Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Media Is Making Us Crazy



People hear what they want to hear, or say they heard what they want to believe was said.
---I guess I said this in this way.

English: museum of communism in Prague Deutsch...
 museum of communism in Prague Deutsch: "museum of communism" in Prag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        Mainstream media continually attempts to brainwash their audience into accepting that everything they (the mainstream media) say is undeniable truth and is ultimately not only what that audience should believe, but ultimately what that audience in their heart of hearts wants to believe.   And those who consume a limited amount of sources that are skewed mostly toward one bias or another will become hardliners regarding whatever bias they primarily hear.

       Watching the "evening news" is not what it once was with networks now being tentacles of the leftist liberal agenda.  In earlier days of television, the audience was limited to a short window of information dissemination with little time for analysis and commentary.  In our time it often seems that we are delivered far less hard information and a seemingly never-ending stream of opinions and editorializing.  We don't even have to think for ourselves because the media spokespersons tell us what we should think.  No wonder so many people seem to be a bit bonkers as they parrot the words they constantly hear from the media.

       Recently, the hosts of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' were discussing President Trump's efforts to "undermine the media."  Co-host Mika Brzezinski indicated her concern that President Trump was  trying to shape the thinking of the public through his tweeting and public comments.

        "He is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts," she said about Trump. "And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job," she noted, referring to the media.
 Real Clear Politics

          Univision's Jorge Ramos anchors nightly news heard by millions of Spanish speaking viewers.  He is a  journalist as well as a self-proclaimed activist and advocate who stands up for his cause thus dividing Spanish-speaking Americans from their counterparts.  He has become a self appointed spokesman of Latino interests which is another dangerous foray into media mind-control of a specific segment of those living within the U.S. borders.  A great deal of the dissent within the Latino community against President Trump can most likely pinpointed on Ramos and his cohorts.  Not good for unifying America.

         What we are dealing with is essentially propaganda attempting to sway minds in one direction or the other.  Though this has always been a tool of the free press, now more than ever, with 24/7 television news/information broadcasting, we are bombarded with opinion and unfortunately that opinion is skewed by facts reported as the networks want us to hear them.

         Here lies the problem:  If we aren't taking in more than one of these "news" sources and processing what we hear through the filter of rational thinking, then we are merely proselytes of the cult of the single-minded media outlet.

          For example, I'll point to my favorite nemesis of leftist promulgation--CNN.  This was my favorite cable news channel in the eighties, but it was also perhaps the only one at the time, or at least the first one of which I became aware.  Back then it was news reporting all day every day and it was fascinating.  I don't recall ever seeing the analysis with opinions and editorializing like they have now.  I'm not sure when it became what it is now, but it seems that every time I tune in to CNN--which is with relative frequency though never for very long--all I hear is an extreme anti-conservative message.  I was rather surprised, and pleased, to see Ben Stein recently on CNN ripping into the network for their excessive negative anti-Trump messaging.  Now if only CNN would heed Stein's advice.

         If someone only watches CNN or other similar outlets, they are going to eventually develop a highly skewed and mentally unhealthy view of the world.  When I read some of the anti-Trump blog or Facebook posts, what I'm receiving is a mimicry of those biased network litanies of lies, misinformation, and distortions.  Too much of anything can make you sick.  Too much untruth and bias can warp your mind.  It can make you crazy.  And this is pretty much what we've been seeing happening all around us.   The world is going nuts and to a great extent I blame the media.  Where else do we get the information about what's going on in the world?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

       Since Insecure Writer's Support Group day coincides with Battle of the Bands this month I'm posting a couple days early.  My posts tend to get overly long as it is without my combining posts together.  As has been the case with my posts, I'm going to tie in this #IWSG post with my current blog theme.


         Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog







Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?


          Not my original story, but I have used old stories to inspire my own stories.  There was no publication involved, but I feel that some of those stories have been fairly worthy ones.  My sources have sometimes come from stories in the Bible reworked in modern settings.  Other writers have done this as well with varying degrees of success.  Seems like using a time-honored story such as one from the Bible or Shakespeare would be a sure winner, but this can result in massive failure.  Heavy-handed messaging or being overly obvious in presentation can make for a story that is more silly and distracting than not.

