WASHINGTON, D.C.—Recently, after being laughed at for writing a news article on a reality star, I realized that Americans are so used to biased news that they no longer recognize unbiased writing anymore that most of us were taught by jaded college professors in journalism school and every other college, university or continuing education class. So many of us never learned the art of journalism, which is to tell the facts of a story, then allow the reader to make their own opinions about the people or subject the story is about.
Many Americans are fixated hour after hour watching Fox News, CNN, HLN or MSNBC. Network news still remains the top draw for TV viewers, and newspapers are finding their circulation has gone down as well. However, now people depend on bloggers and just the regular person who gets their news from Facebook. Yes, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites are now considered the place you go in order to find the facts. Even though with the exception of a few people online, most people only post stories or read articles about subjects and/or individuals they like. If you like a certain TV show, you post about actors from that show and news about them. While this is great networking, it makes one very narrow-minded and only interested in hearing about things they like to hear about, while being highly dismissive and even rude about subjects or individuals they do not either know or relate to.
Whatever happened to the days when newspapers were filled with subjects from every walk of life; politics, weather-related issues and even the occasional crossword puzzle to solve? Now people have become so near-sighted in their thinking and unaware of anyone or anything outside of their level of interest, while chastising those of us who find it not only fascinating but intriguing to write and read about many subjects. Why not read it, go on to the next story and engage your imagination and possibly learn something for the day? We are now incapable of being anything but biased robots.
Conservative television viewers love Fox News. The hosts and anchors on that network refer to Republican Speaker John Boehner as “Speaker Boehner” and to Democratic President Obama as “Obama.” The liberals love MSNBC. Chris Matthews and others refer to Democratic Senator Harry Reid as “Majority Leader Reid" or even as "Sir,” while referring to former Republican President George Bush as “Bush” or former Vice President Dick Cheney just as “Cheney.” The subliminal messages we receive from only watching what we like and agree with is the disrespect disregard and dislike we have for people we disagree with politically, that it is acceptable behavior and that the people we agree with are smarter than the other side, more professional and therefore more respectable.
While many people will pick up their Sunday paper late Saturday night or Sunday morning, they go directly to the newsstand and reach for the paper they most agree with politically. If you are conservative, you probably read the Wall Street Journal. If you happen to be liberal, you most likely will purchase the New York Times. Washington D.C. residents have the same battle, Washington Post or Washington Times? Decisions, decisions.
When I was attacked for my unbiased article on a reality star last week, I realized that the problem with my story was that the person who didn’t even bother to read it did not like the headline or the subject of the story. Truth is, I do not give readers my personal opinions on people that I interview, cover or write about. It frankly is no one’s business whether or not I like anyone I am writing about. Because when it comes to writing a story, I am able, thankfully, to put my own opinions aside and write a story based on the facts that are available. That does not mean that every reader has to or should even agree with my decision to write an unbiased story. We live in America, and you can choose to like whoever you want.
However, just think how unproductive America would have been in its fight against the Nazis in Germany and the Japanese on the Asian continent during WWII if everyone only listened to one media outlet with a biased opinion. Wasn’t that what we were actually fighting against during the war? The Nazis killed every person in Germany and throughout Europe that refused to print in the newspapers and air on radio their propaganda; their opinions of who is acceptable and righteous. Think of the power the media could have had in Germany had it been able to be free and unbiased in its coverage. Tens of millions of people died during WWII because our enemies hated anyone who did not agree with them, and they dismissed everyone who was not filled with hatred for a certain group or person.
It is amazing and very chilling to me that in modern times we are now headed back in the direction of intolerance and hatred of anyone we disagree with or do not understand, all because we refuse to respect those in the media who offer unbiased truth and unapologetic facts to our readers and listeners. Canyon News will remain a voice for carrying the message of unbiased news, facts and the respect for our readers to make up their own minds about a story.
Please pray for our brave troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who continue to fight in the war on terror against people who want to destroy us and destroy our rights, including freedom of speech and expression.
President Obama and Speaker Boehner Courtesy: The White House