Tuesday, August 25, 2009
And Another Thing....Faux news
One of the most profound and disturbing things for me upon arriving here in the US for the first time, was observing the way in which prime time network news is relayed here. Tuning in to see what was going on in the world, revealed itself to be a veritable minefield of wry sarcastic opinion often served with a side order of the histrionic, presumptuous, deceptive, self righteous and fallible-depending on which side the network was batting for. Be it O'Reilly, Beck, Hannity, Comlbs or Olbermann-trying to swim through the sewage of muck-raking verbage, and soap box finger wagging, merely to make sense of it all,and discover some actual world news of the day,was akin to having my head encased in concrete.
Except it wasn't news relayed as factual, dry reportage, as it is in the UK-it was shouted with a shook fist, filtered through some scary party rally cry, where the fires are stoked for the viewers to eye each other suspiciously, and seeth and bait for blood through gritted teeth, and all the underlying fears of Mcarthyism are spewed through your cable, 24-7.
Is it any wonder then that in this twenty first century, that there are factions of such frightening extremes.
Now of course as a result of an erroneous comment that Glenn Beck made about Obama being a racist and hating all white people- his show is hemorrhaging advertisers. That's some splendid news for once-with a little further coercion, hopefully he will dig a hole big enough hole for himself to fall into.
Perhaps Beck and O'Reilly and their ilk, believe they are like Peter Finch in the excellent Sydney Lumet movie from 1976-Network-'Not going to stand for it, and Mad as hell'
Whilst I'm not adverse to the social order being shaken up a little from time to time-révolution-the context of that movie was unifying, not spitting bigotry, hellfire and damnation vitriol five nights a week.
At the end of the day, the doctrine of democratic free speech for all is one which I embrace , but if news is subjective, driven by agenda, opinion, and an allegiance politically or otherwise, then what you are left with is nothing less than a tenet of Orwells thought police.