Sunday, July 16, 2017

American media continues to display ignorance and irrationality

Here are reasons number 1,456,788 and 1,456,789 why you cannot and should not trust the mainstream media, dear reader.
Poppy Harlow—a blonde CNN filly—was reporting on President Donald Trump's visit to Paris which occurred during France's Bastille Day festivities. A military band played the Star-Spangled Banner, the U.S. national anthem—something your average six-year-old can properly identify—as Mr. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron shook hands. Hearing that music was being played, Harlow realized that she should button up until it ended.
"Let's just listen in to the French National Anthem for just a moment," she instructed her audience. Columbia University is still turning out journalistic geniuses, I see. Harlow corrected herself about ten seconds later after somebody at the network who actually possesses a brain whispered to her from behind the set.
Not to be outdone by Harlow, the senior White House correspondent for CNN Jeff Zeleny told his audience of Rhodes scholars that the Bastille Day celebration "marks the 100th year of when the U.S. started helping—entered World War I."
Started helping? Right, because Americans were just so keen on pulling Europe's nuts out of the flames. But hey, it was all cool because a Democrat got us into a war. Just replace "Remember the Maine" with "Over There," and voilà, instant patriotism brought to you by the government/military complex. Just don't ask what Woodrow Wilson thought about black Americans and maybe we can keep World War I revisionism alive for another one hundred years.
Imagine Zeleny resting back in his chair with the smugness that all obvious know-it-alls like him radiate. Then, eventually, the news of his gaffe somehow filters through to him so that, two hours later, while pre-recording "The Lead with Jake Tapper," Zeleny noted that the President was "invited by [French] President Macron to celebrate Bastille Day and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I." Zeleny is noted to have added some oomph to the word "and" in that declaration.
So, mes amis, let me hear you say, "Well, it was on the news, so it must be true."
Let's just have a run-down of the latest happenings, all of which the media is ignoring as it dutifully brings us even more news about how Donald Trump and Co. flew to the Moon and back on a pegasus with the help of Vladimir Putin and the Russkies.

  • Over 400 people, including more than a hundred doctors, were charged by the Department of Justice over $1.3 billion of health care fraud which was part of a larger sting involving the prescription and distribution of opioid drugs which are devastating the country. It is the largest takedown of Medicaid/Medicare fraud in U.S. history.
  • Sheldon Silver, former Hillary Clinton superdelegate and one of New York state's sleaziest politicians, who illegally earned $4 million during his time in the New York Assembly, was set free when an appeals court overturned his conviction of corruption. Ordinary citizens are stuck in prison cells for far less crimes.
  • A sick game called the "Blue Whale Challenge" is spreading like wildfire among adolescents and pre-teens in which fifty tasks must be completed, including taking pictures of one's self from atop a roof and carving symbols into one's arm. The last challenge, which many have live-streamed, is suicide. The "game" has already claimed over 100 people.
  • The Republicans' latest health-care bill reads very much as if it was written by the insurance companies and health-care industry lobbyists. It gets rid of the individual and employer mandates, but otherwise, this proposal is in several ways even worse than Obamacare. Far from "killing millions," as Nancy Pelosi or Elizabeth Warren allege, this will cause people's premiums to skyrocket. The insurance lobby, for proof that they oversaw the crafting of this bill, opposed Senator Ted Cruz's amendment to the legislation that would require insurers to sell coverage that doesn't meet Affordable Care Act standards.
  • Oh yes, let's not forget ... Two weeks ago, North Korea successfully launched an ICBM missile, something it had previously and repeatedly kept failing at. And our indispensable intelligence community knew nothing about the developments leading up to this? Instead of trying to overturn the election and spying on American citizens, perhaps the deep state could do its job? That fat little deranged inbred in Pyongyang could hit Anchorage in the near future, and we remain obsessed with removing Assad from power in Syria in a conflict that concerns us to no degree imaginable other than to decimate ISIS.

Has the media-at-large addressed these topics at any point? I know none of them are about climate change or migrants, the only two other subjects that could possibly albeit temporarily disrupt the Russia collusion cycle.
If being ignorant of basic facts and not reporting real, actual news isn't disturbing enough for you, dear reader, how about the Associated Press updating its venerated "Stylebook" to corrupt the English language by declaring certain conservative-oriented words forbidden.
The AP Stylebook is ubiquitous in media offices throughout the English-speaking world. All print and broadcast media employ it. We even had a copy of it at the UMass-Boston student newspaper. It dispenses advice on aspects of grammar and correct terminology. This has been the standard since its first edition in 1953.
As you have no doubt gathered, unless you're on a serious mind-trip, it is not 1953 anymore. Therefore, certain edits have been made to this journalistic tome. They include: 
  • Changing pro-life to "anti-abortion".
  • Wiping the term amnesty clean of any reference to illegal aliens.
  • Using the cumbersome "people struggling to reach Europe" in place of migrant or refugee. The word "refugee" is now verboten. Somebody please inform Tom Petty.
  • Changing terrorist or Islamist to "lone wolf" or "attacker". So, in future, we will be attacked by "attackers". Brilliant analysis, AP.
  • Of course, there is an alt-right according to these language prodigies to denote alleged fascists who embrace every "-ism" under the sun, but I guarantee that you will not see "alt-left" to describe anti-democratic process, violent, irrational progressives.

This very much brings to mind George Orwell's Ministry of Truth, described in his prescient novel 1984. In an excellent essay entitled "Control the Language, Control the Masses," New Oxford Review editor Pieter Vree describes the process involved in thought control:
The close link between clarity in language and clarity of thought has not been lost on power-seekers of all stripes. Love him or hate him, Saul Alinsky was spot on when he wrote, "He who controls the language controls the masses." History has proved him right on this score: The social acceptance of homosexuality, for example, was made possible in no small part by the substitution of the word gay for homosexual in popular discourse. The latter term simply sounds weird whereas the former sounds friendlier and connotes happiness. Likewise, the debate over abortion was decisively swayed when its advocates began calling themselves pro-choice. Anyone can be against abortion, but who could be against "choice"?
That essay was published in The New York Times. Oh, wait, no it wasn't. According to that bastion of news that was never fit to print, Vree must surely be collaborating with the Russians. By daring to allege that news is fake, "democracy dies in darkness." We know that's true, because The Washington Post tells us so every day in its slogan. Jeff Bezos wouldn't lie to us, now would he?
When a person in future opines, "I read it in the paper, so it has to be true," whose truth will he or she be referencing? It is worth asking yourself that question. Still trust the darlings of the media that you tune into every evening, my sheeple?

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