          Bad propaganda often comes from bad story-telling.   Sloganeering and repetive ideas can become burdensome to the point causing a reader to reject what is attempted to be conveyed rather than embracing the story.  Those who embrace those kinds of stories are probably a bit off their rockers anyway.   Maybe they watch too much CNN. 

           Do you think messaging from mainstream media is mostly or at least partly responsible for much of the discontent we are currently seeing in the United States and elsewhere?  Do you think there are many new stories left or are all stories reworkings of previously told stories?   Are there any propagandistic works of literature that you have particularly enjoyed?  

58 comments:

  1. Just like in the early days of television, you can choose to listen to the news, read a few respected newspapers (now websites/facebook pages etc) and then form your best position. I don't see mainstream media as the evil entity. There are a lot of good journalists doing their best and not conspiring to pull the wool over our eyes in the name of the 'leftist liberal agenda'. Some reporting on both sides are biased, no doubt. I'm very concerned about a president who belittles all news sources except for his chosen few and who contributes to this unhealthy demonizing of a whole industry. No, I don't blame journalism. It can definitely improve in this rapidly changing time of information. I blame groups of people who jump on the bandwagon of every thing that comes to them through cable TV 24/7. That's why I've cut the cord on cable. Try it! You'll like it. :) www.meinthemiddlewrites.com

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    1. Mary Lou, true, I agree there are some very good journalists and investigative reporters. The problem that I see is in all of the shows with panels of "experts" who give every negative side of the story they're on or the politician they are trying to bring down. And it is mostly on cable, but Sunday morning shows now do this as well and I don't know that it was ever done to this extent in the past since I never used to watch those shows (and mostly still don't). I'm not sure which are the respected newspapers anymore. I cancelled my L.A. Times a few years ago because it was so heavily slanted in a direction I didn't care for and the coupons were not as good as they used to be. It's kind of difficult to know which media source is trustworthy at times so I take something from many sources (including from other countries) and go with my gut to come up with the real truth as I would discern it. My wife doesn't want to cut the cable because she likes having it and I'll admit that there are a number of things I like (Turner Classic Movies for example).

      Lee

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  2. I don't take much notice of the media, it all seems to be doom and gloom/

    Look forward to BOTB.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, there is plenty of doom and gloom for sure. They need a happy positive messaging news station.

      Lee

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  3. It is pathetic how much people listen to such things and take it as truth. They shouldn't just outright deny it either, but do their own digging if they want the facts, not just take it as gospel.

    What's the worst though as idiots on talk shows who sit there and give us nothing but their opinion, yet people think it is true and they are truly in the know. When what have they done? Starred in a few movies or something? Like that makes them experts at anything. People would be soooo much better off if they ignored 90% of what is on tv.

    And a lot of it isn't even an agenda, all it is is ego and $$$$$. Jump on the current bandwagon for ratings. Keep yourself relevant. damn the truth.

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    1. Pat, there is so much opinionating that is mean-spiriting and purposefully agenda driven--we could use a lot less of that and more hard news. Most Americans don't even know what's really happening in other countries let alone even know where some of those countries are. Yet we are overfed with media opinions until those opinions become our own purview of what is happening in the world.

      I agree that a lot of celebs just like to jump on the bandwagon in order to get media attention. And they ridicule President Trump for doing this.

      Lee

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  4. Reworking Bible stories - interesting!
    Couldn't agree more about the media, Lee. Funny, everyone jumps on Trump for claiming the media is our worst enemy and they create false news, and yet Baylor's coach recently damned the media for blowing incidents at the college out of proportion and told them to move on to some real news - and no one said a word.

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    1. Alex, so many stories have been alternate or similar versions of the Christ story. There have been others as well that use the Noah story or the Prodigal Son parable. Offhand I can't think of any specific titles, but I've read stories like this and seen films. I've read that Avatar is a reworking of the Rahab story from the book of Joshua--a theory some have proposed.

      A lot of media crap does get ignored and eventually becomes part of a narrative that people accept as truth.

