Wednesday, July 21, 2010
In 1961 the chairman of the FCC, Newton Minnow, described television as a vast wasteland. That statement is even more true today. I would also extend that description to the internet. There may be some factual information available on the internet but how does one go about obtaining it, and how do we recognize it? Most political websites, whether liberal or conservative are instruments of propaganda and misinformation. What makes them so successful is the fact that we humans will not accept any information that does not reinforce our prejudices. How we come to have these prejudices could be the subject of a different post. The conservatives think that the word liberal is synonymous with evil, the liberals think the same of the conservatives and each side has their sources of information to gather ammunition to throw at the opposition . I am right and you are wrong. There are no nuances of meaning, no mitigating information that would help us to understand another view. Both the liberal and the conservative media are guilty of fanning the flames. But, after all, they are capitalists. They are in the information business to make money. The more sensational the story the more readers/viewers they can pick up. Some of the more well known pundits are making millions of dollars by stirring up the fear, righteous indignation, and anger of the American people. I would like to think that we have the potential to rise above our prejudices, but we seem to be a people who are easily and willingly misinformed. It won’t be the liberals that destroy the country or the neo-cons. It will be all of us who refuse to set aside fear and hatred long enough to listen to each other.