Don't trust the media

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by Manny Laureano, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    It absolutely boggles my mind to see how gleefully the various media relish bad news. It's so clear that when the news isn't bad enough, the rush to report innuendo is of marathon proportions. I've seen it so repeatedly it makes me sick how they sway public opinion in order to make disasters disproportionate to reality. They seem to revel in creating hopelessness.

    The lovely thing about it is that there is no accountabilty. From Jason Blair to Dan Rather to Oprah Winfrey, there is never any kind of apology for having done the wrong thing and for misinforming the public in their rush to "help". So, what does this do to our young people? It makes them even more cynical about anything they hear and now I have to admit they're not without reason. It seems the blogosphere is more dependable for news after the fact (well, at least the ones I read) as they tend to cite sources that are more credible that let some time lag in order to be sure of their facts.

    I wish we lived in a more patient world. We have become so accustomed to "news now!" that we will swallow whatever the first thing reported is. A bloody shame, that. I don't know... maybe we were better off sociologically before sattelite reporting but then you couldn't prepare the public for hurricanes and save lives as a result. Everything is a double-edged sword, it seems. All I can say is I have great contempt for the media that report "news" and follow it immediately with a poll so they can ask how you think this or that politician is handling this or that crisis before it's even over.

  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Manny, you and I are in lock step on this subject. Not only does the media love to report bad news, but it has always amazed me how they love to speculate when they don't know anything in an effort to pre-spin things so that when the news does finally break, people already have preconceived notions and opinions on the matter.

    As a side note, here in the Baltimore area, the news just loves to report impending bad weather, and they get everyone in a tizz for nothing. It's amazing to see the knee-jerk reactions of people when they start reporting "impending" snow storms - and aren't talking 2-3 feet of snow, we're talking 2-3 INCHES of snow! However, people go out and buy up milk and toilet paper as if they are going to be snowbound for a week. Being from Nebraska where 12"-18" of snow is no big deal, I just shake my head and chuckle at the fools who completely buy into the news. One of the funniest things I think I have seen when it comes to storm related news was one time when the predicted "Big Storm" didn't happen at all, yet they still had reporters standing on street corners in the cold reporting on how it WASN'T snowing! Unbelieveable!

    I remember being a recent high school graduate and being highly skeptical of my father when he was griping about the media and how they distort the truth to sensationalize and sell the news, and especially to spin it so that it pushes a certain agenda. Then when I really started to pay attention to the news, I found that he was absolutely right.

    One of the things that just gripes me is how the news will only report part of the story - they will push the things that further their agenda, but they will puposefully downplay other things that don't bolster their position. A recent example of this was the news reporting the blasting that former FEMA director Mike Brown got during his testimony during the recent hearings regarding the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in Louisana and New Orleans. Weren't Nagin and Blanco supposed to testify too? Yet, I haven't heard much at all about their testimony and the fact is, they screwed up big time and should bear the brunt of the responsibility for what happend down there. Unfortunately (as I see it) the media has chosen to vilify Mike Brown so we won't hear much about Nagin's and Blanco's testimonies, regardless of the fact that they were largely responsible for the mess that occured down there.

    Anyway, suffice it to say that when I watch the news these days, I'm always watching with a critical eye in an effort to read between the lines so that I'm not spoon fed what to believe. Unfortunately, it seems that about 75% of the country's population buys into it hook, line and sinker!
  3. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Hey Guys

    On my good days I am an optemist and on bad days I become a little cynical. We do (sadly) live in a world that for the most part is driven by the all mighty dollar. Sensationalism sells, and thats the bottom line. Whether or not you let yourself be drawn into that trashy way of thinking is an individual choice.

    I've always stayed away from this type of retarded thinking that the majority of the general public displays constantly. I suppose that is why I got into Jazz and Classical music rather than wasting my time on Commercial or Rap music.

    I know I'm probably gonna get some slack for saying this, (and couldnt care less). Rap music for example is based on hatred, vugarity, cussing, and degredation of women. And its extremly popular. Just shows you where the general public's brains are :shock: I was offered a position earlier this year working with a Rapper and he promised that I'd be paid a salary that would more than double my income, and came very close to 6 figures a year. I thought about it and turned him down. I told him I wouldnt play (C)rap music for 7 figures a year. I have my values which are not for sale. I wanted nothing to do with such a vulgar music that in my opinion is at the core of how corrupt our society is becoming. So I know how you feel Manny :-)

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
  4. davidjohnson

    davidjohnson Piano User

    Nov 2, 2003
    i quit allowing credibility to newsfolx 20 yrs ago. i like some of the pictures, though. what really slays me is the dumbness of local & regional newscasts. they used to be sensible around where i live.
    our local paper is still good, though.

  5. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

    Jan 12, 2005
    Northern New York
    The causality of this is the same thing that makes us gape at car accidents: morbid curiosity. Unfortunately, the news media is run by broadcasting companies. Profit measure of success. Example: 20/20 used to be a news magazine that exmined what the media felt was an important news strory in greater detail. Topics were political, finance, etc. It is now like watching the National Enquirer on TV, just like all the rest of those "TV news magazines". The companies make their profit on our morbid curiosity and need to see others in pain. Why do we need to know that a train crashed in Bangladesh and killed 15? Unfortunate though that is, is that really significant and life-altering? Does it have a large impact on our life other than the sorrow we feel for the loss of those 15 people and the anger at the system that allowed that to happen?