      Lee

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  5. The media is absolutely responsible for the 'I'm offended!' movement. You see misleading headlines, read the story and realize no controversy exists at all. But people who don't read the story, take the headline at face value and flip their shit. Print media is horrendous. Grammar and spelling mistakes and this trend of copying and pasting the twitter feed is lazy journalism at it's best. The articles don't tell you 'who what where when why and how' like I was taught when I took journalism. You get a couple of vague paragraphs and then 10-15 twitter feed pictures. I don't like Faux News either....they are too skewed to the right and also can't be trusted. If you want the real news, try BBC or Reuters.

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    1. JoJo, I think you make some very perceptive observations about the media skewing. There are some pretty strange things coming from right wing sources, but many equally strange things coming from the left. I do like to check sources from other countries--not always totally objective, but often the stories seem pretty reasonable.

      Lee

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  6. Lee OMGosh I definitely agree with you on the news stories. I stopped tuning into main stream media years ago. I can't even trust the weatherman anymore to know what the days weather is going to be. The accuweather on my phone can change up to three times daily. I do tune in to our local news to hear local news reports. I stay tuned to the weather I think just for giggles. I get national news reports from sources like Drudge Report as well as CBN News which is part of the 700 Club. On your question about reworking a post, I have at times taken an older blog story and reworked it and reposted. The second time around often has better results. Enjoyed reading your post today!

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    1. Gossip Girl, I still trust the weather to some extent and actually am amazed how they can often be so precise with their forecasts. Doing our own job of aggregating news is the best method to get closer to the truth in my view.

      Sometimes I write about things I've written about before, but it's not reworking in my case but mostly forgetting that I've already written about that subject.

      Lee

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  7. I just got done with a protagonist who tried to tell me that Trump was acting like Hitler in not talking to CNN, and Fox all by itself constitutes the Mainstream Conservative Media and far overshadows the efforts of ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and the BBC. These people haven't the intellectual integrity or moral desire to be even remotely honest. I very politely answered his charges in a polite, concise way best paraphrased by, "Grow up and stop acting like a troll."

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    1. CW, pulling the old tired Hitler comparison is getting so absurd. What I like, and at times am frustrated by, is that Fox tends to usually give balanced reporting to each side of the arguments rather than having the unequal panel discussions. And the hosts who are conservatively biased are upfront about it from the git go and don't pretend to be unbiased in any way. Most networks have hosts who want us to believe they are not biased in any way, but there leftist leanings are usually pretty obvious.

      Lee

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  8. It has been difficult to weed out the fake news from the real stuff, but I don't consider the media as a whole to be evil. There are plenty of good journalists out there with integrity. Opinion should be considered just that, not fact, but it does seem to be overtaking legitimate reporting in some cases.

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    1. Debbie D, I've been getting better at separating or at least questioning real vs fake news. My biggest problem is the slant that most outlets give the real news with highly charged adjectives or smarmy delivery of what they are saying. I don't consider the media to be "evil" but I do think that often they are disingenuous and misleading. There is a lot of opinion interjected into reports and sometimes even into press conference questions such as what Jorge Ramos has done with Trump in the past.

      Lee

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  9. Lee, I do believe MSM is to blame for the divide in this country. They like stirring the pot. It's truly up to the individual to find ways to self-educate themselves on current events and facts because they won't find it at the usual news outlets. I remember years ago my mom saying she prayed for discernment. I didn't understand what that really meant when I was younger but as I grew into adulthood I learned the value of being able to separate lies from the truth. Everyone should have a desire to tell the difference and if they can't then they need to ask God to show them the difference. MSM is not going to give us the truth. They can't even report the facts straight. It's up to every person to play a part in keeping other informed a little or lot. Social media is great platform to learning a lot. Some folks are really on top of the game and I'm thankful for them, as I am for your determination to enlighten others.

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    1. Cathy, discernment is the goal we should all have. So much of the time media will report truth, but they will twist it and then analyze it to give it the appearance of meaning something else entirely. Media should inform us and not attempt to conform us to whatever way they think.

