Someone is lying to you and you know it.

I want to be clear this post is not about politics but about those who deliver our political news to us. And don’t worry — I am not going to suggest you read one paper or watch one channel over another. Exactly the opposite. I’m going to tell you what I have before: Don’t watch any of them. 

If you are American, I think you’ve figured out by now that someone is lying to you and based on whichever political party you align yourself with you know which news agency is lying (the one you don’t watch, of course!). If you think about it, though, it’s extremely sad you have to pick a news agency to follow that “aligns with your political beliefs”. No news agency should align with any one political party but today in this country, and even in others, they do. They’ve picked sides and you the viewer are the ones suffering because they each have an agenda to sell you.

Not only have news organizations picked sides but they are now sliding news stories aimed at slamming each other into their 24/7 news cycles. It’s like when family members air their family’s dirty laundry on social media. In other words, it’s shameful and embarrassing. Seeing headlines that this or that news organization is ruining our country from the competing news organization is so bizarre and childish I can’t even believe it’s really happening. It is not doing anyone any favors, but most especially the public.

Remove yourself from your bubble one day and look at the news site you refuse to look at normally because you are sure they are liars. Yes, you’re going to get angry because you’re going to say: “Look at those liars! They aren’t even covering …” whatever it is they aren’t covering that you think they should be covering. Not only that but the news organization you are not watching or reading is going to say the opposite of what the news organization you are watching/reading is saying. The one you watch is telling the truth, right? Or are they?

I have a feeling the truth is somewhere in the middle of the news organization you follow and “the other one.”

Take for example the pro-life march in Washington, D.C. last week. I watched it live. There were over 100,000 people there, if not more but a few news agencies acted like it never happened. They never even mentioned it because they knew if they didn’t it would be like – wave your hands – it never happened. So you don’t feel I’m only picking out a so-called conservative issue, I have a feeling the opposite news agency did the same with the women’s march.

Turn to one channel and Trump is evil, Joe Biden and Hilary Clinton are gods. Turn to the other and Trump is God and Clinton and Biden were spawned from Satan. It’s hard to keep up too because they all want to yell “got you!” and declare themselves winners in . . . In what?

In some war but I’m not sure what kind. A ratings war? Maybe. Or maybe more accurately it is the war for us. I would say the truth, again, is somewhere in the middle. They each want to own us because they don’t really want to inform us/you. They want you to view to watch, to scroll and click because if you do they get money from advertisers. It doesn’t matter if what they share is “true” or “objective” as long as it convinces you to click on it.

The bottom line for me is that the national media is made up of liars. We can’t accept any of them at face value anymore, even the ones we “agree with.” It’s unfortunate that we have to be the ones to figure out where the middle is to find the truth but we do.

We have to seek out the truth ourselves because the national media has fallen down on their jobs and certainly isn’t going to do it for us.

Where is the decorum when someone famous dies? Apparently, out the window.

On Sunday, as many of you already know, retired NBA basketball player Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash, along with his 13-year old daughter and seven other people. You would have thought a god had died the way people fell on their faces in the street at the news of Kobe’s passing. He was a great basketball player, sure, but he was a human being like everyone else. I suppose some would say he was a “basketball god.”

I sometimes wish others who died tragically, like soldiers or police officers, were mourned the same way. I won’t say the news didn’t hit me in any way. It did. I was immediately heartbroken for his family and even more so when I leaned his daughter was on board. I never really watched Kobe play because I am not a huge basketball fan but I had definitely heard of him. He graduated school the same year as I did and I followed his career some because my brother predicted during some famous high school game that he would be drafted out of high school and be super famous. And he was, of course.

Showing that we as a society have a complete lack of decorum when faced with the death of a celebrity, not even 24 hours after the accident people were putting things online between the pilot and air control, questioning if the pilot made the right decision. Others were sharing private stories about the victims before the coroner even confirmed they died. One newspaper didn’t even let the adoration last a day. By the next morning, they were already dragging skeletons out of Kobe’s closet, reminding the world Bryant had once been accused of rape. The keyword being “accused” because the case never went to trial but was instead settled out of court (although I’d say if there was settling going on then someone, ahem, was pretty sure he was guilty.).

