Protecting Yourself From The “News” Scam…

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We ate dinner as a family growing up. 

There were only four of us — mom, dad, sister, and me — and we had a small TV next to the kitchen table. During the 6pm hour, normal dinner time back then, we’d watch the evening news. 

I hated watching the news. It was boring as hell. 

Maybe there was a shooting in the city or a big snowstorm coming in, but other than that, political talk of taxes and what committee voted on what legislation never stimulated me. Aside from the sports guys, I much preferred The Cosby Show to news reporters. 

***

I share a lot of opinions in my material; some of those opinions, some people don’t agree with. That’s fine — that’s the nature of opinions. It’s the *why* of your disagreement that interests me,  more than whether you agree or not on the surface. 

I always try to be as objective as I can possibly be, almost to a fault. 

I can argue either side of any point of view. I don’t get emotionally invested in many of the things people fight tooth and nail over (race, politics, LeBron Vs. Jordan). I can listen to someone pose an illogical point of view and know where their logic fails while still understanding and appreciating how they came to such a (wrong) conclusion. 

These days, I express understanding of both sides of political, social and racial debates. When I do so, one side generally expresses appreciation for the fact that I can offer an objective viewpoint. The other side gets angry at me for not supporting (or being on) their side strongly enough. 

I don’t even have to tell you which side is which. 

***

Looking back on those family dinners, I realize why the news was so boring to me as a kid: because, back then at least, the news simply told us what happened. No opinions, no slant, so sensationalism. The news was a simple report of what was going on and why we should know about it. 

The objective truth of life was — and still is — not very exciting. 

Today, it’s all about stimulation. Every publisher is seeking something sensational and emotional to get people excited. 

Even if what gets published is not true. 

Even if it’s taken out of context and the entire meaning changes. 

Even if it hurts more than it helps in the long run. 

I am not in the business of changing minds. People will think how they want to think and believe what they want to believe, and we’ll just have to leave it at that. 

I share who I am and what I do, and those who are open to and ready for it find their way to me. I guess you would call this “preaching to the choir.” Preaching to the choir is a smart thing — selling to people who actually want to buy is an efficient way to do business. 

Just know: 

  • I won’t buy into your story just because it’s yours. 
  • Objective facts are often boring — and often true. 
  • When something really is news, you won’t have to watch TV to know about it. 

All the political and social unrest happening today is just as much the fault of the reporters as it is the perpetrators who did the thing being reported on. It’s the news that sensationalizes every story. The news makes every action by their side seem fair and just, while the actions of the “other” are always nefarious and questionable. The news leaves out the contextual details that would make a headline story not so interesting. The news stopped employing reporters and now employs performers who sell you a story more than they report it. 

A young woman got her start in television as a news anchor back in the 1970s. Her bosses didn’t like her style, though; they felt the woman showed too much emotion and not enough objectivity in reporting the news. The woman was quickly demoted to hosting a daytime talk show instead.  

If Oprah Winfey had come along today, she’d be just another face on CNN or FOX. 

I explored how the mainstream media has failed us in episode #1474: Stop Watching “The News”! Listen here: http://DreAllDay.com/1474-