Friday, July 10, 2009

The truth is……

There are laws that prevent advertisers from claiming things that aren’t true. For instance if I were selling cod liver oil I couldn’t advertise that it cures cancer because it doesn’t. The laws were put in place by our government and were intended to protect the public. I guess it all started back with the snake oil salesmen who sold snake oil that not only cured every ailment known to man, it also removed stubborn stains and made a darn good hair oil. I think it was the precursor to Dippity Do. How many of you remember that stuff? The point is, snake oil didnt'work.

There are also laws that protect us when we are taking out a loan. They are called Truth in lending acts. They protect us from bad lenders who would slip in things like huge balloon payments or astronomically high interest rates. Well it’s supposed to anyway. Some lenders just hide it in the small print. Since most people don’t read the fine print these bad lenders are able to still prey on the unknowing public. What they are doing isn’t a “legal” crime it is only a “moral” crime. No legal laws were broken so they get away with it. Until the end that is.

But what about Truth in reporting? Where are the laws to protect us from false or misleading reporting? This wasn’t a big problem years ago but it seems to be the norm these days. Maybe it was always like this but I don’t think so. For years, reporters just reported what they saw or heard. There wasn’t any opinion thrown into the mix. Opinion type reporting was done in the “Letters to the Editor” section. Those articles usually have a disclaimer stating that what’s written is the opinion of the editor and not necessarily the opinion of the paper or magazine.

Now when a reporter does a story, they only report the part that they want you to know. These partial stories are written in an attempt to sway or persuade the readers. Headlines are written in a misleading fashion. Facts are omitted to make us believe the truth is something that it really isn’t. They also throw in their own opinion to enforce their point. It is no longer unbiased reporting. It is trickery and deception and there is nothing we can do about it. Does this seem right to you?

Just yesterday I was reading a story about unemployment. The headlines said: “The rise in unemployment is the lowest it has been since January.” Sure that statement is true but it is very misleading. I heard someone in our office make the comment that unemployment was finally coming down. That’s not what I read, so I looked a little closer (read the fine print) and got the real story. The more correct headline would have been: ”Unemployment up again for the 7th straight month.” That’s what the truth is. It’s just not rising at as high of a rate as it was last month. The reporter also stated that they felt this was a sign that the recession was ending. This reporter wanted to print good news so he twisted the truth to make it sound good.

Why has happened to us that we have to resort to deception in order to sell a news paper or magazine. To me this is wrong. Reporting is now just fictional writing with a bit of truth thrown in for legal reasons. And now I have to wonder how many people read that and are happy with the way things are going in America. I'm not.

Have a great day,


skoots1mom said...

YOU'RE SO RIGHT...truth is HARD TO FIND these really have to be diligent to find it so you aren't quickly misled...
good post...
please pray for my great niece, Katie, she just came out of heart surgery and the next 48 hours are critical, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Right on, Greg.

It's also because the media is controlled by the liberal left, and they don't want to admit that things are actually worse off now than they were before their Golden Child got into office.

Edie said...

Amen Greg! Would you like to write for the Arlington Tea Party website? :)

There is something we can do about the bias news media. Put them out of business. Turn them off. Stop watching, stop buying their papers or magazines, and get the word out for all like minded individuals to do the same. They will lose $ and either change their ways or go out of business.

ChrisJ said...

Greg, you're absolutely right. The sad thing is that is the way reporters are expected -- and required -- to write today. It used to be objective but now it's slanted and words are deliberately chosen for their emotional response produced in a reader. It drives me up the wall. TV news is exactly the same. Listen for the deliberately chosen biased words. It's not bad reporting. It's deliberate manipulation!

Deb said...

It is so refreshing to know that I'm not the only one out there who is so tired of the "fluff" that we are reading. Facts are facts and the facts are that things are worse since the new adminstration took office and, in my opinion...not appearing like they're going to get any better soon. It's way past time for folks to wake up and wise up.
Thanks for putting words to what many of us are feeling!

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

Greg - I agree with what you've said. My degree is in journalism so I feel the need to point out that reporting has always been somewhat biased. The reporter has always chosen which facts to include and which not to based on the time/space allotted for the story. The problem is that ethics have become practically nonexistent and editors want the story told in the way that will garner the most viewers/readership, rather than just reporting the news. This goes for media on BOTH sides of the political battlefield.

My opinion is that things will get worse before they get better. I also think common sense dictates that the country didn't get in this mess in a year or two and it will take longer than that to get out of it no matter who's running the show or what the reporters, econimists, talk radio hosts or preachers say.

Sorry I wrote a book!

Terri Tiffany said...

All truth! My husband and I sit and say that everyday about the paper and the news on TV. Hard to believe much about anything.
I'll believe the recession is getting better when my husband gets a job and I'm no longer afraid to buy anything but groceries:)

Leslie said...

Hi Greg,

Thanks for visiting my blog this week and becoming a follower. I remember my mom using Dippity Do!

I personally think the media has always reported incorrectly. I believe many things were kept "hush hush" regarding political figures and celebrities up through at least the 1960's. Twice I've worked for companies that were sold, and when it was reported in the newspaper, there were always incorrect facts and names. So I don't believe too much that I read or hear. (Although, I do admit that recently I've turned into a Fox News junkie. Love Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly.)

Blessings, Leslie

Leslie said...

Oh, I forgot to mention, that my hubby would probably love the design of your blog as he loves to fish! Also, we honeymooned in Charleston. We would love to go back for our 20th anniversary next year and stay a 2 Meeting Street again!

Wanda said...

Amen, and right on.... I so agree with you. Truth in the media is rare indeed if ever.

You are a good man, and a great American.


Carmen said...

It's all about semantics, isn't it? I was once told that most of the media and newspapers are owned by a handful of the very rich. So the bias is often theirs and what they want you to believe. It makes me wonder.

2Thinks said...

Yep. I don't read the newspaper- often- certainly do not subscribe and I don't watch t.v.- hardly ever, none. I do listen to the radio and I guess I am mostly behind on the news usually, but I wonder what it matters b/c of what you wrote here.

Ever read World magazine?

I loved how Dippity Doo looked in the little tub it came in.


The Dental Maven said...

Mainstream media has an agenda, will do nearly anything to promote it, and therefore cannot be trusted.

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