With the political season upon us, it is wise to review what we already know about the quality of news we receive on our nightly newscast. Our corporate-owned broadcasting stations compete to entertain us, to hold our interest. Sponsors rely upon our capabilities to stay interested long enough to digest some of their commercial gibberish.
Political information always has been offhanded. Radio and TV have brought us political ads that either stretch the truth or contain only stories. It has been up to us to discern which is which. Remember that a lie told often enough becomes truth for some. We need to view and listen with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Embellishment, it seems, is necessarily used to capture the audience’s attention. We, apparently, become bored with honest journalism, with just the facts. Newscasters who have stretched the truth to ensure audiences remain interested have been fired when the truth is known. But how many have deceived us over the years and have never been caught?
Oh yes, we are that naïve. We are easily deceived. Satire based on only the facts is more palatable — apparently, more reliable. Al Jazeera receives high ratings for reporting only the news. Europe declares it receives the news that Americans do not get.
Now especially, we must be careful of our interpretations of what is going on in the world. Biases, indeed prejudices, can become products of our misinformation and make our world unsafe. The wrong information about the people running to represent us makes it difficult to choose the best candidates. Political parties push their agendas through candidates willing to embrace and espouse their goals. Look out! Make sure those goals resonate with your values and beliefs. Then choose and exercise your right to vote.
retired CPA for federal government