It used to be that we watched NBC, CBS, and ABC for all of our news. Newsman, Walter Cronkite, was the most trusted human being in the United States. Then, during the Clinton Administration, our media began to change as MSNBC and Fox came on line with a very different brand of edutainment. Sergeant Joe Friday’s “The Facts, Ma’am, nothing but the facts,” became a myth. Instead of the news, we could select which slant of the news we would prefer, and for many people, feeding at the trough of the one that most represented their views became a regular daily activity.
In college we learned about semantics and were taught the destructive force of improperly slanted communications. We were also given examples of how these slanted interpretations influenced the masses. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s PR man, did an astounding job of reaching the lower middle classes of Germany. He used terror and hatred to influence their opinions on everything from literature, to war, to Jews. He positioned his boss, Adolf, that smarmy little dude, as the leader of the “not so free world.”
A friend of mine was in the home of a prominent millionaire at the end of October in 1989 soliciting support for a not for profit organization. During their meeting the phone rang, and the host excused himself to answer it. The conversation went something like this, “No . . . absolutely not. No, not this week; not until next week.” After the call he returned to my friend and said, “Do you believe it? Those guys wanted to tear down the Berlin Wall this week.”
The following week, 28 years after it was constructed, the Berlin Wall came down – November 9th, 1989.
Influence comes in many forms, and it was obvious to my friend that a few very wealthy people had a great deal of influence in the way our world operates. Many of those individuals or their offspring now control the media oligopoly, a group of people that went from thousands to less than a dozen major owners internationally, a reality that can create a lack of competition and diversity while providing completely biased political views reflective of what will benefit them directly.
With these New Rules in mind, I’ve decided to give you two different views of Obamacare for 2014:
Right: Obamacare will result in Death Squads that will determine the fate of our loved one.
Left: Obamacare will result in the saving of thousands of babies who would have perished due to previously unavailable pre-natal care.
Right: Obamacare will result in the complete loss of ownership of our medical records due to EMR’s (Electronic medical records) being available to the government.
Left: Your Medical Records will soon be available to you no matter where you are in the country and will contribute to a higher quality of care.
There you have it. Pick which side of the road you want to live on as you watch the cars go by, but then understand that you really don’t have much control of the direction in which they are moving. Big media can keep us immersed in the deep concerns of the Kardashian family, feed us genetically modified white bread and send us to the Coliseum while Rome burns or we can VOTE. The problem with voting is that we really should have enough objective information to allow us to make an informed decision, and, unless it’s a Tweet, that’s very unlikely.
Keep in mind, too, that our vote will be influenced by the lobbyists whose clients will benefit the most from the election. As one talking head said, “I just wish they’d dress like NASCAR drivers so that we could determine who owns them.” I, for one, am fed up with this polarity.
Let’s find some middle ground and try to save ourselves and our country.