Our nation has more divisions than assets which unite us. There are the rich vs. the poor; because the laws are ineffective, there is age discrimination; there continues to be enormous racism and bigotry; women are denied the respect and income of their male counterparts; and we have ‘red and blue states.’ The United States of America is not united; far from it.
If the last reason were removed from the list of divisions, the others would slowly follow. In an interview with ‘VOX,’ President Obama blames much of this separation on FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, and MSNBC. I completely agree with him; and that’ rare.
Those who watch FOX News or listen to Rush Limbaugh do so because they want their own opinions confirmed. Liberals act the same way, and select MSNBC which enables them to receive their own ‘truth.’ If none of these existed, individuals would be forced to seek the truth about their personal ideas and opinions.
The media is used by both Democrats and Republicans to reach supporters. Research proves that the majority of people believe what they see and hear on television, or at the least want to believe. Once a voter is convinced that one party has all the answers, he or she loses all objectivity. This is obviously bad for America, but even worse for the individual. Once the ability to reason, and therefore think for themselves, is lost, it is nearly impossible to regain. The majority of opinions we see and hear on television could not survive deep scrutiny; those who espouse them are lucky that way.
When the major media sees an opportunity to make a news story explode, they create a continuous and usually one-sided campaign. There are several recent examples.
Ebola was a perfect example of the media refusing to use scientific fact in their reporting. Instead they did just the opposite. Every new person reported with ‘Ebola-like symptoms’ was continuously placed in front of the American people. When the governors of New Jersey and New York assisted in creating panic, the media treated them as if they were knowledgeable scientists. Two individuals died from the disease on United States soil; both contracted it in West Africa.
Now it’s measles. I was seventeen-years-old when the first measles vaccine was licensed, so of course I had measles when I was much younger; everyone contracted the virus. There was no stress within my family; no fear of death. We simply stayed home from school, drank plenty of liquids and rested until it ‘ran its course.’ We knew it was highly contagious, but that didn’t create any concern for us or our parents. In 1962, the year before the first vaccine was licensed, there were 503,282 cases reported in the United States; 432 deaths were the result of measles; and most of those also involved other health conditions. That is .00085 percent. But it was impossible in the last couple of weeks to see any news-related show which didn’t incessantly talk about it.
The most recent event which has been media-created, is regarding newsman Brian Williams. When he misspoke about an incident which happened in 2003 in Iraq, the major media made maximum efforts to twist the situation so that it appeared all of Mr. Williams’ statements were false. FOX anchors blatantly lie continuously, but they are not famous enough to receive criticism. Not a single network had the courage to openly attack George W. Bush or Dick Cheney for blatantly lying to Congress, the American people, and the U.N. which resulted in the invasion of a sovereign country. Could the Williams situation be a case of jealousy?
Today the average citizen believes whatever they want to believe without fact checking or weighing both sides of a discussion. Thank you FOX, Limbaugh, and MSNBC for helping our nation become the ‘Divided States of America.’
Commentary by James Turnage