Those TV and movie moments that make normal people smirk and shake their heads.
I was at a doctor’s office waiting for my wife last week, watching a Biloxi news show. I had to cringe. This is why local news is seen as the kindergarten of the news media industry.
The anchorwoman was discussing child obesity with a local “expert” on the subject. The “expert” said that child obesity strikes 74 million boys and 50 million girls in this country. The “news” anchor joined the “expert” in a short round of somber head-shaking. Why, it’s just shocking!
Made all the more shocking by the fact that we now have 124 million kids out of 73.8 million (total) suffering from obesity. (Look at those numbers again if you aren’t smirking yet).
We see this almost every day; and not just on local news. It only stands out on a local level because these programs look like high school media projects. But we see this kind of “reporting” everywhere. The reason why most people don’t question enough is because when the shoddy information is reported it is often reported on varsity outlets like cable news, featuring our favorite celebrity reporters.
Guests make the most outrageous claims and the “news” celebrity nods, giving the statements an air of legitimacy. We shake our heads and wonder My god! Is there ANTHING that can be done about this!
In most cases, with the slightest intellectual curiosity on our part, we would find that what we are being told is either grossly exaggerated, being spun to the point where the underlying information is worthless, or that the statements are outright lies.
Name a big news item we’ve seen on the last 10 years. Think about what is reported and opined upon with respect to the “news”. With ten minutes of critical thought, you can probably find that a) the “reporting” provides very little in the way of fact surrounding the item, and b) the opinions are ALMOST always an effort to advance a commentator’s personal crusade or to advance the career of the commentator/”reporter”.
Here’s the problem with that. Once we reach the point where discussion is bereft of fact or reason argument ceases. You cannot argue a point with reason on one side and self-serving bullshit on the other. And when reporting and discussing reaches the point where both sides are shoveling agenda and spin and ignoring reason, you hit the slimy bottom of the sewer.
As a culture, we’ve been there for a while.
Name the subject: North Korea, Donald Trump, the Vegas shooter or fat kids; there is precious little being said anywhere having any intrinsic value. There is almost no subject upon which we can gain purchase and reach valid conclusions. Not from the sources we presently accept as legitimate.
We ARE the “idiocracy”.
We live in a world where in some powerful circles Donald Trump is still referred to as “brilliant” and a great “deal maker”. He was NEVER either. We live in a world where an entire house party caucus still allows itself to be disgraced by Nancy Pelosi. We live in a world where a cabinet officer, former first lady and presidential candidate is caught red-handed, up to her eyeballs committing felonies – and nothing happens. In this world, Mitch McConnell is still revered. Global warming alarmism is gospel, while not a single person can tell you what the ideal median temperature of the earth* is supposed to be.
And while half of the population latches onto one of these stupid conclusions the other is only motivated by how they can be used to discredit or destroy political opponents.
We may well have passed the tipping point where recovering a mature, educated, civil society is impossible.
How do we now teach our daughters that a pat on the ass, while most consider it inappropriate, is NOT sexual assault? How do we then teach her to handle such things as an adult?
How do we teach our children that history favors free and open discourse, while we allow a growing list of things we are not permitted to discuss?
How do we, as a nation, ever again recognize the laws of economics (as hard and fast as gravity) versus the failure of “managing” an economy among 312 million people?
We live in a country where adults watch TV shows about vampires and zombies, and now police officers with magic super powers. Think about that! Less than a generation ago such concepts would be laughed out of any adult gathering.
Me-too-ism is running rampant. For every dramatic news event, there are now battalions of Americans jumping in and trying to be part of someone else’s narrative. They are followers and claim the mantle of weakness or victimization as if those were good things.
Our schools, our government and now many of our corporations operate not from a position how do I improve my world today, but from a kill Ivan’s goats perspective.
Some believe we just need “god in schools” to fix everything. But our present-day, citizen-as-obedient-drone society has been metastasizing since Woodrow Wilson. Religion has been around since the discovery of fire. Prayer in schools and the Pledge of Alligiance didn’t stop the rise of FDR or LBJ. So that’s not the answer.
If someone can tell me how we can un-Animal Farm this nation based on reason and without magical thinking, I’d love to hear your argument. I will enthusiastically invite you to post it here.
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