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MEDIA NEWS VS. INTERNET NEWS NO WONDER PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED
By: Jim Moore
What is happening in the world is not as important as how we perceive what is happening. -- Author unknown.
Being given two opposite viewpoints of anything is bound to induce head-scratching of epidemic proportions. Particularly if reasonably intelligent people, seeking to know the truth, are pelted day after day by two totally different versions of it.
Take the war in Iraq. We consistently get two "truthful" interpretations of it, one from the mass media---newspapers, radio, TV---the other from the internet, each giving us its own version about what is "really" going on over there.
Can both observations of the war in Iraq be true, at the same time? Not likely. Unless you live in Orwell.
To the rest of you, we assume that you understand, and believe, that one version of the war is closer to the truth than the other.
So let's look more closely at both versions and maybe commonsense will prevail and you will henceforth not need to resurrect visions of Pontius Pilate by asking well, you know.
THE MEDIA TRUTH
Each time the president speaks to an audience he invariably tells us that we are winning the war in Iraq. This, Bush insists, is "making America safer", so we must "stay the course." This is the cheerleader's mantra that shows up in the mass media, every time Bush speaks. And, for that matter, whenever people of like mindset open their mouths.
For instance, we learn from the media that in a speech to the U.N., Ayad Allawi, Iraq's prime minister, gave this assessment of the situation: "We are winning. We are making progress in Iraq, we are defeating the terrorists."
The media also informs us that, although Allawi has no real power base, there is no reason to fear the worst. "There is a disintegration of law and order, yes," Allawi admits, "but I would not categorize it as a precursor for civil war."
While a new intelligence report does not speak positively about Iraq's future, we are told by the media that Bush talks about brighter days ahead under a new prime minister, and the promise of free elections. "Freedom is on the march," Bush assured an audience during a campaign rally.
And as late as today, the media reports that Vice President Dick Cheney opined: "John Kerry is trying to tear him (Bush) down, and to trash all the good that has been accomplished."
We could go on, but you get the idea. The mass media seems never to fail, in print or broadcast, to put a positive spin on news from the Bush camp. In contrast, anything with even a hint of a dissenting viewpoint about Bush's "successes" in Iraq, even from top news reporters and analysts, appears to get only passing notice.
In short, the mass media in America appear to be "respectfully obligated" to support the president, regardless of whatever he says or does. He could be an idiot, a cheater, a liar, or even a traitor, but HE gets the print or airtime, while dissenting voices get minimal exposure, or worse.
That's why, these days, the mass media gets failing grades for objectivity and fairness in reporting, while the internet----the new kid on the block---is getting more and more attention.
The internet is beholden to no one, thus the websites which expose dissenting views is one of its greatest strengths. And dissent is often where the truth is hidden.
THE INTERNET TRUTH
The internet, admittedly, is an animal that needs taming. Translation: Surf the internet with care. Theories fly. Opinions run rampant. Viewpoints are challenged. Arguments abound. But that is the very thing that defines, enlivens, and makes the internet necessary in this modern age---a format where dissent and opposing opinions can be freely expressed, without fear of rejection, restriction, or retribution.
In essence, the internet gives us the "other side" of the story, the side we seldom see or hear from the media; the side that makes you think, rather than accept; question, rather than acquiesce.
You're hearing about the "success" we're having in Iraq. That's the media truth.
Here's the internet truth. Iraq is spinning out of control.
As far back as 1990, then-president, George H.W. Bush intoned: "Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective---a New World Order---can emerge."
A decade later, Maj. Steve Lefemine, U.S. Army Reserves, uses the internet to tell us: "We have no business fighting this war in Iraq. It is undeclared, therefore unconstitutional, and therefore illegal. Certainly it has not been worth the more than 1,000 American soldiers killed, and approximately 7,000 wounded,"
Also using the internet, Danny D. Bunn, B.A. reported: "A surge of deadly violence this weekend brought the bloodiest day in Iraq in recent months: suicide bombings, mortar fire, fierce battles between insurgents and U.S. and Iraqi security forces. A firefight between an Iraq crowd and a U.S. helicopter crew; killing dozens, leaving even more injured.
"Attacks against U.S. forces", Newsweek had to admit, "now average 87 per day, the worst monthly average since Bush's flight-suited visit to the USS Abraham Lincoln in May 2003.
"And casualty figures keep escalating. Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted recently: 'We did miscalculate the difficulty in winning the peace in Iraq.''"
No single version of anything ever says it all. But on the war in Iraq there is such a disparity of versions between the mass media and the internet, one version MUST be truer than the other.
And THAT has to do more with reality than perception.
The Truth is by one of the best defintions ever (mine defintion ), open standing perfection.
Openness of the Internet by itself, of the open forums etc we seek for new informations, it is excatly the Truth that prevails more and more, getting stronger and stronger. This is very, very rapid process.
It seems to me that we are going to enter to the new age much sooner than anybody ever predecited it.
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