Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Trouble With News

I am a news junkie. Perhaps this stems from having been an intel specialist in the Air Force, where tracking events in the world was my bread and butter. I love the news and check it throughout the day even now; tune in the evening news at 5 and 9 and sometimes catch Lou Dobbs on CNN (one of the few news shows that is actually relevant).



The news this week here in AZ has been floating plane, Cardinals game, American Idol (FOX NEWS). The “Miracle Landing” was news last week, the coverage was intense, the pilot proclaimed a hero and rightly so, he saved around 150 souls by his quick thinking, training, and following the emergency check list. He has exceptional aeronautical skills and should be commended for his actions, along with his crew. However, almost a week later this is no longer news, so the talking dogs on the news need to move on. The Cardinal’s victory is also news, but should be relegated to the sports segment. It’s hard to believe there is nothing important going on locally beyond some circus animals winning the Big Game. Often the Cardinal’s big victory news is followed by a canned segment showing warehouses burning in Pennsylvania, a baby left at a fire station in North Dakota on a freezing cold day. Tragedies, yes, but do they have local or National impact? No. Then the Fox people round out the news telling the viewers what Britney or her ilk have been up to this week, a sad testament to the intelligence of their viewing audience.



When I was young and we finally got TV the news was much different. The local news was just that, local, generally followed by a corporate world news broadcast. The local news wasn’t always that great, but did fix its sights on things that mattered to the residents of their area. Instead of airing all the latest Hollywood gossip, the station would present a Point-Counterpoint segment where a News person would do an editorial piece, followed by a rebuttal from a citizen with an opposing view point. It was nice to see both sides of the argument and allowed the viewer more information on which to base his or her opinion. The news shows today don’t do that as they don’t want you to have an opinion; they want you to share their view and their view only. The news has become slanted to the republican or democrat agenda and an informed educated public is a threat to that process of indoctrination. The Media has even gotten to the point where they endorse candidates - where is the objectivity in that?



Back to the Lou Dobbs show. While there is no local news presented, there is news that affects us all, and a good analysis on the part of both sides. Lou generally has a multiparty panel and allows each of the panel members to express their opinions on the subject at hand making it one of the few news shows that strives to present both sides. This allows the viewer to make an informed decision, not based on emotion, but based on facts.



I am reading a book by Neil Boortz, a Libertarian radio talk show host. He is of the opinion that not everyone should be allowed to vote, even advancing the idea that you get votes based on the amount of taxes you pay, similar to buying shares of stock in a company, with a cap of four votes. He points out that nowhere in the Constitution is there a clause that gives us the right to vote, though some state constitutions may have some provisions. His scheme is predicated on the thought that people who haven’t bothered to educate themselves on the ramifications of their choice shouldn’t be allowed to vote. After all we’re selecting the individual that will be leading the country for the next four years, a decision that should not and cannot be taken lightly or based on emotion over pragmatism

10 Comments:

At 6:07 PM, Blogger foam said...

lol, phos ..
based on your last paragraph ..
only about 5% of the american population would be able to vote ..
and who chooses who gets to vote? would we have to take a test?

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger boneman said...

I like the fact that you're reading.
Wings and fins on your cars and a book in your hands!

I kind'a take a different stance.
I don't believe politicians should be allowed to advertise at all.
Flat out, I also believe they shouldn't be allowed to run for office when they are in office!
And, no doubt, you've heard I'm a term limit maniac.
But, public debates have to be given ALL the candidates (I don't think any media group woyuld say that costs too much....after all, it's for America) anyway, when you get your license (every four years) you vote then.

You want a licsense, you vote.

I'm against the government taking over the media groups like they have. Forcing us all to either buy product from China (adapter boxes) or buy new TVs (at least that opens the market to the rest of Malaysia) or just watch dvds and read books.
(take a guess which way I'm goinng?)

When I was growing up, the morning news was about an hour and a half of news (local and national) and sometimes, SOMETIMES, fashion or cooking or music, and then, one day NBC says they're going to run an extra hour of the Today show, news program of the morning, and what we end up with is, after three hours, about 20 minutes of news IF there was a big news ticket item happenning, and two hours of fashion, music by screaming-at-the-top-of-their-lungs groups, cooking and dance and silly girl gibberish (honest to Heaven, Saturday Night Live's bit on those two twits in the morning show, Kathie Lee and that other broad [I went over to try and find her name, put up with a minute of advert for an Audi, and they still didn't give me her name.] is so on the mark!)
where's the flipping news?

God I can't begin to say how I feel like that old woman looking over the counter and hollering at the cashier, "WHERE'S THE BEEF?!"

So, I'm a hundred percent behind you on that one.
But, don't get me started on five different tv stations all beating the heck out of a single story.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

Im actually sick of govt, politics etc etc. In my world, they dun exist. :)

Keshi.

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Keshi said...

btw come n take part in my today's post Phoso! :)

Keshi.

 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger TROLL said...

Boneman is dumber than a stump. Boortz is correct although his proportional-vote idea is not the best solution.

Poll Tests are the logical first step in returning us to the Jeffersonian notion of an "enlightened citizenry".

It was a horrific mistake for the Federal Government to over-step it's Constitutional authority and ban ALL Poll Tests devised by the Sovereign States.

Indeed, if you read the historical documents, no State Poll Test were found to be unfair or an unnecessary burden. The problem found in Alabama was that the Tests were NOT GIVEN to white illiterates who could be counted on to vote a straight Democrat ticket. While Black Voters who PASSED the tests were lied to and told they flunked.

Abolishing ALL State Poll and Literacy Tests because some Alabama Democrat officials didn't follow the rules was absurd.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger K9 said...

originally, you had to own land to vote. im not sure where i stand on who gets to vote and what the litmus test would be but i do know this: every time an electorate discovers they can vote themselves free benefits and money - the republic is cooked. it cannot be sustained. and we are well on our way down that path. it astounds me the amount of people who actualy believe that obama is going to liberate them from providing for themselves but many do. they are going to be very disappointed when they discover he will allow yet more treasury raids on american wealth leaving us and 2 more generations up to our ass in debt while the richest of the rich got richer. im sorry, obama people who might read this, but that is where it is. btw i am on a national news ban. i get my news now from mostly foreign papers, like the excellent asia times. they have a much more sobering view of the state of our nation. and one last thing: obama is the candidate of the american idol generation a creation of brilliant marketing; which of course was axelrods career.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Little Lamb said...

I, too, wish the news media would move on and stop telling us the stuff they already told us.

 
At 7:13 AM, Blogger Die Muräne said...

why does the king want the peasants to watch tv so desperately?

 
At 5:36 AM, Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

DM: Indoctrination...

 
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