dramatically. Look at crime statistics during and after prohibition for some clear evidence.
I know the major news organizations will not acknowledge these ideas, because I am not the first to say them. But if we can find a way to shift our attention away from their biased, attention-grabbing tactics and focus on facts and events, maybe we can steer them toward being honest and plain. The market will provide. Trust me, there is plenty of diabolical things committed by both sides of the political spectrum, to try and convince people there is a better way, so let’s report those stories and lay off the fluff.
This article represents the views of the author exclusively, and not those of Being Libertarian LLC.
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