Thursday, July 3, 2014
I Aim to Misbehave: The Myth of the Unbiased Media
I kind of went off on an old friend today. A Ph.D. who apparently took the left path at some point, he posted the poem about "you tired, your poor and your huddled masses" and basically indicated that the concern of the right over the whole immigration issue wasn't "American". In a follow up comment he expressed a desire for a return to the days when reporters were taught, "...that a good reporter never showed his/her personal bias." Sadly, he said, those days are gone.
Sadly, my friend, those days were never here. Every reporter, even good old Walter Cronkite came to the task with his own personal druthers. Cronkite was an old leftie and everybody knew it. I used to watch him. I liked him, but I was never in doubt about his slant on the story. My friend pointed out that 28% of Fox News viewers also watched MSNBC as though that somehow diluted Fox's influence.
The reason people watch both Fox and MSNBC is because they are pretty much the only two news outlets that are clear as to what their reporters biases are. Fox is at least honest about it. With MSNBC, it's just so blatant you can't miss it, whatever they claim about being unbiased. What I like about Fox is that when a reporter is a conservative, you know it. When he's a liberal you know it. And Fox has both varieties of reporter. More importantly and the reason for their dominance of the news market is that Fox gives conservative viewers the chance to hear a reporter ask the questions that they would like to ask for themselves.
I, for one, do NOT long for the good old days when we got fed whatever the top 1 or 2 newspapers, television or radio stations thought we ought to hear. There was no conservative media, then, except possibly for William F. Buckley whom the stations kept around and trotted out once in a while when they wanted us to know they were being fair or when some politicians on the left weren't living up to their potential and they wanted Buckley to spank 'em. They crucified Barry Goldwater in the media and they had no shame about doing it. The only way Reagan got himself elected was because he was able to bypass the news media and appeal directly to heartland America.
I actually studied journalism back in them good old days and what the books were teaching was how to diddle stories to reflect a Marxist agenda. It was that open. Marxism was what the cool guys believed. The assumption was that if you were a journalist, you were a liberal. I withdrew from graduate school psychology because my professors demanded that I not only not believe in God and stop being a Christian, but also that I give up on all this silly monogamy stuff. The three top department heads had all wound up divorced during grad school and thought that if you didn't get a divorce while in grad school, that you weren't working hard enough. Not wishing to abandon my marriage in order to collect my degree, I left higher academia.
I am left with a deep and abiding mistrust of the motives of the left. I have good reason. I have seen them in action and however much most claim to be altruistic and want peace, love, sex, drugs and rock n' roll, underneath it all, the most ardent of leftists have a profound lust to exercise power over those they consider beneath them - the fabled teeming masses. The self-appointed great thinkers of our country think they are superior intellectually and that we cannot manage our lives without them. They think of us in nice statistical groups that, if only they have enough data, they could manipulate us like so many puppets - for our own good, of course.
Since the Garden of Eden it's been all about "being like God" for these people. The only real reason the progressive left has for feeding the starving, clothing the naked or housing the homeless is to relieve their own guilt and to pacify the rabble so they don't rise up and murder the privileged classes in their beds.
Progressivism is nothing less than the ancient idea of the divine right of kings morphed into the divine right of the smug and self-serving pseudo-intellectual wealthy upper classes. America undercut the notion of inherited nobility. The new would-be nobility must undermine America to restore what they see as their right to rule, to look down on a passive motley rabble and order them about as it suits them.
I know that sounds harsh, but every time I bore down into the progressive argument, I find the same creepy smug sense of entitled superiority. I could get along with these people. My IQ is in the top 2%. All I'd have to do is buy into the idea of the elite class and adopt the same ideas they all share for managing the ignorant proletariat and I'm in. Trouble is, I've thrown my hat in with the proletariat. I'd rather be free with regular decent people than one of the cool guys who think they ought to run things because, according to Marx and Darwin, smart people can make us all better and happy.
Once in a while the proletariat does rise up and reassert its right to not be meddled with - like in the 80's. Trouble is, then we all go back to work and the meddlers start it all back up again. They think that somehow if they pass enough law, hand out enough bread and circuses, they can make people..................better. By better, they seem to mean more submissive.
Maslow was wrong about the whole hierarchy of needs thing. Altruism and productivity doesn't inevitably come as a result of being fed, clothed and housed adequately. Sometimes altruistic is just who you choose to be. People often stand by their principles even while the priests are piling up wood about their feet and waving torches.
The progressive left believes we smart people can somehow make people better.
As my favorite spaceship captain, Malcolm Reynolds once said, "I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."
© 2014 by Tom King