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Jon Stewart, Trump, And The Media

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Tonight, I watched Trump’s address to Congress. Yes, you heard right: I sat my little, lithe young ass in a seat a watched the most powerful man in the world address the whole of his government. Amazing, an engaged teenager? What’s the world coming to?


Well, hopefully it is coming to a more informed populous. But that is beyond the point; it is what came after his address that I really want to...well, address.


There was an interesting article from the Atlantic that I had found when I was browsing the site (which I do pretty often actually). Besides mocking and deriding Jon Stewart’s monologue aimed towards ‘the media,’ it surreptitiously went out of its way to inform Jon that he basically didn’t have any room to criticize. He was a comedian. He has lost his drive, and his ‘nuance.’ His show was ‘well researched,’ the article said, “but has abandoned that nuance.” It basically said, in my formation, that everything is media, so since there’s obviously a blurred line, he can’t proselytize and say that there’s a problem. Especially since everyone – and it does say everyone – is technically the media.


Uhg. I’m sorry. I call bullshit.


I want to outline a few things, and first of all is something that you may be aware of: the degradation of PewDiePie. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, here is a clip of him talking about what happened. If you don’t want to watch that whole thing, I’ll sum it up.


Basically, he had a few joke posts on his channel (which has 50,000,000 subscribers, by the way) that involved ‘anti-Semitic’ imagery. Now, I’m not going to say that maybe these weren’t in poor taste. But the way that ‘the media’ searched, clipped, and crucified him is utterly unacceptable.


It’s no secret in the YouTube community that the elite ‘media’ holds them in utter disdain. The righteous journalists feel threatened by this new medium, and subsequently espouse that it is highly overrated. He covers this is his video. But this is my point:


This is just a symptom of a larger issue.


Think about it: most of the YouTube community is fairly liberal. Then this. This – this is something, that, for once, they can agree with the president on. The media went out of its way – out of its way – to find 5 or 6 clips, take them out of context, and slather it all over their papers and tout it on their television channels. GQ actually lumped him in with Milo Yiannopoulos, a despised alt-right figurehead.


But let’s all understand something crucial: when we say the media, we know exactly of whom we’re talking.


We’re not talking about random websites and relatively new places like Breitbart. No. We all understand the media is the ‘upstanding’ institutions that has a wide and bipartisan circulation. That means everyone knows who they are and what they do.


CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post. Even, gasp! Fox News, bless their hearts. We know what their purpose is. And I’m saying that instead of resisting people that call you out on your prideful arrogance, and turning it around on them, a la ‘well, maybe Jon Stewart should become more nuanced,’ I think that you should heed the advice. Pride comes before a fall, after all. And I think that getting excoriated yourself – by a Twitter account, no less – should be a kick in the pants.


Leave the satire, the condemnation, and the blatant out-of-context lies to the person who does it best; do your jobs, pick your battles – and tread wisely.

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Mainstream media has lately felt threatened by new media, especially Youtube. I mean, that isn't really a surprise. The internet is quickly becoming the predominant means of entertainment and our go-to for the latest news. Traditional means (like television, newspapers, etc) are falling by the wayside. And the mainstream media is doing is damnedest to stop the inevitable.

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Wow! I am amazed that people actually think that there is no difference between blatantly self-serving propaganda and true journalism.  You know...the kind of journalism that requires actual research, requiring multiple credible sources and feet-on-the-ground investigations.  Certainly, no one can argue that Fox News isn't strongly biased...  and to be honest, all news agencies are biased.  Every human being has inherent bias. If you don't think bias causes you to make bad decisions or believe things that are totally false, google the Harvard online self-test for inherent bias.  I guarantee you will question many of your beliefs in a new light. 


Real Journalists are trained to understand the influence their own bias has on their beliefs, expectations and choices. Simply re-tweeting something you read and adding your own bias is not journalism.  Just as a falsehood is no less false because you want to believe it, feel strongly about it, your friends like the idea, it helps you financially or because you scream it at the top of your lungs until the ears of your audience are forced into submission.


having a video camera and a YouTube account doesn't make you a Journalist.  A Journalist commits themselves to revealing the truth no matter what it costs them personally.  They commit to the tedium of hours and weeks of meticulous research and questioning their own interpretation of the data.   And the founding fathers of the United States knew the danger of acts of hidden tyranny by those more wealthy or powerful than the average citizen. They had escaped the tyranny of the Aristocracy and vowed that never again would the powerful be able to repress or twist the truth. That is why the First Ammendment to Constitution guaranteed the freedom of the press. It is vital to preserving a free democracy. 


The good news?  Once a person identifies their own inherent biases, they can use critical thinking to better discern the truth and make good decisions.  In a free society, it is the responsibility of every citizen to LEARN, TO SEEK THE TRUTH, to STAND UP against the tyranny of the powerful and of the Majority, if that is required. 


Remember that most Germans didn't believe that Hitler was doing anything wrong.  I used to wonder how generally nice people could have supported and believed in such a diseased mind. With the shocking results of our latest election, I think I begin to understand.  Don't allow the 'Great Experiment' to fail because the search for Truth is too difficult, unpopular  or inconvenient.  Despite the excommunication of Galileo, THE WORLD IS NOT FLAT.





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