    I've put myself on kind of a news blackout. I check the headlines on Yahoo news (which are, admittedly, selected to create interest in a story) to keep in touch. Most of what's on there is just garbage. No tv news, no newspapers. If I'm really newshungry, I try NPR, but even they are guilty of sensationalism (they need to make their money, too).

    As for the popular "music" scene...don't get me started! :x
  6. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    So, discussion time?

    Here's my question:

    Is NPR more or less likely, in your opinion, to present news in a biased way because they are publicly, corporate, state, and federally funded as opposed to commercial stations that get their money from advertising?

    It seems to me they aren't any different from commercial stations in terms of bias from a content point of view. They list their corporate sponsors at the beginning and middle of the program. They also have monies that flow from the state and federal government although I've yet to find the part of the constitution that heralds the right to news.

    This could be a good discussion if we stay on topic.

  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I think it is an interesting question; for some time I have been "down on" the media. I find that the older I get the more cynical I get about stories I read/hear/watch. It is my impression that the media is consistently (and constantly) concentrating only the negatives in politics, government, business. It doesn't matter who the government is (right, left, center)... all that is ever presented (with some obviously patronistic exceptions) is the same old, "it'll never work, it's wrong, someone else could do better" approach to the story. The only mention made of entertainers (music, Broadway, Hollywood....) is when they've done something that the media thinks can be used to sell more media; whether it be a film opening, an affair, a splashy concert, or maybe a substance abuse problem.

    News anchors and reporters are only interested in getting "their" message across during interviews... they seem to have no concern whatsoever for what the interviewee is trying to say (Larry King is the first and worst one that comes to mind in this regard).

    I have only recently discovered NPR (thanks to these forums). When I look at the NPR website the impression I get is that they really don't seem to be all that different from other, "private" broadcasters. With a significant portion of their web portal devoted to "current events", news, economics, etc. I could be looking at variation on the CNN theme! To me, you actually have to dig to find their music or arts sections. To be fair, there is a LOT of music there when you find it: but the thrust of the station appears to be more along the lines of something driven by "guaranteed income" rather than being rewarded by the actual audience. I'll say right up front that I don't get NPR "live" but have to access it through the web so maybe what I'm seeing isn't what you are hearing.

    My personal tendency is to listen to Canada's oldest, public radio station which broadcasts out of Edmonton, Alberta. CKUA ( ) was set up in 1927 on a University Campus. Sponsored by "government", it fell prey to the predictable abuse of (government) funds and shut down for a brief period of time while it's directors and other guilty parties were "purged". It was then resurrected by an interested group of people who formed a foundation and now supports itself almost entirely with regular fund-raising drives (much as PBS does). Yes, it does sell advertising time but you hear a lot more of "this program is supported by a donation from Mrs. XXXXX" than you do "get your storm windows from the ABC glass company".

    It has built up an enormous library of music... this is taken from their website: "CKUA is recognized as the voice of Alberta artists, musicians and cultural enthusiasts. Each week, CKUA broadcasts 168 hours of eclectic and entertaining programming that, in keeping with tradition, includes educational based music and informational series. Blues, Jazz, Classical, Celtic, Folk, Contemporary and Alternative music all make up CKUA's broadcast day. This broad spectrum of music is drawn from CKUA's internationally renowned music library. Comprised of more than a quarter million CD's and LP's, the library contains an excess of 1.5 million musical selections."

    I think that truly "public" media must be supported by a form of "user pay" system; not a government supported system (which is essentially a tithe or tax). That makes it entirely accountable to the LISTENERS... not the advertisers, not the "government in power at the moment", and certainly not the "record labels" who are trying to push their wares (another insidious mechanism for pushing (c)rap entertainment onto the masses).

    Uhhh... what was the question again?
  8. djm6701

    djm6701 Pianissimo User

    If I want reliable news without discernable bias, I tend to go to the BBC site, which incidentally is really fascinating - there is a ton of stuff there on all sorts of topics.
  9. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Some very good opinions on here. Being a fellow Canadian I specially enjoyed and agree with a lot that Tootsall said in his post.

    Yes my friends sensationalism sells and its very sad. Whats even sadder is that when a Jazz celebraty dies, such as Miles Davis or Dizzy Gillespie, it is sensationalized. The record labels morbidly release a frenzy of re-issues to sensationalize and capitalize on their death. :oops:

    I remember reading once long ago in Miles Autobiography on his opinion on how the American media treats it's artists. He recalled having a part on the once very popular tv show 'Miami'Vice' and also doing a tv commercial for Honda scooters. He said (sadly) he got more recognition for those two musicaly unrelated events then he did for ANYTHING he did in his entire career! :shock: His conclusion you can be a loser and get tv exposure and youre a star, and you can be a musical genius and be a nobody because you have no exposure. He was disgusted as I recall :-)

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
  10. Clarence

    Clarence Mezzo Forte User

    Jun 23, 2005
    san diego
    Got three words !
    NEW WORLD ORDER! :cool:

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