Ed.: 030418 – Words: 857 – Audio: N/A
A great force inducing our current national divide has been the idea that there’s some alternative truth in what’s being reported. Much of it is attributed to the idea of the way facts are being reported… which essentially is a variant to the idea that a glass is either half empty or half filled; both are factual yet the perspectives vary widely. But there is also another element at play in the media as a whole and that’s the outright fabrication of “news” as being fact when it’s absolute lies, plain and simple. Whether it’s concocted by a foreign power in an attempt to influence our national divisiveness (ala Russia), or, thrown up by internal opposing political agendas with bias’s based on literal hatred toward “the other side”… it’s a pretty confusing time to try and apply some level of critical thinking and evaluation of what is being fed into our senses.
Now, a lot of what is considered “news reporting” in the media…. and this is a LOT of the problem… is actually “news commentary” and it’s hugely difficult for us watching or listening to it all to separate it out “on the fly” as we engage in our daily routines. Example. “Breaking News! The glass is now half full. Let’s get some feedback from our panel of talking heads.”, then we hear those talking heads give their various opinions as to the reasons the glass is now half full… and we leave with the idea that the news being reported is that the glass is half full BECAUSE a convincing talking head blames the dripping faucet, rather than the last person not shutting the faucet off properly… or another talking head saying there is no problem at all. There’s no mental separation between fact and opinion so many of us walk away thinking someone’s opinion is fact. Many news sources feed this by failing to separate a news reporter from a news commentator.. and from my vantage point ALL networks do this to some degree.. even my fave source, CNN.
Not too long ago a fellow blogger called me out regarding the accuracy of a post I made in this blog. He was correct in doing so. I tend to do some basic research if my posts are going into controversial subjects where some semblance of facts matter (which is most, these days). In this particular post I was more focused on making my point than the accuracy of what I was trying to convey.. or pass on, as I trusted my own judgment. In the end I recognized the post in general was a “mess” even by my own standards, so I deleted it. First time on any of my blogs I did that (although some might suggest I should have done that to many more).
Anyway, my point to all this is that I will be including at the end of my future posts some links to certain locations on the Poltifact.com website pointing to the latest fact checking effort those folks use to vet or verify the truthfulness of the more popular statements made by today’s popular and influential people. Obviously, Trump being President, they report on his latest diatribes as well as the current progress of his agenda and campaign promises. We can argue and debate the way news.. and facts… might be presented.. but there is no debating the facts themselves. We can at least start there.
Why Politifact? Because they have a good record, they are non-profit and non-politically affiliated, and they have a good mechanism for trying to be transparent, they are nationally recognized… and they even managed to get the Pulitzer for their efforts. Yep.. absolutely no question many people might see them as just another “liberal plot” of Gawd-knows-what conspiracy theories; you can’t make everyone happy… especially the right wing. But for my purposes here they are good at what they do (Politifact, that is).
No.. I am not their affiliate; no, I am not getting money from them, or getting my own reserved parking space in their garage. I don’t work for them. They are not the only fact checkers. I simply like them as a resource to aid my own critical thinking process. They monitor what’s being presented to us, the public, and their efforts contain truth in facts, without judging the truth.
That being said, let’s move on.
Oh.. one more thing… that SUPERMAN (above) makes all the others that followed, to this day, look like total pussies. Ask any Baby Boomer.
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