“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity” – Andre Gide
One of the most disturbing trends (that has been going on forever, but seems to be more visible of late) is the out and out laziness of ‘the press’ or ‘the media’ in their fact-finding. This, combined with their brazenness to play favorites, makes me wonder why I would trust anything that is said as fact.. even on ‘the news’. I had my on suspicions, but all of my fears were crystallized by a superb Glenn Greenwald piece on Salon.com. Click for it HERE.
See, the reason people tune into the news is because they want to know what is going on. Not only what but they need analysis of why it is going on as well. Why is Israel important to the US? Why should we care if Arabs can’t stop killing other Arabs? What business is it of ours if people in other sovereign countries have different ideas about government/commerce/life than we do? Who is to say that our way of life is superior to all others? Why is the economy acting the way it is? How does the quality of Chinese manufacturing play a role in the US Stock market? How can I help the people of Haiti and be assured that my contributions will not be lining some scammer’s pockets? For all of these questions, people need objective analysis.
However, as Mr. Greenwald points out, fact-finding has not been a priority for those on the most trusted broadcasts, as they only parrot what others report, whether it is factual or not.
The following is from Glenn Greenwald’s Jan 12, 2010 column, as linked above:
“Aside from falsity — and the fact that they become irreversibly lodged in our political culture as fact — what do all of these deceitful reports have in common? They’re all the by-product of granting anonymity to people and then repeating what they claim as fact, with the falsehood-disseminators protected by “journalists” from any and all accountability for their falsehoods. It’s exactly the same process that caused our leading media outlets to tell Americans about Iraq’s massive WMD program and Al Qaeda connections; Jessica Lynch’s heroic firefight with inhumane Iraqi devils and her “rescue” by our Marines; Pat Tillman’s death at the hands of Al Qaeda monsters; and government tests that “confirmed” the presence of bentonite in the anthrax used to attack the U.S., which meant it was likely that Saddam was behind the attacks.
Unjustified anonymity — especially when mindlessly repeating what shielded government sources claim in secret — is the single greatest enabler of false and deceitful “reporting.” Despite (or, really, because of) its unparalelled record of producing lies, it will never stop, because agreeing to it is how “journalists” end up being selected as favored message-carrying servants for the powerful. This falsehood-producing method isn’t ancillary to American journalism but central to it; the book which is occupying the attention of America’s political and media class is based exclusively on unattributed, shielded sources, and that seems to bother none of them.
None of the falsehoods documented here will ever lead to any accountability, because the identity of the falsehood-producers will be shielded by their loyal journalist-servants, and the journalists themselves will simply claim that they wrote what they did because their hidden sources told them to. That’s not only the effect, but the intent, of the central method of American journalism: to disseminate outright falsehoods to the American public and ensure that neither the liars nor their loyal message-carriers ever face any consequences or even reputational loss. Anonymity is so common that “reporters” barely even bother any longer to explain why it’s justified, notwithstanding numerous policies of media outlets requiring exactly that explanation. As the use of anonymity has escalated rapidly, so, too, has the pervasiveness of outright falsehoods and the inherent unreliability of much of what the American media “reports.” Lying is so much easier — and thus so much more common — when you get to do it while remaining hidden.”
Not only has this laziness come into our news organizations, selective shielding is also occurring. This has been ESPECIALLY prevalent in the news organizations covering sports stories of late.
Tiger Woods was KNOWN for giving the press the absolute minimum as far as access goes. However, golf broadcasters recognize what happens to the ratings of their tournaments when Tiger plays/is in contention. While other sites have blasted Woods for his conduct/misconduct, I have only heard 1 golfer/broadcast partner speak out, decrying his actions: Jesper Parnevik. What makes Jesper so special? He was the person who had Elin (Tiger’s wife) acting as a nanny for his children. He knows her family. He was the one who introduced Elin to Tiger in the first place. He feels a sense of responsibility for what has happened. Nobody else wants to take a swing at Tiger, because he makes money for the sport. Guess what? Maybe if you stepped out, took a stance, and put your name on it, people might actually start to like YOU, and YOU could start making money for the sport.
Also, Gilbert Arenas has plead guilty to felony gun possession. Which to most people would be a serious matter, but apparently not to Gilbert. He thought so little of it that he joked around with teammates in the pregame introductions a couple of days later, turning his fingers into pistols and pretending to shoot them down. Don’t believe me, click HERE. David Stern, NBA Commissioner had enough and suspended him based on his conduct! Not anything to do with the guns, but the fact that he was acting like a dope. Who is the owner of the Wizards, and why hasn’t the owner acted? The owner of the Wizards WAS Abe Pollin. He owned the Wizards for 46 years. And actually changed the name of the team from the Bullets because of the negative connotations of the name, and the fact that there was so much gun violence in DC at that time. Mr. Pollin just passed on November 24, 2009. There is a transition of power in that organization that will happen soon, but hasn’t happened yet. So basically what Gilbert just did by bringing guns into Mr. Pollin’s lockerroom is stand on his grave, whip out his member, and urinate all over Abe’s grave and everything that Abe stood for AFTER Abe approved giving Gilbert a 6 year, $111 million contract. I think THIS is the way I feel about Gilbert.
Now the obvious reaction would be to ask what the hell someone was doing bringing in guns to an arena, especially, since a) that’s your place of business, b) you try to encourage kids to watch your product c) transporting guns across state lines without informing said authorities is usually not a good idea d) even if they were unloaded (which no one can say with great clarity), how quickly could things escalate? The problem is that ‘TV people’ who follow the league were all too quick to excuse that behavior. They all wanted to ‘spin the story forward’ and make it about where Gilbert will land with his next team, rather than call for his head on a pike or call for him to be in lock up. Jalen Rose during the NBA on ESPN broadcast seemed like a pussy cat until I heard Avery Johnson (then Jalen seemed like a tiger). Avery suggested that Gilbert would be a great fit for the New York Knicks! Is there anyone else I can think of that had a recent gun charge in NYC that was a prominent athlete? Oh, wait, I know! Plaxico Burress! He brought a gun into a nightclub in New York City, shot himself in the leg, and got 2 YEARS for breaking city laws! Now Avery thinks it’s a good idea to have Gilbert the gun collector go to NYC? I hope it’s because Avery wants him to actually serve the time that he won’t be serving in DC. Jayson Williams FINALLY copped a plea in his shooting case from 2002. He was a player for the New Jersey Nets (who play 8 miles from Manhattan) at the time. But really, by all means, bring in a guy to your team that has a HISTORY of gun issues. This is not Gilbert’s first offense, as he already had a 2004 gun misdemeanor charge when with Golden State (Oakland). Call someone out when they make a mistake, already! That’s your JOB as someone who follows the league! As Paul Silas would say: “Jesus, Am I speaking Chinese?!?”