Monday, October 14, 2019

For What It's Worth - Go Ask Alice

Re: previous post:

I am not going to take a lot of time here to critique or defend Chuck Todd or Brian Tyler Cohen except to say that we are in vastly new territory when a a president of the United States  can make blatantly vicious accusations and speak outright lies as though they are truths and expect his words to be broadcast far and wide over every TV network and cable news station.

The issue is not whether the particular statement is newsworthy...the issue is that as president of these United States his words, once out of his mouth, truth or falsehoods, have real consequences and take on a reality of their own. He understands that his lies, even when they are fact-checked by multiple sources beyond any doubt, have already had the desired effect. It is an insidious tactic of a disingenuous narcissistic gaslighter - a person who, if he had ever been seriously vetted, would never have been a candidate, let alone a president.

"All the news that's fit to print" may still be a standard...it's just that much of what this president spews may no longer be deemed "fit to print" by a particular news outlet.

News organizations make choices daily about what news they will cover or report on. Freedom of the press ultimately involves making choices about what to report or not report and how to do so as well as editorializing.

In any previous reality, this all would likely not be an issue, but this current POTUS has catapulted us into a world where nothing is real, where there are "alternative facts" where science is considered an opinion, where truth no longer has meaning, where civility is not a virtue, where lies are equated with fact, and where words can incite violence. Should the president's vile language and insidious lies be given equal weight as a factual event?

This is new territory for us as well as for responsible news media. How does one report what is newsworthy without becoming a party to an intentional strategy of misleading and manipulating the citizens of this country?

What is "fit to print" or fit to broadcast. Should a video of a murder be broadcast because it is "news"?

We are in new territory and we are all learning how to navigate our way amongst the land mines and in a world where all the rules have changed or been discarded. I certainly don't have the roadmap nor the answers. But I do know that something must be done differently in order for all of us to return to some semblance of sanity and reason.

When Ellen DeGeneras can be severely criticized for being civil to George W. Bush and even more harshly castigated for her standing for her value of kindness...go ask Alice...




In related "news" see this link to Back 2 Stonewall

1 comment:

  1. You've raised some good questions, Frank, that I can't begin to answer. I can only say that I deplore the need to change time-honored standards of journalism or any other area of life just because "they" are turning the world into a hellscape - a neologism that is certainly the mot juste for this present time.

    Our generation has been blessed to live in an era of increased freedom, prosperity, comfort, and communication. But as in the old Greek myths, with the blessing has come a curse as well: the correlative decrease in courtesy, compassion, and morality, both public and private. We live longer and better than any previous generation in the history of the world; but is this a world worth living in?

    Frankly, it often makes me want to vomit, as for example the story you linked to about the disgusting, despicable fake Trump movie. To which I could add a thousand other gruesome and sadly factual stories that we have all read about in recent years.

    I am glad to have lived comfortably and been "out" for most of it - but I am glad also to be an old man in the sunset of my years too. I shudder to think where all this is leading - and it has already gone much, much too far for my taste.

    For any decent person's taste, I should say. And I am going to leave it at that.


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