"HEARD" MENTALITY


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Do you remember the game of telephone where someone would come up with a phrase, whisper it into the ear of the person next to them, and continue the process until the phrase came back completely changed? That used to be a fun game in grammar school. Today, unfortunately, it’s how our information society operates. We have people on TV, on the radio, and in publishing constantly feeding us information that may or may not be true. And as long as we agree with the worldview that is being promoted, we absorb it and pass the information along without considering the source or its biases.

Media bias itself is nothing new, except for the fact that its biased nature has never been more noticeable. Nothing has revealed that bias more than Donald Trump’s candidacy and presidency, which the mainstream media has outright opposed since day one. The obviousness of the media’s bias against all things Trump introduced the term “fake news,” an insult many outlets have earned by promoting false narratives: Hillary Clinton’s lock on the presidency, the Covington kids scandal, and Trump-Russia collusion to name a few.

Though media companies have always held a certain view because they’re owned by people with their own ideologies, they often did a decent job of keeping things somewhat objective and balanced. They would tell us the story, instead of becoming it. If you went to journalism school a few decades ago, you were taught to keep your opinions out of the story. Your job is simply to report. In the last 20 years, that gradually began to change as globalist ideas came out from the shadows and gradually began permeating the worlds of academia, entertainment, and the media.

Remember when you used to watch cable news and they actually had reporters in the field, you know, reporting? I do. Cable news used to create these segments called “packages” where reporters and their crews would produce well-edited and narrated pieces on important current events. News outlets like Vice still do this today. Whether it was a war correspondent reporting from the front lines or a reporter doing a piece on Capitol Hill, these pieces gave us the news because they let us hear from the people on the ground. Today, however, most cable news outlets are made up of split-screens or panels of pundits you don’t know, who spend an entire hour giving you their opinions. I can experience the same effect at work from talking to my colleagues, but at least those opinions are coming from people I know. I actually care about their opinions because I care about them. Not that I don’t care about pundits. I just don’t care about their opinions. Why should I? Why should you?

To clarify, I’m not advocating that cable news networks completely get rid of opinion shows or pundits. Opinions have their rightful place on a network, but that shouldn’t be where you’re getting your news. That’s not news. Those are views. And no matter what your views are, you’re instinctively going to gravitate to the personalities and outlets that support your ideology. So, what’s the solution? Unfortunately in this day and age because the media has become so biased, the only recourse we have left to form a somewhat objective opinion is to… surf. Surf for information in areas you normally wouldn’t. See what the opposing side is saying and see if what they’re saying makes sense to you.

The truth is, whether you’re on the left, the right, or the center, you have to remember that while one network or publisher might be blue or red, they’re ultimately all about the green. Their job is to stay in business, and the best way to do that is to be as bombastic as possible so their ratings or circulation will skyrocket along with their ad revenues. At the end of the day, news is a business. The term “If it bleeds it leads” is used in the world of journalism for a reason.

So again, how do we find out what’s true? The same way civilization has found truth since the very beginning. By actively seeking it, by keeping your eyes and ears open, by hearing and learning as much as you possibly can, and by keeping an open mind. Start by channel surfing to other cable news networks, or reading articles from news outlets you may not agree with, or listening to podcasts that offer opposing views. Then, move on to more “sophisticated” ways to shape your views, like reading books. I can’t believe I have to call reading books sophisticated, but these are the times. Read books on sociology, philosophy, civics, economics. Read old books to gain an unbiased perspective. Read books on ancient history. If you don’t learn from the past, you’re bound to repeat it. And most importantly, seek out face-to-face conversations with those in your life with whom you don’t agree with. You’ll quickly realize that there is a person behind an ideology, and they may have some valid points.

If you’re genuinely seeking truth—and we should all be doing that—be an adult, swallow your pride, break out of the “heard” mentality, and stop playing the game of telephone. You’re not a child anymore.