There is bias in the media. It’s been there always and people in the future will be able to make the same statements and display an abundance of examples of media favoritism. On some occasions that predisposition is intentional. The writer, outlet, or someone with influence over either has an agenda. In other instances, the writer or outlet lacks the experience or skills to research or to investigate. At other times differing perspectives are unknown and even the most experienced and diligent are unaware of the additional evidence.
The problem of bias in the media today, however, is not the sole fault of the industry. We the People also share the responsibility for the problem and the escalation. It’s always been easy to rely upon a single source for the information we receive. With the proliferation of internet media and social media platforms, we sometimes argue that we have multiple sources but the reality is that each “source” emanates from the same root. Stories are simply rebranded to seem original to another source.
We the People make excuses. One is that we do not have the time in our busy lives to locate and to read the primary documents for ourselves. One of the more frightening is that without even realizing it, we succumb to that satisfaction to think that we were right because that particular story confirmed what we already believed or wanted to be correct. Why look further when our own opinion has been “confirmed?” How easy is it to fail to acknowledge or recognize our own prejudices?
When another questions or opposes, the counters often take the form of ad hominem attacks, strawmen, and frankly just bullying one who challenges. We make every effort to suppress anything that conflicts by oppressing anything that doesn’t mesh with our opinion. At times the one challenged just runs and hides to the security that they are right and the other is wrong. Communication ceases and thus real issues are not addressed.
The reality is that it goes in both directions. People will contend that it’s the other person engaging in such behavior while they stand tall and proud. It’s as if one stands upon the hill of righteousness while the other plummets into the depths of their ignorance, malice, and delusion. When viewed from the perspective of the other, it is the inverse of who stands and who plummets. Others on the outside of a specific difference of opinion, that is We the People, tend to focus our tunnel vision ever more readily upon what we want to believe.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can find time to peruse the primary source material. We can utilize multiple outlets to obtain our information. By multiple, our sources from which we choose to receive information should lean in different directions. By comparing and contrasting, we can identify the omissions from all which skew the understanding. Only by combining and in some ways dissecting at the same time of multiple accounts can we attain a reasonable idea of what occurred. We can protect ourselves from becoming a pawn in the agenda of others.
When it comes to opinions and positions, triangulate your sources. Challenge those who try to obfuscate. Discredit those who desire not to inform but to discombobulate. We cannot continue to credit, to enrich, to empower those who have confused, skewed, lied, or denied accountability because then who is really responsible?
We all should ask and answer, who stupefied whom?
It’s the misinformation that serves to divide and to isolate.
How can We the People accept, empower, and enrich those who promulgate such ideology?