You may have missed the Pravda like message of propaganda Sinclair Broadcasting disseminated through its television stations this past weekend. After all, it was a holiday, and the message itself, at first glance, sounds harmless enough.
That's because the words of the message are in line with the core tenets of journalism- fairness, balance and objectivity. Unfortunately, these ideals have been completely corrupted in the real world and only exist in an idealized fantasy. The biggest issue plaguing the media these days, and it has existed for awhile, is "both sidesism."
When you have news outlets like CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC etc. all adhering to a belief that you must present "both sides," on every "issue," disaster and chaos ensues. Facts are facts; there is absolutely point in having "an analyst" or "pundit" on television to dispute basic facts.
The media is biased towards always having an opposing viewpoint presented, because the point-counterpoint format is a cheap and generic way to drive ratings up. Opposing viewpoints are represented even when all they do is dumb the viewer down.
Gun violence is a public health epidemic. Peoples' rights to basic safety and to not be killed by gunmen supersedes the right for a potential gun owner to be inconvenienced, and have to wait when purchasing a gun. However, CNN, when they gave Dana Loesch a platform, and NBC's Meet the Press, when they had Wayne La Pierre on, sent the complete opposite message.
CNN and NBC did this because they are desperate to appear "balanced" as an outlet that presents "both sides."
Why do so many people in America not believe in man made climate change, even though the scientific community has had this figured out for well over a decade? Because the media, in their pathetic and weak attempts to appear "not one-sided," made sure to continue giving global warming skeptics and deniers large megaphones to continue espousing their agendas.
It's the fatal flaw of the media industry, and it leaves open a massive hole ripe for exploitation. Sinclair Broadcasting clearly knows this, hence they crafted a vanilla sounding missive, one with a tone and theme that sounds like it espouses the both sides ideal.
Sinclair owns nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., and due to easing in government regulations, is about to add 40 more. Over the weekend, they forced their own news anchors to record a promo about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.”
It's Orwellian doublespeak "War is Peace," "Ignorance is Strength," "Freedom is Slavery" in its truest form. Watch the script in action in below:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) March 31, 2018
The script, as transcribed by ThinkProgress based on the KOMO (Seattle) version, reads:
Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…
(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.
(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.
(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.
(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.
(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.
(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.
(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback.
The good news is that the propaganda script leaked, the anchors read the message exactly the way that they should (with the body language of hostage producing a "proof of life" video) and that Monday has brought a serious, massive backlash against Sinclair Broadcasting.
Their evil ruse didn't work, but we all need to learn the lesson about why they thought it would. FOX News Channel only successfully marketed the slogan "Fair & Balanced" because they knew people wrongfully believe the media is liberally biased and that the media industry will play right into their hands trying desperately to convey both sidesism at every turn.
Sometimes however, there is only one side.
As legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow, as portrayed in Good Night, and Good Luck said, "I simply cannot accept that there are on every story two equal and logical sides to an argument."
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.
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