Never Trust The Media


I have long advocated that one should not believe anything one sees, hears, or reads coming from today's media sources. As 'Gregory House', from the TV show 'House", was wont to say, "Everybody lies!"

The conservative side of the political spectrum decries almost all news sources other than Fox. The liberal/progressive side decries Fox. Well, in my opinion, both sides are correct in their condemnations. Ronald Reagan's famous saying, "Trust but verify.", is no longer sufficient. With the obvious bias of today's major, network news sources the saying should be "Verify, never trust." And, a sad commentary that is; but a correct one.

A much sadder commentary is that the majority of Americans do not have the time nor the inclination to properly research what they hear to uncover the truth. This was certainly true for myself prior to my retirement. Not so any longer.

As this piece is about the untrustworthiness of the media these days, let me offer a little bit of contextual background before getting to the main theme.

Background:

In general, we self-identify with a political persuasion, listen to only those news sources that promote what we "believe in", and accept what is spoon fed us - to our and the Nation's collective detriment.

In observing the news media outputs we would come to the conclusion that the American people are binary in their political beliefs. They are either conservative or liberal. This simplistic notion is fallacy. In order to fully comprehend the fallacy in this one must first define "conservative" vs. "liberal/progressive". And, therein lies the issue. I would venture to guess that not a single person is totally either. Further, it is my guess that the vast majority of people can't give an accurate definition as to what really constitutes a conservative, a liberal, or a progressive. And, they are each different.

Most people, I opine, have feelings or desires that span the array of political spectrums. Most people tend to align themselves with the political persuasion that most closely fits their feelings or desires.

Let's take a look at a rather simple sounding differentiation

Conservatives, in general, believe that the US Constitution is THE law of our land and should be followed explicitly. Liberals/progressives, in general, believe that it is a living document and should be interpreted based on the changing mores of the day.

The in general part is the issue. An example:

The 2nd Amendment states "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Conservatives believe that this wording means that the Constitution guarantees everyone the right to have a gun. (In fact, in their separate writings the Founding Fathers fully supported this notion.) Progressives, in their reading of this Amendment, believe that the wording only applies to a "militia" - a militia meaning the armed forces, police, etc., as there are no "militias", per se, today.

The wording of the 2nd Amendment is what leads to this disagreement on its meaning. Had the word "and" been inserted just before the "the right of the people...", the interpretation of this Amendment would be entirely clear - or, both having a militia AND the right to keep and bear arms would be guaranteed. Since the word "and" is not there, nor some other wording, the disagreements on the 2nd Amendment's meaning continue.

It is not difficult to find conservatives that feel the way some progressives feel on this issue. And, it is not difficult to find progressives that feel they have an unconditional right to "bear arms".

Pick any other political "hot button" of the day and you will find those who call themselves conservative and those who call themselves liberal/progressive with opinions and feelings different than what might be expected. No one is all the time any one thing.

To say that all Republicans are conservative and that all Democrats are liberal or progressive is not true even in a general sense. But, before looking at that, a clarification or two is deserved.

I keep using the terms "liberal/progressive". These are two distinct different political persuasions that are often used interchangeably in the media. A while back I did a piece on "my" differentiation of these two and another piece on progressives as relates to other political persuasions. Based on my view of things, here are some examples:

Ronald Reagan was a conservative.

John F. Kennedy was a liberal.

Barack Obama is a progressive.

Let's not leave out Libertarians in the defining of things. Think of them as sort of conservatives, true conservatives, on steroids who basically want the smallest government with the least impact on the people possible.

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As an interesting aside, on the internet there is a quiz/test that will give you a fairly good estimation of where you really stand politically.

If one answers the questions in this quiz honestly, not just how you think you should answer them based on what you feel your political leanings are, but truly honestly as to how these questions apply to you, personally, most wind up with the answer being some degree of "libertarian". Not the Libertarian Party, but the libertarian philosophy. Click Here For The Quiz.

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For the purposes of the rest of this piece I'll just use "conservative" and "progressive".

Earlier I did a few pieces on the bias in the progressive media. Here is one example. But, now let's move to today and the political aspects of not only the progressive media but of the conservative side as well - Specifically, FOX News.

