06 June 2011

OUR PATH TO ABSURDITY

UPDATED: 03/14/15
As we now live in a world that is more absurd each day, we must examine how it is we got here.

The Media is to blame... (more after the jump)
Not in the way some on the right wing circuit claim. The Media is to blame because the Media is us, the American People. We are the consumers of the Media. We are to blame.

All of this absurdity is our fault.

First, it is important to note here that Freedom of the Press is a Constitutional right. There is a reason this is First Amendment stuff! Our founders knew that a free press would be the enemy of those who seek the kind of power and influence that are not in our nation's best interest. 

We are the media because we demand truth. An enemy of the Media is attempting to hide truth. Today, however, we live in a world our founders could never have anticipated. It is a world in which the free press would itself be vulnerable to ideologically motivated [and funded] manipulations. 

And yes, all of it is our fault.

ENLIGHTENMENT
There is plenty of reason to believe that the Alaskan's interviews with CBS's former anchor, Katie Couric (herehere, and here), may well have been the deal-breaker for those who otherwise would have voted for the John McCain ticket in 2008. 

Thankfully, the television reveals certain undeniable truths.

Even more revealing is that after her defeat in 2008, Sarah Palin decided to use a page out of the Nixon playbook and launched a similar fight against the Media. 

It is up to us if we enter into this age with blinders, seeing and reading only things with which we agree and refusing to hear all other viewpoints. 

Or, will we use our Constitutional right to dig deeper - even as the absurdities explode around us - to find the underlying truth - not the ideological meaning, not the propaganda, not the think-tank-devised solutions - behind what we face as a nation?

This is ours to answer individually.

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UPDATED: 05/23/12 - Farleigh Dickinson University, which conducted the study that inspired the Have Gone Short embedded at the top of this post, has updated its research, now to reflect the entire nation. The new study reconfirms the results of the previous study.

Here's an excerpt:
"The largest effect is that of Fox News: all else being equal, someone who watched only Fox News would be expected to answer just 1.04 domestic questions correctly -- a figure which is significantly worse than if they had reported watching no media at all. On the other hand, if they listened only to NPR, they would be expected to answer 1.51 questions correctly; viewers of Sunday morning talk shows fare similarly well. And people watching only The Daily Show with Jon Stewart could answer about 1.42 questions correctly."

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UPDATED: 06/14/12 - Yet another study finds Fox as the "most uncivil network." The study (of 1,000 respondents) does not contain good news about how Americans view their sources of news and information as a whopping 80+ percent believe news outlets are more interested in creating controversy over straight reporting of facts. They are slightly right. And we are fcuked... but Fox stands alone in its absurdity.

UPDATED: 03/15/15 - A new documentary was just released, "The Merchants of Doubt," that captures the 'smoke-and-mirrors' behind all the absurdity around us. It's a must see. Here is the trailer:

UPDATED: 03/16/2015 - The Washington Post just released a piece about "Merchants of Doubt." Worth reading. This excerpt from the article is so very true.
"According to Kenner, change will come, but not from those shouting at the edges of the argument. Rather, it will grow out of the confused middle, where films such as “Food, Inc.” and “Merchants of Doubt” shine light on hidden, and uncomfortable, truths."