Friday, November 18, 2016

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for November, 2016


The election is over, but the shouting and the lunacy go on. And why is this so? There are many reasons, but I think there is one that towers above the others at this moment in time.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Readers, I give you the

The Left-Cheek Ass Clown for November, 2016


The News Media:
Both "Mainstream" and "Alternate"


It's become standard to sneer at the "Mainstream Media" and accuse them* of bias** ... particularly on the conservative side, which has developed its own media structure with biases it prefers. And it's long been recognized that the rise of cable and satellite television and the Internet have created vast numbers of highly specialized sources of "news" specifically targeted at the political and religious beliefs and biases of narrow slices of the public. Taken together, these developments have destroyed the concept of informative and unbiased "news" as it used to be delivered by journalists like the great Walter Cronkite, and replaced it with an array of staunchly partisan echo chambers which provide not facts on which concerned citizens can base informed opinions, but carefully selected and parsed data which conforms to the preconceived ideas of their audiences.

And the traditional media has let it happen.

By encouraging false equivalence between beliefs and positions which clearly do not warrant it, by uncritically reporting every ridiculous tweet fired off by a man completely unqualified to be president, by failing to clearly expose and demand retraction of falsehoods, and by allowing itself to be distracted by the shiny objects of a wildly nontraditional campaign, the traditional - or "mainstream" media has allowed a festering swamp of misinformation, distortion, and outright lies to undermine our democratic institutions.

And the newer, "alternative" media, which replaces truth in reporting with blatant lies, distortions, and feel-good pablum that confirms the biases of their audiences, is equally to blame. It has led to a level of ignorance and poor citizenship that will poison our national discourse for a long time.

If you need help in identifying some of the more egregious online sources of misinformation, fake news, and misleading headlines, check here. If you're okay with drinking the Kool Aid of your chosen sources of news, regardless of how off-kilter they are, just go on believing everything you hear. Ignorance, as has long been known, is bliss.

In honor of its role in dumbing down the American electorate and undermining our institutions and our respect for truth and civil discourse,  The Media, both Traditional and Alternative, is named our Left Cheek Ass Clown for November, 2016. 

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday ... heaven knows we need the laughs.

More thoughts then.

Bilbo

* "Media" is plural. Many people don't know this, or care.

** Or, if you enjoy swilling the hyperbolic Kool Aid of Alex Jones at infowars.com, they're "a cult of racist mind control."

7 comments:

John Hill said...

Excellent choice!

Mike said...

I can't get used to media or data being plural. Media are and data are are like finger nails on a chalkboard to me.

Sinner Bob said...

I see it as a good choice.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

The media, both traditional and alternative, deserve their licks. They tended to cherry pick the facts to support their stance. At times I had the feeling of "Is this what I paid for?"

I can think for myself. I don't need some J-school grad to do my thinking for me; nor the NYT editorial staff.

allenwoodhaven said...

Good choice! So many "news' outlets do a disservice to the communities they are supposed to serve.

The individuals that comprise The Public are complicit but the greater blame, in my opinion, belongs
the 24 hour news cycle. So much media content is now required that it has greatly magnified bias and
selective attention and promoted divisiveness.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

The 21st century is the time when several major newspapers that served metropolitan areas have lost a lot of readership. And old-fashioned television news is limited to half hour segments.

On Friday night, we get little local news but a lot of h.s. football.

Atomic Dog said...

All sorts of media have a bad odor attached to them.