      Lee

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    2. Lee, What an excellent way of putting this! You're right the media's job is to inform NOT conform us. Sadly, they don't properly inform us. They give us tidbits of the truth marred with their liberal agenda. ~Cathy

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  10. Wow Arlee. Great post. Sadly, I no longer watch the news for that very reason. I don't like being screamed at and I don't like the focus on the news qualifying stories. Also, reporters say what they want to say even if what they say is a half truth they pad and embellish. I work in public relations and it makes me sad to know the truth in a story and see the news grossly obscure it for ratings. Anyway, stories? I do believe there is potential to Introduce new elements to old themes.

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    1. Erika, I wish the U.S. media would cover a broader scope of news. I see news from other countries on the internet and wonder why that stuff isn't reported to us. Instead, our media seems intent on destroying President Trump and throwing his administration into disarray.

      I agree about the new elements into old themes, but I wonder if there are any absolutely new stories to be told--new at the heart. But a good writer should be able to take a old standard and make it seem original.

      Lee

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  11. "If you don't read the papers, you're uninformed. If you do read the papers, you're misinformed." Never have Mark Twain's words been truer than they are today. What has been accepted as fact by the noisier elements in society is a story carefully crafted around the truth by people who gave up their right to be taken at their word when they started taking sides. Trump isn't destroying freedom of the press; the press has done a good enough job of destroying it themselves.

    The news business (and yes, it IS a business) is long on journalism and short on actual reporting. Journalism schools have become breeding grounds for social justice warriors who think using Alinsky's "rules for radicals" against people and politicians they don't like is responsible journalism. (I lived in one of the communities in Chicago that Alinsky "organized"; where once it was a respectable lower-middle-class working people's neighborhood, it's now a barely-livable slum infested by gangs of illegals.) I doubt any of them can justify equating the product they turn out as being worthy of the "freedom of the press" enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Not that they care: they believe that their standing as "journalists" is enough to demand the respect that the title once earned. They whine about the President wanting to drag them into court for libel and slander when in fact what they call "the news" is nothing but.

    I'd better get off my soapbox before I fall off...

    Someone much wiser than I (Aristotle, I think) said there was a limited number of stories that could be told.

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    1. John, fantastic comment! Not really much I could add to improve on it. The Twain quote just goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Lee

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    2. John ~ Thanks for going deeper on all this. I think if we really understood all that's going on, on both sides right wing and left wing, we'd all be overwhelmed. There's a lot more to be concerned about and I really wonder what's in our control to 'fix'. Alinsky's 'rules for radicals' is one aspect on the leftwing and there's more on the right wing. It's an all out culture war and we're all caught in the middle. I'd love to hear your thoughts (and Lee's) on this article as well. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

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    3. By the way, 'anonymous' was the only way I was able to reply. Not sure why? Mary Lou

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    4. Mary Lou, this is an outstanding article and it backs up much of what I've said in this blog for years as well as what I've been talking about in my series on Trump--marketing is everything. I'm glad that there are wealthy folks like Mercer funding conservative movements as I think the biggest money goes into left wing liberal politics from the likes of George Soros, the Silicon Valley, Hollywood celebrities, and the like.

      Indeed, winning hearts and minds is the war we're in now and it is the fight for the future of civilization. Each side believes its cause is the right one and I think the battle will become more vicious as time goes on. It's kind of sad to see so many monetary resources going into such things when that money could be better used in actually putting into effect some of the causes they are fighting for, but the side that wins the most people to their side wins the elections. And I'd hate to see it come down to violent civil strife, which, alas, is where we might be heading no matter what.

      Thanks for sharing the article. Even though it seems to be written from a left leaning perspective, the article explains some very important truths that apply to any side.

      Lee

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    5. What Arlee said: The press delights in making bêtes-noire of people like the Koch brothers and Mercer because it fits into their story that conservatives in general are wealthy old white men, while ignoring the fact that there are wealthy old white men bankrolling liberals as well. I don't think big-money donors to either party have that much to do with media coverage, though. That seems to be the doing of academia, specifically the journalism schools.

