Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Journalism: Why You Should Not Believe What You Read or See In This Country's Media

The following "disclaimer" is copied verbatim from the pages of Neal Boortz.

ALWAYS REMEMBER

Don't believe anything you read on this web page, or, for that matter, anything you hear on my blog [The Neal Boortz Show], unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as "doing your homework".
This statement is so very true of any newspaper report, article online, radio report, TV report, and any other media report. Media is often used by government to sway public opinion. It's called propaganda. Additionally, the government allows the media to know only what it wants them to know. Do you feel informed yet? Read on.

Gag orders

Today, government agencies are furthering this agenda by implementing a "gag" order on employees; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for instance. This is the government agency who researches safety issues and makes sure our automobiles are safe for us to drive, among other things. Today I read a blog post by a reporter (of all people!), and what he had to say is a concern, and should be a concern for every American. View that post here.

And here's a comment posted beneath that blog post, one of several hundred:

You don’t have ANY idea how bad the morale is at NHTSA. The political appointees (PA) have instituted such a culture that the entire agency is in the CYA mode.

No one is willing to take any decisions, always punting that up the chain, all the way to the Administrator, who knows NOTHING about auto safety.

The career managers spend half the time chasing unrealistic edicts from the PA, and the other half of their time trying to guess what the PA wants!!

Like in any bureaucracy, we are hunkered down, waiting for the PA to leave and certain “senior” Associate Administrators to retire.

— Posted by Current employee
Does this concern you? It concerns me. If the more than 750 employees of the NHTSA are feeling "suppressed" by the new appointed administrators, namely Nicole Nason, just what is going on within this agency? And why is information that the NHTSA is researching kept from the American public, and from reporters? Check out the NHTSA website sometime. Read the fluffy statements. Does this sound like an agency that "gags" it's employees, or promotes disrespect among them? How about the comment above? Does it sound like someone who enjoys working there?

Sounds to me like Ms. Nicole Nason needs to address her own house-cleaning before trying to clean house on Americans.

[Oh, and Nicole? If you're reading this, the key to happy employees is treating them well, and showing some integrity yourself, the same as you expect them to have. Take a page from being a mother. "Don't do what I do, do what I say" doesn't work.]

The reporter who wote the blog about the NTSB is most likely telling it like it is. It's on his own blog, and is independent of any newspaper or media syndicate he works for. So why isn't this being reported by the major national newspapers? And if the NHTSA is withholding information from the American public, does that include information on automobile recalls we should know about. What about posted studies on the NHTSA website? Are these accurate, or only what they want us to see? Why are we not seeing this information reported by the press????? And instead it shows up in some reporter's blog?

Why? Because the press only reports what they are told, and broadcast media only broadcasts "approved" information.

Propagandism

I've recently been accused of being a propagandist. I suppose that's true to some degree, since many of my blog posts are my own opinion and written here in hopes of "swaying" your viewpoint. However, I always try to base my opinion on facts that I read, such as statistical reports, studies, etc. Or, from years of experience on the subject. So when I read newspaper articles that spout statistics that I know to be untrue or skewed, I write to the journalist who wrote it. I'd want someone to tell me if I had my facts wrong, wouldn't you? Or at least read the material I present to them, and explain where and how they derived their numbers.

Propaganda: this word has two meanings; one in a positive light, and the other in a negative light.

  1. information put out by an organization or government to promote a policy, idea, or cause
  2. deceptive or distorted information that is systematically spread
I like to think of myself as the propagandist in #1. However, I don't think that's the one he meant. But #2 is exactly how I view some of the journalists reporting these days.

I can say with conviction that I would not skew data as it is researched and studied by those qualified to do so. If they make a mistake in their numbers, then it will get printed that way. I have no control over that. But many of the journalists out there simply grab some numbers quoted somewhere else (without verifying the accuracy of such quotes) and draw their own conclusions based on how dramatic they can make it sound.

Unethical and simply BAD journalism

The person who accused me of being a propagandist is a journalist (and I use that term loosely) in the small town (3000 people) of Towanda, PA. His name is Ronald W. Hosie, Editor of the Daily and Sunday Review. He is the Editor, and he wrote the article. In a town this small, he is probably the only journalist on this paper. That means he can print whatever he wants (bully for you, Mr. Hosie). He probably writes his own paycheck, while his townspeople trust him to print the facts and the truth. I've got news for you Towanda, you're paying for a load of crap.

I wrote to Mr. Hosie in response to an article he wrote in his small town newspaper that quoted inaccurate statistics about motorcycle deaths. He refused to answer any of my questions on where he obtained reports to support his findings. And he responded with replies that matched word for word the replies he sent to others on the same issue. In short, form replies.

So why have I posted all this on my blog, you might ask? Because I detest ignorant journalists, and this one takes the cake. And because he posted an article on the issue of motorcycle helmet laws (and clearly showed his lack of research and knowledge on the subject).

In this article, his words convey the message that helmets will save thousands of lives, and if a motorcyclist doesn't wear one, their subsequent head injury (through no fault of his own) will also cost taxpayers millions of dollars in hospital care and is subsequently the motorcycle rider's fault!

Well let me tell you sportsfans, if the people of this country endorse a universal helmet law, and I get mowed down by some inconsiderate right-of-way violator, you can bet your house on the fact that I don't care if you have to pay my medical bills. In fact I'll send them to you.

Spending money on forcing a universal helmet law down the throats of American motorcyclists will not stop the injuries and deaths. But spending that same money might save millions of lives if the root cause is addressed; driving distractions and right-of-way violations in particular.

I went back to the URL where the article was posted, and it had been removed. Could it be that he received so many negative comments that he didn't see fit to leave it posted? Who knows. I won't ask either, for I'm sure I'll get yet another canned reply.

Did this reporter "do his homework"? No. His statistics are incorrect. However, what he wrote is in itself a crime. What this article will garner from readers is outrage over statements that are over-exaggerated and statistics that are full of holes. But isn't this what newspapers want? Sensationalism? To hell with the truth, show me the money! Makes me wonder if this guy took a bribe from the representative he quoted. I surely wouldn't be surprised! (Sorry, no statistics here, just plain ol' opinion based on the ignorant replies I get when I write to journalists, and the information readily available on political bribes that happen every day.)

The "right" thing for him to have done in response to my letter was to research the information sent to him and write another article with at least the correct statistics. Even if his "opinion" was still the same, he at least owes it to his readers to print the facts, not parroted numbers from another source who also miss quoted those statistics.

So with all that said, take a look at some of this stuff that I found on Neal Boortz's website about what isn't reported in the media. I'm sure it will make you think twice before swallowing some of what you read in the media, and surely wonder why the things important to us as Americans aren't reported.

And if it doesn't, well, you could win $100,000 just by reading this blog in its entirety. Really!

Here ya go. Read and learn, if you dare. If you don't care, leave this page and go back to your mundane, submissive little life. Your spinelessly uneducated opinions mean nothing to me.

Why you should not believe what you read or see in this country's media

Observations on Journalists

Media Bias Basics

Other fascinating things to pass along here

Tasty Trivia


Do your homework. Find the truth about the candidates you vote for, before you vote! Fight for your freedom and rights. If you do nothing, don't complain, you have only yourself to blame.

2 comments:

Shirley Vandever said...

Touche, Sam ! Well done, and very inspiring !

GirlGeek

rc said...

the Public burden theory is trumped by Freedom. What cost freedom??? Asked the loved ones of the millions that have dies to preserve. If the public must pay to preserve the freedom of the individual so be it.
Thats what this country is all about.

Good post Sam...rc