Main Theme:

Conservatives love FOX News. It is where their personal opinions are most accurately reinforced. But, recently this notion is coming under fire.

Case in point is the presidential candidacy of one Donald Trump.

For those who watch FOX it is becoming apparent that "not all is well" with regard to FOX's coverage of Trump - as well as their "Fair & Balanced" approach. Most conservatives, I feel, resonate with Trump's "conservative" stances on issues - not his methods necessarily, but on the issues themselves.

FOX seems dead set on trashing Trump at every turn. Instead, they seem to have as their "favorite son" one Marco Rubio. More on this in a minute.

This seems to have started in earnest with Megyn Kelly's attack on Trump back in August of 2015 during the first Republican debate. Since that time, if you have watched her show on a regular basis, she has imbibed in denigrating Trump, often subtly but consistently.

It is often heard that there is no such thing as a coincidence. Even thought this is not ever meant literally, try this on for size.

Prior to the August 2015 debate Megy kelly was a frequent guest on Bill O'Reilly's TV show - the highest rated news commentary show on TV. Since the Trump-Kelly brouhaha, to the best of my knowledge, she has not appeared on O'Reilly's show once. O'Reilly and Trump have been professional friends for some 35 years. Coincidence?

Now, I don't want to focus only on FOX. The attacks against Trump go beyond this news organization - and, I'm not talking about just progressive TV outlets. For example, go on Google and look up "list of Megyn Kelly attacks on Trump". All you get is a list of links that discusses "Trump's attacks on Kelly". Or, the reverse of what you asked for. Curious, no?

Additionally, for the Jamuary 28th debate FOX (and the co-sponsor Google) have invited two curious YouTube people to offer questions. The first, Nabela Noor, is a Muslim activist who has described Trump as a bigot and depicted him as an Adolph Hitler. Second is Dulce Candy, entered the country illegally. Clearly, these two people represent ideas directly at odds with Trump's stated positions, obviously.

Now, 2 days before another Republican debate hosted by FOX News, Trump has pulled out of the debate due to his perceived bias by Kelly, one of the debate moderators.

So, FOX is in attack mode almost full bore against Trump. Trump, not exactly the shy type, is firing back. And, some of his "firings" are hitting at a core of FOX News that heretofore was little known.

Remember, one of the basic tenets of conservatives is that illegal immigration is bad; legal immigration is good.

Rupert Murdoch founded Fox News Channel and the Fox News Corporation. Roger Ailes is the Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group.

It seems that Murdoch is the co-chair of a powerful immigration lobbying firm, the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE). Or, he is pushing hard for "open borders"; or, increasing illegal immigration.

As an aside, Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, also co-chairs this same organization along with Murdoch. Disney is being sued for laying off US workers in favor of foreign personnel (i.e., non-US citizens) and forcing the US workers to train their foreign replacements.

If one believes that Trump is fully against any illegal immigration, then OOPS!; there's a conflict with FOX's true ideology, for sure.

Further, Murdoch was a backer of the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill that Marco Rubio helped sponsor. Even further, Bill Sammon, FOX News’s vice president of News and Washington managing editor, is the father of Brooke Sammon, who is Rubio’s press secretary. No "political incest" here!!!

It seems that every time one turns around FOX is featuring Marco Rubio - not Trump, not Cruz, but Rubio. I live in Florida. To a person, everyone I know thinks Rubio is a loser. Here are some reasons why.

Trump seems to be a lightning rod for all kinds of attacks, both from the left, as would be expected, and from the right. Actually, the conservatives (or rather the Republicans to be more accurate) appear to be the strongest opponents.

Things I've head from the Republican side:

- Trump is not a real conservative.

- Trump is a closet progressive.

- Trump has no real experience in leadership.

- Trump's entire candidacy was formulated by the Clinton administration.

The list is almost without end.

The last one on the above list is an interesting conspiracy theory. It goes something like this:

The Clinton organization is well aware that Hillary has a lot of political baggage that may prove problematic in the general election. Therefore, if Trump tries for the Republican nomination, the media will do everything it can to denigrate him. He needs no one's money, he needs no one's influence; and, he can't be bought. Of course, such a person is an anathema to any political party.