      Neal Gabler, who was a journalist and is now a professor in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neal_Gabler) once wrote a column for the Fox News website (where he was a contributor and a panelist on a show about news coverage, Fox News Watch) that essentially said the job of a journalist is to turn facts into stories. Which on the one hand is great, on the other hand leads one to omit the facts that don't fit the story. Writing a news story shouldn't be an exercise in creative writing; it should present the facts without commentary and allow the reader (or viewer) to make up his or her own mind. It shouldn't be necessary to read and listen to multiple sources and try to divine the facts from what has become op-ed material.

      Of course, it's always been op-ed material, hasn't it? ;)

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    6. John, well explained. Idealistically we shouldn't have to do our own news aggregating, but the way the bias in journalism has become (and has been to some extent) sorting through multiple sources is the necessity for those who want to be well informed. Unfortunately a good many people are content to absorb one source and let that be what guides their opinion and judgement.

      Too bad.

      Lee

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    7. Journalism, at least since the New Deal and probably before that, has been slanted left. H. L. Mencken, who was against the New Deal from the start, was the Fox News of his day: loved by many, utterly despised by journalists because he wasn't toeing the company line. Eventually he had to leave the American Mercury (replaced by Henry Hazlitt, who had views similar to Mencken but wasn't quite as blunt about them) because he was considered a liability to the magazine.

      Walter Cronkite, "the most trusted name in television news," admitted years after he retired that he had been slanting the news to the left for years. He violated the trust millions of Americans who watched him for the truth. His successor, Dan Rather, made no pretense about his leanings, but by then, who cared? The news he was reading sounded like the news Cronkite was, CBS was the best news of its day, ergo we can trust Dan Rather as much as Uncle Walter.

      Mom taught with a woman from Cuba who left when Castro took over. One day, Mom was talking about an article she read in Time magazine (back when it was a weekly tome, not the pathetic little pamphlet it's become). The woman was horrified: "You read Time magazine? It's like the propaganda we read in Cuba!" She could see it, but we, who had been conditioned for years by a news media who had been planting the idea in our heads that they could be trusted, couldn't.

      A worthwhile read is Richard Brodie's "Virus of the Mind," which gives an overview of memetics and how memes (e.g. the media can be trusted) spread through society. The most powerful tool in spreading memes is the media, with schools (especially universities) running a very close second. Why do you think the official Russian newspaper was called Pravda, i.e. "truth"?

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    8. John, I fear for the future left in the hands of those graduating from college in these times. It's been getting worse it seems with universities shaping brains like they were Play-Doh. I'll probably not have to deal with much more in my life, but enough to be annoyed if I keep paying attention to what's going on.

      Lee

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    9. Yes, I heard about the dreaded George Soros from my family and friends on the right. I've paid not too much attention to money on either side. It's there .... a reality and it's not going away. If children are taught early on to think critically, from a strong foundation, they'll be able to come to their own positions on left and right. I don't fear for the future ..... Not all higher education is bad. It's what Jefferson was so passionate about and even then he was on the cutting edge of thinking.

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    10. Mary Lou, sadly a good many kids aren't taught to think critically and have parents who don't think critically either. I think there are a lot of parents who don't question what schools are teaching the kids and assume that they're getting the same education that they received when they were younger. And mostly I don't blame teachers as they are merely going along with the curriculum dictated by the state.

      Of course, not all higher education should be labeled bad, but still a lot of it is. Many graduate with rather useless degrees and they end up with jobs that don't pay enough to pay off unnecessarily bloated student loans.

      More young people should start focusing on trades like plumbing, welding, carpentry, computer tech, and so on as those are the jobs that are most needed along with those in the medical professions.

      Lee

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  12. It's sad but your post is great. Too bad people unfriend me for similar views. What the younger generation sees is "authority" that needs to be questioned which id cool- it's happened before. As far as the media though--they are not held to any oath or standards because they want to win awards for investigative journalism and sell more copies--get more clicks.

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    1. Eve, is good to question authority at the right times, but they should also be shown the proper respect. Click bait has become the bane of honest reporting. So much of the time I've clicked on what sounded like a good story only to be deceived with something else.

