Media
The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, among other rights, grants freedom of the press. It specifically states: "... Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press ..." As with the rest of the Constitution, a brilliant political principle without question. With its brilliance though, it does not regulate the quality of the free press and throughout our history we have seen both outstanding journalism and pitiful examples of a free press. In the second decade of the 21st century, there are two strong political ideologies (left & right) controlling the political dialogue in this country. During the 2012 Presidential Election, spin from the left and right are presented as mainstream information and what was formerly mainstream, balanced & unbiased information sources have changed or evolved their format to the point that unbiased reporting is unavailable. In the 2016 Presidential Election, there was no effort at all to cover up the biased reporting of the mainstream media. Today'snews sources are targeting specific messages to gain specific ideological audiences, thereby presenting bias. This bias is most times unidentifiable, not completely truthfully nor presented with perspective and context that the reader/viewer/listener requires and expects. Shockingly, sometimes this bias is purposely (NBC) camouflaged (NY Times - 4th paragraph down) from the reader/viewer/listener. In our polarized society, these strong messages on both sides overpower the ability of people with limited time to evaluate issues to find a center, compromise, reasonable or mainstream position. Especially when each side is also saying they offer the center, compromise, reasonable and mainstream position, whether they do or not. There are media watchdog organizations out there, but they also represent an ideological left and right. Much of this website is dedicated to shedding light on the bias in current American journalism. While we long for that great post-WWII journalistic era, where we were served by responsible, professional and largely unbiased journalism, unfortunately, we are no longer so served. That makes it difficult for American citizens to find the truth among the hype, agenda peddling and biased reporting. If you look at the bottom of this page and all pages on this website, you will find major (and some not so major) news organizations listed based on their political leanings, Left or Right. You will immediately notice there are none listed in the center. While there may be the occasional article in any of these news sources which could be a center, balanced and truthful report, by and large the reporting from that news source is defined by its L-R political leanings. The Gray Area is attempting to help its readers by so identifying the biases of the news source from which a report originates to help you identify the spin within the news piece you are reading or watching. We will include an article in the center if we believe it represents the center, a thoughtful, balanced and honest perspective. That way, presented with facts and recognizing the source, you can make up your own mind. In this 'media' section, we comment on the egregiousness of some reporting so that you may see the best and worst of what we must today use as our sources of information.

Media Fails At "Guarding the Truth"