Oddly, unlike what happens with others, this 2003 incident was widely overlooked and ignored by the general public at the news of Kobe’s death. Had the alleged incident happened in the age of “me too” Kobe, rightly so, would have been blacklisted and no one would have ever accepted his insistence the incident was consensual. They also might not have worshiped him outside the Staple Center yesterday. The charges were settled out of court after the 19-year old accuser’s story started to crumble and Kobe confessed to a consensual one night stand and adultery.


Credit Getty Images

Now that Kobe has died tragically, after being at the height of his career for so long, should we ignore his past mistake and pretend it never happened? I don’t think so but I also think that maybe his remains could be recovered and put in the ground with his daughter’s before we start salivating over the less “pretty” details of his past. I love how one columnist took him to task about how he handled the past incident without knowing the man or even the details of what really transpired between him and the girl, or even the character of the girl.

I know everyone (including me) generally balk at the idea of questioning an alleged victim, but there were those who thought the young lady saw dollar signs once she realized who she slept with. I hope that isn’t true and I hope she has found healing all these years later, regardless of what truly happened. And I truly, truly do not advocate victim-blaming/shaming and am only playing Devil’s advocate here. I have a horrible feeling, after reading past reports about the case, she was not seeking fame at all and was telling the truth. I can not imagine the conflicting feelings she is dealing with now, if she is even still alive after all the victim shaming she received from the media and Kobe fans back in 2003.

Here we are, though, taking him to task while his body is lifeless on a hill in California, waiting to be ID’d by the coroner’s office. He should be taken to task, yes, absolutely, and he has been over the years (and will continue to be), but I don’t see how doing it now, seconds to hours after it was revealed he died, helps his wife and daughters heal. I hope to God they are staying away from media reports. Members of the media just love to praise and trash someone in the same breath (much like my mother-in-law.)

There really is no decorum when a celebrity dies and though I am not among the many celebrity worshippers of this country, I think it’s awful. I don’t actually hold celebrities (not even the Christian ones) on a pedestal. I find it aggravating that so many news sites feature so-called “news” about celebrities at the top of the page, as if I care that they cried during their Grammy performance, are making out with this or that person, or their dress was so see-through they might as well not have been wearing it.

I might enjoy a movie they are in or like a song they sing but I don’t bow to their shrines of popularity and narcissism. Face it, to be a celebrity is to possess at least a tinge of narcissism, if not a whole helping. Wallflowers don’t generally go running into the spotlight. People who are self-focused and what everyone else to be focused on them, do. Actors and singers are somewhat mentally ill, in that they crave and are validated by the attention of others to the point they almost whither away without it.

However, that mental illness is something all of us possess if it is tapped into. Think about how our hearts skip a beat if someone “likes” one of our social media posts (or even our blog posts). And if we log into a site and there is a whole row of notifications telling us we are important. Oh my. We are in endorphins and dopamine heaven. We get a shot of dopamine each time we are complimented, praised, or paid attention to, and that’s addictive to any human being. If it wasn’t, Zuckerberg and his cronies wouldn’t be so rich.

But then there is the flip side of all that attention celebrities crave and then receive. Eventually, the attention can become unwanted by the celebrity as it spills over into the personal life, into the past, into every nitty-gritty detail that really isn’t anyone’s business. Did that celebrity wear “blackface” one time when they were a kid because they wanted to look like a famous black person on Halloween? Completely unaware that trying to make their costume more realistic would later be harkened as racist in the future, they carried on, only to be labeled “ignorant, racist scum” once an adult. Does the public really have to know about a celebrity’s sexual dysfunction or their brother who died in a tragic way or their every painful moment in their life, simply because they opened up one side of themselves — the talented side?

The public always wants more and claims the celebrity “asked for it” because they put themselves in the limelight. First, wow. Isn’t that what rapists say about their victims? And isn’t the public, in a way, violating a celebrity’s rights by continually demanding to know every detail of their life? Second, they only put their talent in the limelight, which doesn’t give the public the right to have access to every dark corner of their soul. Only God has that right.

The thing is, the same adoring fans who once lifted you up and praise you, will rip you down and eat you alive not even 24 hours later. Kobe is being mourned now, but as we see with the article reminding us of his past sins, it won’t be long before some will begin to spit on his grave, and it will come before the week is out. (Right after I wrote this several articles came up about his past sins, so… it didn’t even make 48 hours.)