      Lee

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  13. The media sure seems to be scrambling – much like potato bugs whose rock has been turned over. While the truth is always easier to tell – and remember, they choose not to. If one day someone writes a story about the demise of journalism, as it were, I hope they entitle it “That [was] our Job”. (Thanks for sharing that outlandish and highly telling quote, Lee!) I do hope the conscientious few band together one day soon to provide the kind of reporting the public deserves and expects.

    Not that there’s any propaganda involved, but if I could, I’d write myself into the Laurels in “The Scent of Water” by Elizabeth Goudge. A story of a much a kinder, gentler society.

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    1. Diedre, sometimes I wish most of the media would just stay under their rock. The good thing is that I can always turn the channel, shut off the power, or unsubscribe to print media. I do that a lot these days.

      Escape into a kinder, gentler society sounds like a nice thing to do.

      Lee

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  14. When I watch the news, I usually take it with a grain of salt. That is if I watch the news at all. Sometimes I only turn it on for the weather report. There has just been so much negativity and hatefulness in the media and on Facebook over these last six months that I usually avoid both the majority of the time. If something major happens, I'll hear about it from my dad, or at church, or from my conservative friends. Plus, they'll deliver it to me without all the garbage that the news likes to add in, so I'd rather hear it from my friends.

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    1. Elizabeth, Sometimes I'll watch the weather report with my wife, but usually I'll let her fill me in on the forecast. The local news is usually much more practical to watch, but not of much import in my view. Cable news seems more like a perverse sort of entertainment.

      Lee

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  15. I absolutely believe that news media reports only what it wants the public to see, to know. I think there are only a few select people running the media (all media; as is all TV stations) and those people determine what is in the "best interest" of the public to know.

    In other words: what opinions and thoughts Americans should have. Its one reason why I watch very little news. I'm not sure all the relevant facts are being reported, or that the "facts" are even being reported accurately.

    It was funny how in the midst of all the evacuations around Oroville during the spillway crisis how little was reported of robberies, and deaths. Not that there was that much, mind you. But there was a lot of home invasions that our Sheriff glossed over to keep the crime stats at practically nil, and there was no mention at all of the several deaths among the homeless community who drowned on the small river islands that flooded too quickly.

    I don't keep my head in the sand, but I listen and watch with skepticism.

    I see nothing wrong with reality inspiring fictional stories. And no disrespect to the Bible, or to Shakespear, but these are very old writings, subject to interpretation, with lots of language and vernacular changes. And yeah, many of those stories have been rewritten in many different ways. Eventually everything is retold, and reinterpreted. If we are lucky Lee, our published works (fiction or creative non-fiction) will be re-invented 200 years in the future.

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    1. Dolorah, oh, love the ominous spun you've given this and I think you may be right to a great extent. I didn't hear any of that stuff about the Oroville crimes in the midst of the evacuations. Doesn't surprise me that these things happen nor am I surprised that there was no or little reporting about it.

      It's like some of the things that happen overseas that we don't hear much about such as the problems concerning the refugees--we hear some, but only the most sensational parts.

      I like reality based stories and keep news clippings in a file for someday inspirations. But I think the Bible and the literary classics can offer excellent inspiration for stories, not in verbatim retellings, but in loose reinterpretations of the stories. It would be cool to write a story in my life that gets re-invented centuries from now--or maybe by then our stories wouldn't make any sense. Who can tell and we likely won't be there to find out.

      Lee

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  16. What a great post. Back in 'the day' when I was a newspaper journalist we went outside to actually talk face-to-face with people and then we had to find 2 or 3 sources (actual people) to BACK Up what we were told. I covered politics and back then we had strict clear rules on fair and balanced. If I interviewed a candidate I had to interview the othere candidates as well and allow them to respond. It is all about the money. Why bother with facts and have a writer spending all day or even weeks on one story when they could churn out 10 stories based on click bait and no editing or sources. There is great opportunity for new newspapers right now, real ones.
    As far as reworking old stories, I rework blog posts all the tie but I am going to pull out my first novel in a few months, update it and try to sell it. It's been na wing at me for years.

