Thomas Jefferson, Rage Against the Machine and lesbian attacksAs Thomas Jefferson once said, “Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes that nothing is wrong.”
And as Zach de la Rocha later retorted, “If ignorance is bliss, than knock the smile off my face.”
With that said, let’s jump into another round of Off the Record mailbag, where we strive to answer the questions of our dedicated readership. As always, these are actual correspondences I’ve received.
Reader: What’s going on in the media? A major story has taken place, but large scale news outlets have not done anything (yet) to cover this story... at all?
WorldNetDaily reports that “lesbians” attacked a Bible-believing Christian church service by pretending to be members (Sunday, Lansing, Michigan), but then they went absolutely crazy during the service. They made out on the church pulpit, they threw a thousand fliers in the air and dropped a profane banner, they threw out condoms... then they ran out... this is the story being reported on WorldNetDaily.
OtR: Hey, I hear you. The media misses stories all the time. More and more, it’s hard to even delineate the difference between the media establishment and the loose web of social networking sites, blogs, and websites supplemented by digital communication.
I mean, where one person gets his or her news is often as individualized as what flavor of ice cream a person might enjoy for dessert. The media world has become a Baskin-Robbins 32 million flavor smorgasbord of choices.
Where as one person might glean their news from blogs and Twitter lists, another might enjoy delivery of the Gray Lady along side crumpets and tea.
That said, there is a line however blurry between the reputable sources of information and those that incite panic, fear, and hate through less than credible ‘journalistic’ tactics.
The mere fact that you reference a “story” from a site that purports to be “A free press for a free people” and then in the next breath complains that no news outlets have covered the purported attack should tell you that upon deeper examination that even you know that the old WorldNetDaily is not an acceptable source of information.
I mean seriously, when a bust of Chuck Norris’s head is displayed in the masthead of the paper like the fifth addition to Mt. Rushmore, you really have to wonder.
Further, a quick display of the headlines reveals a certain, uhh, slant. Today, the lead story insists that the “Communist Party…is mapping out (President Elect) Obama’s White House strategy”.
This entry is not sourced, but it is followed directly by a link where you can buy a poster of President Elect Obama directly from WorldNetDaily with the words “The audacity of deceit” stamped over the President Elect’s face.
This is another important sign to note when evaluating your potential media gathering sites: if investigative articles are followed by attempts to propagandize the conclusions reached in said article with the profits headed directly towards the authors, then this is not a good sign. Not good at all.
The beauty of today’s electronic age is that we all have the ability to evaluate the worth of any given form of media, and to discard it if it doesn’t live up to certain standards.
It has become extremely popular in some circles to blame the media for all the ills that society faces, especially in the political realm. I often wonder if this media spite is a backlash from partisans who are just a little pissed that certain media members uncovered a little too much dirt about their party favorites.
That said, in today’s media world, if you don’t like the point of view provided by the source you’re evaluating, then you are free to navigate your way to a provider that lines up with the way that you see the world.
But therein lies the rub: if we all surrender the middle ground in attempt to find “media” sources that line up with a certain ideology, how will we ever know what is true anymore?
That, dear reader, is why you get the Lake Stevens Journal in your mailbox every Wednesday.
Kevin Hulten maintains the Off the Record and Purple and gold Pigskin blogs.