Monday, December 30, 2019

One Item Of Knowledge To Take Into 2020

     Over the course of this year that’s about to end, anyone who pays attention to events would have seen and heard a lot of stuff that would make him shrug and say, “So what’s new?” Indeed, 2019 was a year of momentous non-events, mostly the continuation of previously established processes and trends of which any reasonably well informed American would have been aware on 1/1/2019. However, among the discrete events of the year, one thing was established so firmly that there can no longer be a reasonable doubt about it:

The major media are wholly enlisted with the Left.

     Marta Hernandez of Victory Girls has compiled a list of candidates for the ten most egregious “media fails” of 2019. It’s quite a list: a good memory refresher for anyone who’s lost track of some of the media’s hijinks in the Democrats’ service. I’d recommend keeping a copy somewhere for future reference. You know, just in case some shill tries to claim that the media are “watchdogs over government,” or “the guardians of truth in our Republic,” or some such bilge.

     When a fraudulent organization becomes aware that the public is onto it, it tries its best to delegitimize those who have caught it in its deceits. In the case of the major media, that would be the alternative media: those that function primarily and somewhat informally over the Internet. And indeed, that has been one of the themes of major-media commentary in recent days:

     On Sunday, NBC News political director Chuck Todd dedicated the final Meet the Press of 2019 to insisting President Trump had brought about a “post-truth society.” The same network that pushed the totally-bunk Steele dossier for years and tried to sink Justice Brett Kavanagh’s nomination with the ridiculous allegations from Julie Swetnick, wanted to lecture the public about falling for and spreading lies and misinformation. In the process, Todd lashed out at Christians for believing in “fairy tales.”

     “This Sunday, alternative facts. The assault on truth (…) This morning, Meet the Press takes an in-depth look at our post-truth society and how a changing media landscape has created chaos out of order,” Todd indignantly announced during the opening tease.

     Of course, what Todd really dislikes is that thanks to the rise of “citizen journalism” and the World Wide Web, “the news” is no longer a single harmonious tune sung by all “newscasters” from the same page of the same preapproved hymnal. That takes the bullets out of his gun; he and his cronies can no longer “set the agenda” for the national conversation. Note that Brian Stelter at CNN feels much the same:

     The major media’s bias can no longer be concealed. So if you were ever in any doubt about the probity and competence of these “journalists,” Gentle Reader, you can relax now: they are not to be trusted.

     Should you therefore trust those whose journalism – citizen or otherwise – runs against the trends in the major media? No, you should not. Assume, as the default condition of judgment for everything you read or hear that the writer / speaker has an agenda. Assume that he will at the very least be tempted to frame his coverage, or choose his terms, to support the imperatives of that agenda. What’s outside his frame might matter more than what’s inside it. What he writes might be the most tendentious possible way of addressing the subject matter. And of course, there’s always a chance that he’s flat-out lying to you, particularly in his presentations of “statistics.”

     Once again, I must present my favorite quotation from Siddhartha Gautama, better known to history as the Buddha:

Believe nothing,
No matter where you read it,
Or who said it,
No matter if I have said it!
Except it agree with your own reason
And your own common sense.

     Happy New Year.

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