In a previous post, I talked about how the same news is reported from different perspectives. This post is about a blatant misrepresentation of fact.
In the first line of this article, the author writes:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Al Jazeera is gaining more prominence in the U.S. because it offers “real news” — something she said American media were falling far short of doing.
If you watch the video that accompanies said article, or read the article on the site where the video originates, you see that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is actually saying:
In fact viewership of al Jazeera is going up in the United States because its real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like youre getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”
Clinton does not explicitly say that the U.S. media does not offer real news. Instead, she says that American news is not particularly informative. One can see how this can be inferred from what she said, but it is not what she said. This is something that irks me about news agencies in general, but I can understand how it is necessary in our entertainment-driven society.
Why can’t we just have news that reports on the facts rather than one that tries to ‘spin‘ the news in one direction. This has gone so far that after debates between political candidates, representatives from either side are meant to spin what their respective candidate said in what is called the “Spin Room.” We actually call the place where this happens the spin room. Isn’t that a little far? Shouldn’t we just be talking about what the candidate said?
Maybe my line of thinking is too utopian. Maybe my ideals are a little lofty in that there needn’t be a place for news agencies that report on the news with a particular slant — intentionally or unintentionally. I’d really just like to have someone tell me the facts of the day and what that could potentially mean, from a systematic point of view.
In today’s world where there are proponents from both side jockeying for mine (and your) attention at 6pm to get the daily dose of the facts, it almost seems safer to watch both of the news to get a more accurate perspective on what’s been happening. However, some sources like this one, and this one, explain that watching the news can actually make you less informed about what’s going on. With the advance of social networking, maybe it’s almost safer just to follow the trending topics on Twitter to see what’s happening in the world.