Monday, July 14, 2008

Well, gee, I heard it on the news so it must be true, right?

24 hour news shows may very well have spelled the end to honest and factual news reporting. I'm not the first one to say or think that. Far from it. The 24 hour news channels have to keep the news "fresh" and they have to "beat" their competition to the "big stories". That often means that they forget to check the facts before they air those stories. And that often results in erroneous "reporting" of items that are presented to us, the public, as actual and factual "news". This concerns me for many reasons, not the least being that so much of America relies on these "news" shows for our information about things that actually matter to us as a nation. Things like: which candidate is the best qualified to be our next president? It used to be that you could look to the news to get an understanding of what a candidate stood for, what their goals were, what vision they hoped to implement if elected. You could do that because news anchors and reporters used to be "neutral". They reported the news, period. They didn't try to influence us one way or the another. And they sure didn't tell us their opinions about what a great guy this candidate is or that candidate is. They left the opinion-giving to the editorial folks. When you saw or read an editorial, you knew it was an opinion and not a fact. Nowadays, you can't tell the difference. It's all presented as "news". For instance, during recent election coverage, MSNBC's Chris Matthews all but salivated when he talked about Obama and I damn near wanted to offer him a cigarette when he was done talking about him. When Matthews told viewers how he got "chills up his legs" when he heard Obama speak...well, let's just say I thought that fell into the category of T.M.I. (Too Much Information) and was, in no way, appropriate for a so-called "news" person to say. Meanwhile, he eviscerated Hillary Clinton every chance he got and he spoke as if the Republican front runner, John McCain, would merely be a name on the ballot come November, not a serious candidate to win. Granted, Matthews is more a pundit and a talk-show host than an actual "news" person, but he has (according to him) made "a commitment to cover politics", a commitment he wants to "honor" and that prevents him from "getting involved in actual politics himself". Newsflash for you Chris: You're not covering politics if you're doing more editorializing than reporting. You are, in fact, campaigning under the guise of covering. Big difference.
I generally get my morning news fix from a variety of sources; CBS, ABC, CNN Headline News and FOX. I used to watch NBC in the a.m., but just can't do it anymore. The show grates on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard and I'm not even sure why. I also used to watch MSNBC's Morning Joe, but had to stop because they weren't imparting any news anymore. They had become yet another part of the Obama for President Campaign. I can't watch FOX exclusively because they are more the "give me a Republican for President - I don't even care which one" school of thought and I can't watch the main CNN channel because they are of the "the whole world is going to hell, it's all the fault of Republicans but Democrats are too flaky to fix the mess we're in so let's just sit here and shake our heads at how much the world hates us" school of thought. I only watch CBS and ABC because, well, least the faces change even if the stories don't. But overall, I come away from my morning news show viewing wondering if what I've heard is really true or if it's unsubstantiated bull hockey. It's gotten to the point where I take all that I've heard, combine it with all that I have read regarding a certain situation and try to figure out what really rings true. What a way to get a view of the world, eh? Oh, and do I have proof that the news really isn't the news anymore? Well, yeah, I think I do. Does anybody remember the recent story (carried by all the networks and cable news) about the kid who supposedly baked LSD and/or pot into some cookies and then delivered them to Ft. Worth area police stations as part of his community service commitment to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)? This story was everywhere - on every channel, on the internet, just everywhere. Well golly gee, a day or so after the story ran, they got the test results on those cookies back. No drugs. What was reported as fact was a mistake. An error. Someone jumped to a wrong conclusion and the media ran with it. Good job, guys. Another story had to do with sightings of great white sharks off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, which just happens to be where they filmed "Jaws". Yeah, the sharks were spotted, beaches were closed, people were all a dither. Quite a coincidence, it being the filming location of one of the scariest shark movies in history. I mean wow! How strange is that? And what potential for a great story, right?!! What if someone was actually attacked there? could just see the news people's eyes glowing at the thought. But wait a tick. The next day came the news that the story was a hoax. Not that I saw anybody reporting that on the morning news, mind you. I read it online. But yeah, it was a falsehood, a fake, an untruth. It was reported as fact, it turns out, it was just some dipstick making stuff up and, again, the media ran with it. (Gosh, they do great work.)
If they don't even bother to get the little stuff correct, how can we trust that they're actually getting the big stuff right, either? But hey listen, don't worry about it too much. I mean, at least the news channels are still reporting on the really important stuff. Stuff like Christie Brinkley's divorce and Angelina Jolie's womb happenings. You know, the stuff of legends. The stuff that makes the world go 'round. And it's brought to you by the people who are determining what information and which stories matter to America today (and shame on us for going along with this drivel!!). Now let me ask you something...are these really the people you're going to rely on to help you determine who you'll vote for to be the leader of the Free World????
Think about it....And before you get all upset with me for talking politics...know this; I don't care who you vote for. Rather, I care that you vote from an informed position, that you believe in your chosen candidate and that you make up your mind based on your research, not some talking head's. Don't just vote for a buzzword. Buzzwords won't change the world, they merely look good on a t-shirt. Don't just vote along political party lines, either. Not all party candidates are worthy of that sort of blind devotion. Scratch that. None of them are. Know the candidate, not just his/her affiliation. And don't just vote for someone because you think it's the right thing to to. Know that it is. Your vote counts, it matters, it's important and voting is a privilege, not a bother.
And that's our story here in beautiful downtown Bugtussle, Texas. Reporting to you live, this is
Now back to you in the newsroom, Jim.