Or, will the celebrity worshippers win and will Kobe join the ranks of Michael Jackson, Elvis, Freddie Mercury and so many others who battled demons that no one considers or mentions while in mid-bow. Maybe the big difference with Kobe is that his life reflected change and he worked hard to leave his demons behind.

In the case of the others, they lived risky lives or hurt others and never had the chance to make amends (if they had ever wanted to) yet celebrity worshippers still bow at their memories. And yet another maybe: Maybe it’s okay to remember the talent these celebrities had and to honor that talent, while also remembering we shouldn’t live like them by taking drugs, abusing children or sleeping around and contracting diseases. We can also remember that these celebrities and we have something in common – we are humans created in the image of God and because he gave us free will, we will fail, we will fall, and are imperfect. Some of us will learn from our failings in time to save us and some of us will succumb to those failings, like some of the celebrities I mentioned above.

I only hope that no matter what leads to our end, a self-made tragedy or an accidental one, that our society one day develops more decorum when discussing our passing. I hate to leave it on a negative note but looking at the state of our world today, I don’t have much faith that will ever happen.

Why are reporters giving us their opinions in the middle of the news?

As someone who has a degree in journalism, I am constantly bewildered these days by what journalism has become in the modern age. When I was a reporter my job was to report what happened and leave it to the public to decide how they felt about it. But now it is the job of the reporter to give you their version of the news, tell you what they think about it, and tell you how to think and feel about it.

Not only is that not what journalism should be but that’s an insane amount of pressure being placed on “journalists” (they don’t exist anymore, just to make it clear why I used quotes) and I wouldn’t be surprised if suicides increase in the field very shortly.

When I’m talking about “reporters” who are giving opinions in newscasts or interviews, I’m talking about the “reporters” of major networks for both the Democrat and the Republican parties, because we all know each party has their own news outlets, with one of them having more than the other.

In journalism school we were taught there were reporters and there were commentators. Today, there are no reporters left, only commentators. The line between the two hasn’t been blurred, it has been napalmed. There is no one or the other. There are only commentators and I for one am sick of hearing their comments.

I’m sick of watching an interview and hearing these words out of the mouths of the interviewer: “I think …” Guess what, princess or dude, I don’t care what you think. I want you to deliver the news and then zip it. That goes for the new hybrid “reportcommentators” on all the major news networks. I don’t care if you love Donald Trump or hate Donald Trump. Literally, I don’t care. Your opinion as a talking head means nothing to me. I want you to tell me a press conference was held or a meeting was held or a bomb was dropped and then I want you to shut up and let me decide what I think about all that. How hard is that, really?

I am so sick of the clickbait headlines on the YouTube channels and the websites of the major “news” networks (more like gossip networks with all that celebrity gossip garbage they feature). “This or that reporter calls out this or that politician/celebrity/other news celebrity.”

You’re a reporter. Why are you calling out anyone? If you’re a commentator – fine – join the hundreds of people “calling people out” every day because we are a nation of uptight, permanently offended, miserable, self-centered jerks. But if you’re a reporter? Seriously, go write about it in your journal, but don’t tell me what you think on the air or in the news article you’re trying to pass off as “hard-hitting, objective news.” It’s not objective. You know it, and most of your readers, or viewers, know it (though they don’t want to admit it if they agree with you).

I’m just done with modern “journalism.” It’s a game of who can distort the truth more. There is no truth left in American journalism. None. Like I’ve said before, catch press conferences live when you can. Watch debates live. Listen to or watch interviews live. Don’t rely on the so-called “national news media” to honestly relay to you what happened at a particular event because they aren’t honest anymore. They’re bought and sold by corporations and political parties and they want you to be bought and sold by the same corporations and political parties that are signing their paychecks.

Objective journalism no longer exists.

It’s time Americans wake up and do the leg work for themselves that the national media was once entrusted to do for them, because the national media is no longer doing it, and the national media is also no longer something we can trust.

My fellow Americans, almost all national media is ‘fake news’ right now

A disclaimer for this post – it is not meant to be political and no, I don’t plan to make this blog one that focuses on such issues in the future. This is just a “one-post” you might say.

‘Do I hate the term “fake news” as a phrase espoused time and time again by our president? Yes, I do. Do I hate hearing his supporters scream that the media is the enemy of the people? Since I have family in the media and I was once a member of it, yes I do. But, let’s be honest: almost all national media – yes, even FOX News and CNN –  are FAKE NEWS now. There is no “real news” anymore. This is something all Americans should understand.

When I was in college earning a journalism degree some *cough* 20 years ago *cough* (didn’t bother to count how long ago because I don’t have enough chocolate to console me) we were taught one important thing: keep your opinion out of the hard news stories.  Writing an opinion piece or an editorial? Fine, express an opinion. Writing a straight news story? Then write a straight news story. We were to present what we saw, the facts from both sides, and then – that’s it. Yep. That’s it. We reported this person said this and that person said that and then guess what – we left it to the public to decide what all of that meant.

That doesn’t happen anymore. The lines between objectivity and opinion are so blurred they run together like the characters in a chalk painting during a rainstorm.

Every cable news network and mainstream newspaper has their own agenda and they are pushing it on you. Look around – the conservatives watch this channel and read these papers and the liberals watch that channel and read those papers. It’s an echo chamber.

Don’t believe me?

Watch an actual, live, FULL press conference and see what is actually said and then turn to Fox News or CNN and watch them clip what was said into sound bites to fit each of their agendas. It’s real and it’s happening and yes, I’ve watched it happen in print media for years. Do I mean journalists are purposely trying to mislead you? No, not always. Sometimes it is an honest mistake while they are trying to fit all the news about an event in a time frame or in a certain amount of space. Details get dropped to fit the time or space and therefore meanings get changed. It happens and it isn’t always done in a nefarious way.

But by and large, the news isn’t about informing anymore – it is about selling, or as my husband said about the national news “It’s not about informing the public. It’s about inflaming the public.” He’s in local, smalltown news, and that’s a different ballgame, especially where he works now. The goal really is to inform the public because smalltown newspapers haven’t completely lost the plot yet when it comes to journalism.

This isn’t new, in some ways, of course. The media has always used its power for bad, as well as good. The problem is that people used to be a little discerning about where they got their news but now they just seem to follow the news outlet that espouses their agenda like sheep. People, we can not simply trust the media anymore. You have to do your own research. In the same way we have to be our own advocate for our health, we  need to be our own advocate when it comes to our news.

What’s my suggestion then? First, stop watching sound bites and start watching the actual events the reporters are reporting from.

If you can find the full press conferences, the full hearings, the full statements on a situation by whomever you want to hear the full story about then do that. You can find links to full press conferences on Youtube from a variety of sources. I am not endorsing FoxNews because they are biased as well, but they do post the full press conferences on their channel more often than CNN and MSNBC. CBS is another one who posts full feeds of hearings and press conferences after they’ve run live. I challenge you to listen fully to people you do not even agree with or support. I do. I may not always agree with a certain political party or a certain politician but I listen to the full hearings, the live press conferences, and the live statements as much as possible. If I miss them, like I said, there is usually an archive of it somewhere on Youtube.

I’ve been finding a way to watch the full versions of events and I’ve been amazed at the information being left out by media outlets. I’ve been amazed at how we are able to demonize the other side based on sound bites that reporters and producers chose verses demonizing them on what we heard with our own ears. I mean, let’s demonize them if we must, but not simply because of what we saw on CNN or FOX (or the other outlets – whoever they are.).

I suggested this to someone not long ago and instead of listening and accepting that I was trying to remain neutral, the other person launched into a tirade about the party I’m a part of. I hadn’t attacked their party – I’d said both parties were making me angry, but apparently being neutral in your opinion is unacceptable today. You either want to make Trump a saint or you want to cut his head off in the square. You either want to vilify all Democrats or Republicans or you want to take them with you on your boat on the lake and kick back a few beers. There is no in between. It’s clear that you can’t be in the middle anymore. You can’t dislike both parties or their tactics. Pick a side or face the wrath of both, is what I’m learning. Or do what I’ve chosen to do for the future (after several run-ins) and just never talk to anyone about politics and keep your opinions close to the vest.

If you don’t have time to watch the press conferences, or simply don’t want to, at least look at how each channel covers the stories and then compare. Somewhere in the middle is the truth.

Bottom line? Ditch the major news media outlets. Dare I say it, even though our family is supported by the media? Yes, I will say it – ditch the major newspapers too. The national newspapers that is.

Keep your local ones. They probably have some really good stories about important local issues, if they are a good newspaper, or at least some really good feature stories about interesting, real people in your neighborhood.

Look at your news like you look at your food – buy local – and we all be a bit better off.