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Memories of the 28th Century

Are They Lying?

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I was thinking about writing about the misfortune that people are acting up about racism, but I was listening to TV coverage of an electrical storm that has produced a tornado, when the reporters said many things that were false. It was clear that they didn't know much about weather and probably never studied meteorology, and they certainly never bothered reading the National Weather Service information about warnings and watches. They tried to make the thunderstorm sound like something exciting and important. I realize that TV weather is entertainment, an attempt to keep people so attentive that they will stay tuned and watch the commercials.

Weather is clear and simple, so it was easy to tell that the reporters were expressing fals3h00ds, but the relevant information isn't as easy to find in regard to other things that are reported as news, but, based on my experience, news reporting isn't very accurate. Reporters are told that controversy sells, so they try to make things seems more exciting. The only events in which I was involved that were reported accurately in the press were things for which I wrote the article and handed it in as a press release. Other articles were like the report of a thunder storm that I just heard. There was a report of a tornado in one place, so the reporters continued to claim that there was a tornado for the next hour, even though there were no more reports of tornado sightings. This may be an extreme example, and I have heard interviews of people on news programs that accurately reflected the actual facts, but I strongly suspect that national news, especially in politics, depends very much of the political preference of the reporter or the editor. We already know that Some news outlets are very biased, but I wonder whether there is adequate data to be able to make reasonable judgments about political issues.

I have no doubt that the news outlets have inaccurate news, but I do not know the extent of it, nor do I know the reason why they provide inaccurate news. To truly know the extent of the inaccuracy, one would have to have reliable sources for news, but they do not exist.

While it probably would be pointless to demand objectivity in journalism, it might be nice if every news outlet clearly stated their political viewpoint, so that readers or viewers, would have the necessary information with which to judge the outlet. But even that would still leave the problem that people canít the glasses through which they look at the world; they just think that everyone should think the same way as they do, as if they were right.

It leaves most people in a position of not having the wherewithal to make an informed decision. Without informed decisions by the citizens, the people being elected are the ones who look best or who treat the voters best, regardless of best interests. And one result is Donald Trump, but most of the people in elected offices are as biased and self-centered as Trump.

It leads me to wonder if citizens ever had adequate information. They probably did have the real information in Ancient Greece, but when the U.S.A. declared independence, I suspect that the information available was insufficient. I wonder how many people were aware of John Hancockís tax problem, as one example.

The problem is not just bias; most reporters lack adequate education in areas about which they report. When I started this, I was thinking about the protests in Portland, Ore. and similar things, but then the matter of barometric pressure and blood pressure came to mind, so I searched for information. Alas, there was little. While some articles mentioned that there was a relationship, there was not detail about the effect. I think that this is another example of people not asking the right questions, both in regard to current events and in regard to medical matters, and they donít ask the right questions, because they donít have adequate background. By the way, low atmospheric pressure causes blood pressure to drop, but the exact relationship is not known.

The general lack of information is one of the reasons why democracies canít exists with populations of more than 25,000 or so. It is also why the founders of the U.S.A. favored the natural aristocracy, the best people, as the ones who would run the country.

What does it all mean? People who have adequate information and intelligence to understand the information can govern themselves. When H.D. Thoreau wrote On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, he was writing to people who were of similar intelligence and education. To repeat, people need the background to understand, and they need the intelligence to be able to process the information, but it the press is lying, then it doesn't make any difference how much information one gets; garbage in; garbage out.


  1. Buh4Bee's Avatar
    Maybe the weather channel is accurate.
  2. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Buh4Bee
    Maybe the weather channel is accurate.
    More so than most.