P.S. There, did you see how easy it was for me to fake being a reporter?? LOL


  1. As someone with a degree in journalism, who was taught such things as unbiased fact-finding and primary sourcing in reporting classes, this just totally galls me. And I hate the fact that we know as much about "entertainment" news as regular news.

    Chris Matthews' antics are atrocious (and this comes from me, someone who has made the decision to vote for Obama). I don't need my journalists telling me how a candidate makes them "feel."

  2. We interrupt this post for BREAKING NEWS.

    but first, watch this string of commercials which will be followed by another announcement for



    Amen, Kari, Amen.

    But first, this is Mary

    We now return to our regular blogging.........

  3. I just finished a book, THE WHOLE TRUTH, which dealt with false stories being put out over the internet and the effect of those stories. I did a review today.

    You should read this book, Kari.

    You know, some days I swear you and I are twins - we're thinking on the same wavelength!

  4. Thanks for such great reporting from Bugtussle!

    I figure I can research on my own, to the best of my ability ('cause who knows what is REALLY true) and make up my own mind instead of taking some other dunderhead's advice.

    Back to you.


  5. P.S.

    "womb happenings" hahahaha That one cracks me up!!!

  6. Bravo! [Clap! Clap!] The truth sounds SO GOOD! I, too, abhor the "newsy" garbage that gets peddled as "The Final Word." Hopefully, We The People can get it together and preserve the essence of truth IN OUR OWN MINDS (we still have them and the responsibility to feed them) AND VOTE ACCORDINGLY. Educating one's self no longer includes tv, as far as I can see. : )

  7. Boy isn't that the truth. Used to love the Today show but don't care for Meridith Viera(sp?) The news channels are a bunch of hooey. You got Nancy Grace, who I can't tell half the time if those are current situations or something drummed up from who knows when. Gloom and doom with a gleeful expression. Can't trust a one of them.

  8. Thank you are fabulous!


  9. You, my friend, are a "hoot". I'd love to see you on the air.


  10. Oh wow...I had an itch, thanks for scratching it! You know Hitler had the ear of the press, too and look where that got us. CNN (we call it the Chronic News Network, Wallace calls it the Communist News Network) has been my least favorite news channel for awhile, MSNBC makes me want to hurl my coffee, cup and all at the screen and the less said about Fox the better...we tend to watch ABC more than anything know Wallace's paper has a lawyer on staff whom they run stories by for legal reasons, you'd think that these big assed networks could afford that, wouldn't you? But then, who would you sue for a false report? The idiot on the screen or the idiot behind the scenes? Great post...I mean really, a great's POST OF THE DAY material if ever I saw it!
    love ya
    Aunt Sandi

  11. I watch the CBS news but I take it all in with a grain of salt and a frown on my face. I am so disgusted and frustrated with politics, mudslinging, half truths, and untruths, that I may, truly, vote for Willie, the tractor driver, this go round.

    Is it still possible to write a candidate in? :-)

  12. It sure is POTD stuff and Aunt Sandi nominated it... hence my visit!

    Great points you make - wherever you are in the world. Knowing what you are following, signing up to, agreeing with, is vital in my opinion, as is going to get it "from the horse's mouth" not just hearing what others have to say about that person, or that group. It can really open your eyes to see the REAL thing!

    Great post - well written.
    Ever considered a career as a reporter? ;0)

  13. Kari, all important stuff, but your humor comes through loud and clear. I can take the tough word with a bit of humor and this was a strong word. I'm glad that I linked to you yesterday and I've linked to you again today because my win was featured. Thanks again so much!