12/16/18
from The Gray Area:
12/17/18:
They should use a mirror. In TIME Magazine's Person of the Year - 2018, they name "The Guardians and the War on Truth", or in other words, the media. As examples of attacks on the truth, being upheld, obviously, and heroically, by the worldwide media, TIME uses the Khashoggi murder (and others in the media), totalitarian governments' oppression of the media around the world, and, of course, Donald Trump's 'fake news' attacks on media here in the United States. Certainly the attacks on free media around the world, the murder of reporters and the control of media messaging in some countries around the world is an affront to the values of every American and freedom loving resident of this planet. Unfortunately, some of this problem does spill into the American media. Specifically, control of messaging. This is why the media in the United States is under such attack today. The self aggrandizement by the American media, so apparent in this edition of TIME, and media personalities' defensivenesson a daily basis, has been going on for decades in the United States, and has exploded in the two years since Donald Trump's election in 2016. He tapped into the feelings of a majority of Americans that the news media is biased and control the messaging in this country to a far greater degree than is safe for a free society. It is believed that they do this either for reasons of personal bias or institutional and ideological agendas. Trump pointed out obvious examples of 'fake news' stories and America jumped on his bandwagon. The media says he, and we, are wrong. We just don't like hearing the 'truth' they present. And, therefore, they are 'guardians of the truth' and beyond reproach or criticism. Unfortunately, their constitutional protections do not shield them from criticism as they wish. It does not shield them from assaulting citizens. It does not shield them from slander and libel. It is hard to believe media defense like this when they participate and at times lead the charge that Trump voters are racist, homophobe, misogynist, nazis, and, of course, 'deplorable'. Trump voters know that these labels are false. If the media were doing their job of reporting the 'truth', they would not persist in such falsehoods, number one. Number two, they would offer perspective on such political spin and lies about the opposition by putting it to rest or displaying the similar extremes on the left, such as, Marxist revolutionaries, socialists, anarchists, fascist mascarading as anti-fascists and mobs. But they don't. They provide cover for these groups and spin or lie to the extreme about labels for Trump supporters, Republicans and right-wing nuts. The United States media is not only failing as 'guardians of the truth', they are major enablers of the destruction of the truth! You, the media, are hypnotized (by training, industry and editors, into believing your political bias is truth and as journalists you are untouchable, therefore, can define truth anyway you want. Free press does not mean free from criticism! And, you deserve the criticism! The free press in America is failing. You, the media, say Trump calls you 'fake news' because he doesn't like the truth. Your performance, not the criticism, gets the "F' grade. The American media should simply use a mirror to see the truth and the error of their ways. This TIME article, in the same edition, is the best example of journalistic delusion. Look at the list of descriptions below from the article on Donald Trump as the #2 candidate for Person of the Year, titled, "The Disrupter". It's a long list. After reading these ask yourself if this is unbiased reporting? If this is adding perspective for their readers? If this is being a 'guardian of the truth'? Or is this simply, political opinion, stated as truth?
  • a disrupter, stoking political divisions, breaking institutional norms and weakening the power of the federal government from within.
  • he has changed the balance of power between businesses and consumers.
  • he has scrambled alliances and emboldened strongmen.
  • darkening the tone of the public debate
  • This year brought forth the consequences of Trump’s disruption. The deficit soared. The stock market trembled. The voters revolted. Special counsel Robert Mueller circled closer.
  • Trump, equal parts exaggeration and self-aggrandizement.
  • ... laws and wars. In 2018, Trump’s accomplishments took place mostly in the absence of both.
  • he pursued his divisive agenda
  • he put in place a policy of separating migrant children from their parents in order to send a harsh message to potential border crossers.
  • The tax cut the GOP passed in December 2017 fueled corporate profits.
  • North American Free Trade Agreement, in which Mexico and Canada agreed to new terms ostensibly better for U.S. industry. But the agreement was a minor modification of the much maligned 1994 deal and has yet to be ratified.
  • Trump and the GOP found new ways to attack and under­mine the Affordable Care Act.
  • Health care was just one area in which regulators sought to accomplish what legislators could not.
  • Trump’s most consequential moves may have come in his attacks on the U.S. justice system.
  • to infiltrate his presidential campaign for political purposes.
  • The first two weeks of March captured Trump’s disruptive approach to foreign policy.
  • unprecedented face-to-face meeting with the reclusive North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un.
  • Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Critics say he has made America less essential and more isolated on the world stage.
  • But there was no formal agreement, and U.S. investigators say North Korea has continued to pursue its nuclear and missile programs. Kim was not the only dictator Trump cozied up to. In July, Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, talking without aides present for over two hours,
  • Trump took the side of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who allegedly directed the murder and dismemberment of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi,
  • The damage to America’s moral standing, Trump’s critics say, may be hard to repair.
  • Beijing has made incursions into disputed territory in the South China Sea,
  • Trump “has created tremendous uncertainty,
  • the people, after all, have a tendency to be inattentive, irrational and mercurial.
  • ability to send a message through the ballot box that their leaders have to heed.
  • the nation’s first major opportunity to register its verdict on the Trump era, the signal was unmistakable.
  • He sent troops to the border in a brazen political stunt weeks before the vote,
  • barnstormed rural strongholds and rallied Republicans to the polls with a divisive closing message.
  • whether it’s antagonism to federal law enforcement, enthusiasm for Russia’s authoritarian regime, the rejection of refugees or a belief in “deep state” conspiracy theories
  • get more women to run for office - a record 126 women will serve in the next Congress, nearly a quarter of the total—84% of them Democrats.
  • First-time candidates from diverse backgrounds won Democratic primaries: former Republicans, former CIA operatives, former mixed-martial-arts fighters—all driven by what felt to them like a national political emergency­.
  • Millions more took political action on their behalf, protesting,
  • Two years into Trump’s term, it’s hard to gauge whether the result of his disruptions will be catastrophic or anticlimactic.
  • China has been cheating the U.S. on intellectual property for years and maintaining an advantage on trade. Global migration has put pressure on liberal democracies worldwide. Even Hillary Clinton recently said that European countries need to reform their immigration policies in response to resurgent right-wing parties.
  • the military, the justice system, the courts—have risen to resist Trump’s attacks.
  • “Trump is the first President to make undermining routinely our public institutions part of his brand,” he says
  • Intimates of the President have been indicted. That wouldn’t be happening if our institutions were falling apart.”
  • For all the disruption, in other words, the American system is proving remarkably resilient. That too may be part of Trump’s legacy.
The American media says there is not liberal media bias. Really? You won't see that from the above commentary. They say media does not have a liberal bias, but instead a preference for conflict, simple vs complicated and black and white vs gray.Then add that the Obama White House would not perceive a liberal bias. That points to the absolute delusion in the media and the apparent hypnoticism among it's members. Of course, the Obama White House would not perceive liberal bias, they point instead to conservative bias, which is roundly accepted by the mainstream media. Accepted because the mainstream media and the Democrat Party (Obama White House) are all the same liberals. Stories support the efforts of President Obama. 80% positive media for Obama. Positive even to saying their were no scandals under Obama! (as big a false, self serving analysis as I have ever heard.) I have a list of 33.) 92% negative media for Trump. From the same media! Why the difference? Simple, because Donald Trump won in 2016 against their preferred candidate. Our media fail every day at guarding the truth. Use a mirror to see the problem. More From TIME Magazine:


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