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America unplugged?

March 13, 2017

What’s going on when even TV news presenters are following Twitter on-air, as they are “reporting?”

Are you also one of the people who follows the President on Twitter? Ever wondered why you trust that source more than news reports? Wouldn’t he be expected to be biased in his own favor?

In the wake of all the acrimony, overheated hyperbole and outright X-rated smut masquerading as news that has dominated the air and e-waves since the election there is an interesting side story.

Some people are simply tuning it out.

“Marie” a full time Mom,  is an example.

Marie has put parental blocks on all of the major news networks, be they left or right oriented. She says news today is the product of the “main-scream  press.”  And yes, that’s spelled the way she said (and sees) it.

She says that her children, aged 5, 8 and 10 simply do not have the sophistication needed to process what they hear on the TV or on social media. She is overwhelmed with trying to explain it to them. She also blocked most of the ensemble opinion programming during the day and now monitors their social media contacts.

Marie says she is not super religious, and she considers herself pretty middle of the road politically. That said, she still feels this uproar has gone so far beyond being about legitimate issues or governance that she just can no longer allow it or deal with it in her home.

Her reaction is understandable. If you do try to keep up with all the currents and eddies since the election, it feels like swimming in a pool of untreated sewage.

But is ignoring it the answer?

Obviously for some people it is. Marie herself says that if she didn’t have children to consider, she wouldn’t ignore what she calls “the destruction of our society.”

She does acknowledge that she can’t stop them from hearing and seeing things at friend’s houses or at school that she doesn’t allow.

The obvious downside to her solution is that it changes nothing, assuming that any of this can  be changed versus just letting it burn itself out.

As Marie is discovering, you can’t escape from the world unless you can afford your own deserted island.

Others just take it as entertainment, and assume that it most of it is untrue or at best, just personal opinion.

That’s a shame.

Very few industries have a constitutional right to exist. For the press to so thoroughly abrogate the position of trust that the founding fathers placed in it is not just sad, it is dangerous in a free society.

Yellow journalism, i.e. the reporting of otherwise ordinary, tawdry or even untrue events best left unreported and done strictly for profit isn’t new, but it used to be counterbalanced by what we used to call responsible journalism, or a free press. You know, where one source presented both sides of a story.

Considering what passes for news today, there are bound to be a lot more Maries out there than you know.

From → op-ed

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