    (I haven't watched tv for so long that I don't have a clue, not one, what's going on. I suppose that can't be a good thing. Oh, on another note, I've been using my debit card. I know that that will make you happy!)

  14. You nailed it kiddo! I don't watch any one news program on a daily basis anymore. They are all so unprofessionally biased one way or the other. I don't even know whether or not to even believe what they say anymore! You think they would be ashamed of themselves. But they're too busy worrying about ratings to care about the truth.

  15. Yessssssssssssssssssssssssss!!! I do not watch any tv for my news anymore. Nor do I listen to radio, for it. Sad but true.

    As you said... Please all, do some digging on your own. Have your own 'litmus test' as it were, for who you view as able to do what you want done.

    Miss Mari-Nanci

  16. Hi Kari,

    I think you should be on TV, you would be much better then the real newspeople. I do like Diane Sawyer though and Robin Roberts. I have no idea what their political beliefs are, but I just like to watch them in the morning. But really this was a great post and very well said.

  17. How would we go about getting you your own news show? I would much rather hear you than GRETTA any day of the week.

    I know you don't do awards, but I am awarding you ANYWAY and linking to you. Just seemed like you NEEDED this one... BRILLANTE weblog award. And you Kari, are one smart cookie (yeah I know, not the right spelling for smart).

    Keep preaching the Gospel according to Kari!!


  18. Kari, Jennifer posted a double dog dare ya along with giving you the award that you got CONGRATS. I for one do not pass up a double dog dare you! Hugs and Blessings!
    That's mt story and I'm sticking to it!

  19. I never pass up a double dog dare -came over from Jen's site (I got the award, too!) Glad I did - great blog!

  20. The media really annoy me sometimes - especially how they blow things up out of all proportion.

    "somethingoranother SOARS by 50%" - it goes up from one to two...well, you get my drift!

  21. That is one of the reasons I refuse to watch the news. Therefore I am totally in the dark on world happenings. Oh well, better than being misinformed (is that a word?). Loved your comment on Angelina's "womb happenings" made me LOL. Talk to you soon. Love ya!

  22. You are dynamite dear friend...

    I almost never watch much news anymore. I catch some local bits and check in to see what the world is doing each am, takinbg what the media says with a grain of salt.
    The big news teams would rather gather at Bradgelina's bedside than tell me what is going on in Darfur, follow Paris into a boutique so they can make sure we all know what color her panties are (Or IF she was wearing them God forbide) than discuss the volatility of Pakistan. Ye Gods...

    My in laws never voted but oh how they conplained. Drove Bill crazy. Now his brother never votes, Pure laziness. Too many fought and died so we could be free to vote and it is, as you say, a privilege, an honor, a duty.

    Lovge ya you well versed and brilliant lady you.

  23. Amen! speak the truth...and I do believe the radio, tv stations AND some newspapers speak with "forked tongue" as the great Tonto used to say...You can't believe much of what you hear...b/c as you stated they do not check their facts...and it's all about the ratings...which means it's all about the almighty dollar...and isn't that usually the case! What a shame...that some will prostitute themselves...just for those reasons! I mean didn't that get Dan Rather fired??? Didn't bother to gather all the facts...and that got him in a heap of trouble...wonder why him...and no-one else??? That's a story for another day...I suppose....Hmmmm...none of us could get by with telling 1/2 truths in our how come these yahoos can get by with it? And seriously do I REALLY care how Chris Matthews leg feels during an interview...with ANYONE! Yikes...yes TMI!

    Thanks for the words of wisdom, Kari...yes we do owe it to our beautiful country to do our own fact finding...and most importantly we are so priveledged it really saddens me to know that some people don't care enough to even cast a single vote...a vote that many, many young men and women have lost their lives to give to us or have given so much of their time and life to give us that freedom and keep it that way...shame on us!


  24. Hi Kari, I found you through Sandi McBride who commented on a post of mine that said similar things about the British press. It's a global disease and as much use as taking history lessons from Hollywood. The British media's passion for celebrity gossip now sees Brangelina's every fart as equally newsworthy as a soldier killed in Iraq. Let's start our own news channel! Keep blogging. VLiF

  25. Whoo! I LOVE the way you blog, sista!

    Another thing that ticks me off is all these Obama rumors. I mean, really.... get the facts straight. Don't vote for the guy because of how he stands on issues, not because you believe some e-mail about him being a non lapel flag wearing muslim! Yeesh!


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