Wednesday, May 9, 2012

President George Obama is out to get Me?

As many of you know, I'm am taking a year long class through the fire department to upgrade from a firefighter/EMT to a firefighter/paramedic.  The instructor, as part of our morning routine, has us give a news story.  Now this story can be anything we wish and it proves to be a great way to start the day with a little debate, a laugh or two and a bit of trivia before starting the day's serious learning.  Until this class, I had done my best to avoid the news and the programs that "report" it.  I find the news to be often depressing and worst of all, as is the subject of this post, extremely bias toward one political affiliation or another.  And now that I have been reintroduced into the news world after several years, my feelings have only intensified in my older age.
It is my naive and perhaps immature belief that the news' purpose, whether it be the six o'clock TV variety or the local news paper, is to report facts from events that have occurred throughout the world that we might night otherwise be aware of in our individual microcosms.  I didn't realize that in addition to telling us what's happened, the news was also tasked with informing us how we should feel about said news, how they feel about it, and orchestrate the stories in such a way that their bias infringes upon the actual, simple facts.  Fox News obviously is a popular entity to pick on for their obvious Republican slant, but they are certainly not alone and the Democratic party has plenty of news programs doing the same thing.  And this might not be so bad if it weren't for the fact that a great number of people don't see this obvious manipulation and, God forbid, take the reported news as fact.
I don't really know if the news was ever reported in such a way that manipulation wasn't the main goal and anytime there is a human element there will always be a certain degree of personal bias being delivered.  But shouldn't there at least be an attempt to be impartial.  To report, accurately and faithfully, the facts.  To use an example that will be bipartisan (don't want to put a bias on any particular culprit) if it's going to rain tomorrow, I want the news to tell me when it is suppose to rain, how much, how long and what is the accompanying temperature.  What I don't need is for them to tell me is that the rain is an evil, political right wing, left wing conspiracy that is poised to destroy the sanctity of America's values.  I will decide whether or not the rain is out to get me, you, news, just tell me its coming.
In just one morning of searching news articles I learned the following: President Obama is actively trying to bankrupt the United States of America, Gov. Mitt Romney is animal abuser, President Obama is against religious rights and is starting a war on marriage, the Republican party wants to destroy the environment and President George W. Bush is tanking our economy with his phone bill.  Really.  This is news.  There is an outlet for this kind of thing.  Many of them in fact.  Editorial columns, debates, blogs, commentator programs, satirists cartoons, a soap box on the Capitol Mall.  Just not on the five o'clock, six o'clock news.  Not in the newspaper (other than editorials).  And not on news radio.  Call yourself opinion radio, the five o'clock opinion or the opinion paper and manipulate facts, be selective on what you report and try to tell me what to think all you want.  And when I turn on or read the news, please just tell me, wait for it, who, what, when, and where!
P.S. If your some kind of scientist you can attempt to tell me how and why.

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Scarlet Hopewell