So if the Clinton organization, in the "back rooms" can get him to run, the following is a likely outcome:

Trump will incur the wrath of the Republican party and will react VERY negatively. So negatively, in fact, that at some point he will bolt from the Republican party and do an independent run.

This, of course, will split the Republican vote right down the middle leaving either Hillary or Biden to easily amass the number of electoral votes to win.

How the heck did Biden get into all this? Well, as of now it would take an "accident" of some sort.

Summary:

The old apocryphal, Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times.", seems to be upon us.

It ought to be a "wild ride", for sure.

And don't foget, never trust any news source. Fact check everything!

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Just in case you were wondering - or even care, I am not pulling for Trump at this time. I am a long way from making up my mind as to whom I'll support. No, I'm just enjoying the "drama".

As to Trump, FOX, and the debate, part of the chorus of Kenny Rogers' 1978 song, 'The Gambler', has been a "friend" to anyone who has negotiated more than a couple of business deals. Trump even expounded on it in his book, "The Art Of The Deal".

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January 27th Update:

This seems to be a case of follow the money yet again, still!

Last evening Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren polled her viewers on whether or not they will watch Thursday’s debate with Trump not participating.

More than 83 percent have said they will not be watching the debate. Now, her polls are not scientific. They are representative of conservative viewers, however.

This would be a ratings collapse for FOX. Mucho loss of revenue.

Ailes, reportedly, has attempted to contact both Trump's wife AND daughter to see if they would intercede with Trump to have him be in the debate tomorrow evening. Trump's response? He has indicated that he will only speak to Murdoch. No further info is available at this time.

However, consider this: Trump set up a benefit for wounded troops to be conducted at the same time as the debate. I can just hear Trump's response to FOX requesting Trump to change his mind about showing up for the debate:

"Hey, do you think I'm going to deny our brave men and women of the armed services their just dues because you don't want to loose ratings? Not a chance on that one. You should have considered the ratings issue before you decided to treat me unfairly."

January 29th Update:

Well, the 7th Republican debates were last night. And, no, like many I did not watch them. But, I did watch the post-debate analyses on FOX as well as video highlights of both debates.

There's a guy, Frank Luntz, who does an interview, of sorts, for FOX with supposed "average" Americans. He basically asks these people how they felt about the debate. From watching Luntz's "performance" one would come away with the idea that Rubio was by far the winner.

It turns out that there "may" be a slight problem with "objectivity" here. Earlier I mentioned that FOX seems to be favoring Rubio. Of course, that's my opinion. But, you know the old saying, "If it smells like a duck, etc.". Anyway, check out this article and see what you think: Luntz used to be on Rubio's payroll.

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In the evening's earlier debate all of the candidates took varying shots at the media. No, I don't think they were siding with Trump's fight against FOX. I believe it was their individual objectivity speaking.

The best of these anti-media exchanges was offered by Cary Fiorina. She is a curious element in this race for the presidency. She is always on point, articulate, and knowledgeable. However, she has failed to gain any traction whatsoever in the polls. As Yule Brenner ('The King and I') offered, "'tis a puzzlement".

Here's the exchange I felt was the best:

Moderator MACCALLUM:

So, Carly Fiorina, I ask you this. Is your party (i.e., the Republican party) in crisis?

FIORINA:

Someone asked me about midway through my campaign, what’s the biggest surprise to you on the campaign trail? And I will tell you what the biggest surprise is: the chasm, the yawning chasm, between what the national media talks about and what the people of Iowa and the people of this great nation talk about. That’s the biggest surprise. So guess what, Martha? Guess what, sorry. The people of Iowa never ask me about a crisis in the GOP, they never ask me about the polls. They never ask me about the other candidates. …

In other words, I’m going to put my faith every single time not in the pundits, not in the polls. Most definitely not in the national media. … Citizens, this is why we have to take our government back. The establishment thinks it owns this country. The pundits thinks they own this country. The media thinks they owns this country. We were intended to be a citizen government, citizens. The game is rigged. You have the power. Take our country back.