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    1. Doreen, sadly I fear that the journalism such as you've described has disappeared for the most part. A while back I heard an NPR story that now many newspapers merely email data, press statements, and the like to writers in places like the Philippines where they just hack out the stories for cheap pay merely based on the info they receive with no follow-up, fact-checking, or anything. I think that explains a lot of the devaluation of the journalistic integrity of many papers. Print media of integrity is becoming a thing of the past. Internet media is often unreliable and questionable.

      I think after a while a blogger almost has to rework old ideas in order to maintain a content stream. And a lot of old stories are worth reviving not only for new readers to ones site, but for the benefit of the long time readers who have probably forgotten the older stories. Good luck with that novel!

      Lee

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  17. Remember when CNN had the Headline News format where you got the important events reported honestly and without bias, with an updated report every 30 minutes? Those were the good old days!!

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    1. Patricia. CNN was great back then. I used to watch the news cycle and came away feeling informed. Now there is a separate CNN headline news channel that mostly shows episodes of Forensic Files. Not sure if they ever really have headline news stories.

      Lee

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  18. "That's our job..." We lived in Ireland in the late 80s, and CNN was our only American news outlet. It was exactly as you wrote.
    Now CNN is trampling down the roses and replacing them with nettles.

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    1. Susan K, I don't know why CNN took the road they did, but it was not for the better.

      Lee

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  19. Take a listen, Lee. I think you'll like this. :)
    https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_can_a_divided_america_heal?language=en#t-3593

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  20. Yeah, the media is misconstrued on both the right and the left. I gave up one particular local news site when they showed their left of center view by removing a comment of mine about that women's march in January.

    I hardly read my local paper because its editorial board follows the parent company, Tribune Media, so its coverage is slanted so far left that it makes CNN positively moderate.

    I too watched CNN back in the day because its sports segments were spot on, as well as their news.

    Nowadays, I watch Fox when I can (mostly evenings and weekends) and MSN.com (my home page when I open my browsers) as well. I rarely pay attention to anything else.

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    1. GB, CNN used to be like a regular news broadcast with sports and all--I forgot about the sports stuff. Now there are so many channels that each one is more of a niche than an overview.

      Lee

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  21. I recall getting serious message vibes from one of the series I read. It was off-putting.

    I don't follow any particular news channels. Most of the time, I'll see a headline posted on social media, and I'll go do an internet search to compare three or four of the results to see what the different outlets have to say. Then I discuss with co-workers and the husband to get their thoughts and see if they've gotten other sources on it. Pretty much, we take the approach to research anything we see/hear to see if there's another take on it, since there's always more than one side to the story.

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    1. Loni, I've also started to research other versions of stories to come to the truth in the middle. I've been burned with so many email stories and fake news reports that I feel that most things now have to be verified.

      Lee

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  22. Arlee, I pretty much agree with your take on this issue. I think the biggest problem overall though is people not wanting to make the effort to actually think and research for themselves. It has become a world of lemmings and the media is more than eager to be the leader of the pack and vilify those of us who are willing to think for ourselves and not take their word as gospel.

    Have a blessed week!

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    1. Suzanne, so true. In our time accessing info can be so easily achieved, but if we only accept the first source we come to or always stay with the same source, our minds can be shaped in very biased ways. I'd rather aggregate a number of different sources and rationally come to my own conclusions.

      Lee

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  23. Can't say I cared for either of the band choices but between the two Miki Jevremović is the pick.

    I find past propaganda interesting as well especially under the surface of not obvious. Good post.

    Happy IWSG Belated Day!
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. Juneta, I'm going to transfer this comment to the comment section where I tally the votes. Thanks for weighing in.

      Lee

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  24. I'm not going to comment on the first portion of this post regarding the media. I think ou probably have a pretty good ide of where I stand on THAT topic. With respect to your thoughts about reworking other/old stories, I think that happens all the time. Sometimes the new story is readily recognizable and sometimes not so much, but basically there are only so many truly original ideas, of course old stories are reworked in s different way. The trick. Is to be creative enough to make it your own.

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    1. FAE, Getting a new perspective or a twist on an old story can make it into something original. I do think there are a limited number of plot lines with an infinite variety of ways to tell them.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee