Separating propaganda from journalism is becoming increasingly difficult. Not because we (hoi polloi), the common folk, don’t want to know the truth and factual information, but because getting ‘unfiltered’ honest untainted information is becoming increasingly difficult.
Daily, incessantly, we see bias of commentators on all sides of the political, social, economic and cultural debate who have become so entrenched in their ideology (the dogma that they have chosen to embrace) that any semblance of rational, objective thought and expression has become a distant memory for most of them. If ever they were concerned with ‘journalistic integrity’.
I want to know the facts. Not just the facts you want me to hear. Not just the facts (or near facts) that support your own narrow perspective and belief system. Not only the facts (or edited facts) that are supported by your agenda, the agenda of those who pay for your services or the agenda of those who are attempting to socially engineer our collective belief system and focus.
I have a keen and ravenous mind. I thirst and hunger for information, for facts, for truth – for relevance. I don’t think that I differ all that much from most folks. I embrace the challenge and the opportunity to make my own decisions – based on factual information that I can process, assess and ultimately utilize to make informed, intelligent decisions.
Sounds pretty fundamental, doesn’t it?
Trouble is, over the past number of years, my ability (and yours) to obtain that factual information is becoming less accessible. There are a number of reasons why the Marshall McLuhan ‘The Medium is the Message’ paradox has distorted and perverted our perception of reality.
I’ll use the Wikipedia definition. ‘a phrase coined by Marshall McLuhan meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in any message it would transmit or convey, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived.’
An example. Statistics indicate that individuals are becoming increasingly distrustful of the information being provided by television, radio, newspaper and other ‘conventional’ news sources.
So how does the ‘conventional’ Fourth Estate combat that embarrassing fact? By embedding even more propaganda in their delivery system. I cite the recent television ads from a major Canadian network wherein the lovely news anchor looks sincerely into the camera and articulates that ‘integrity’ is the stock in trade of their network. Sincerely spoken – but utter nonsense. There is growing realization that the writers, editors, directors and producers of ‘news’ programs are adhering to an agenda, a philosophy – a social engineering belief system.
There is no balance – and without balance, there can be no validation of the truth. If I don’t get to hear divergent points of view and perspective, how can I guarantee that I am hearing the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Fortunately, we have the means to get the facts. The problem is most people are intrinsically lazy. We would rather have someone tell us what we want to hear rather than going through all of the hard work to investigate and establish the facts (and the truth) for ourselves.
Unfortunately, as a result, we rely far too heavily on others to do the ‘heavy lifting’ for us.
The worst offending propagandists are those who refuse to enter into a fair and balanced discussion. My question is why?
If you are sincere in your belief that your point of view or that your opinion is the correct one, you should be willing to defend it. Vigourously. Enthusiastically. Forcefully. With conviction.
If you do not choose to do so, why should I take you – and your point of view, seriously?
Anyone who chooses to ignore another point of view – or chooses to falsely pretend to embrace discussion and input while dismissing it outright – is a propagandist. Simply put. Put up or shut up.
Perhaps we should look up the definition of a ‘sycophant’. Wikipedia again has perhaps the best two word definition, an ‘insincere flatterer‘. In essence, a sycophant ‘flatters’ an idea, an individual or a political, economic, social or cultural idea without casting any light on its imperfections, its shortcomings or its alternatives. In short, it is an obvious unbalanced, self-serving approach to the dissemination of information.
I consider it rather creepy. Also kind of sad.
So why this long diatribe concerning ‘truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?‘
Because some people pretend to be ‘fair and balanced’ when there is no question that they are anything but. And if we don’t call them on it, who will?
I cite the example of an individual who has committed, in writing, to me and to others that he publishes all comments that are uploaded to his (mostly political) blogsite. Some opinions will invariably differ from his own.
Unfortunately, in spite of that apparently disingenuous lofty claim, he has now, on multiple occasions, either overtly or covertly refused to post comments to his blogs.
I am pleased to advise that the gentleman in question has ultimately approved my comments – and hopefully will continue to do so if he invites meaningful, balanced discussion and debate. Did he do so gracefully? Not particularly – challenging me on another Twitter rant intended on deflecting the true nature of the factual information I have outlined. His choice, not mine. I can keep this up all day! 😉
Do I really care? Yes – and no. I don’t agree with this individual on many issues – and there is no harm in that.
There is harm in saying one thing – then doing another. I am going to call you on it every time. That is the responsibility of each and every one of us. If you are going to claim that something is the truth – then be prepared to take criticism if turns out to be false. That is our individual, and our collective, responsibility. To expose falsehoods wherever and whenever they exist. Whether intended or otherwise. One of the things that would keep politicians honest, if we held their feet to the fire on every issue.
We, as a society, have abrogated our responsibility to ensure that those who would seek to direct us do not deceive us.
The political swamp needs to be drained. Accountability, transparency and integrity must be restored. An avalanche of political change may depend on that one last small pebble to tip the balance.
I am resolved to do my part.
So here, Alan, is the comment that you have refused to post (another comment has been uploaded since mine was provided so I know that you have the ability – if not the political will).
Now, there is still time for the aforesaid individual to update his blog and post the above comment. The question is, will he do this in time for informed discussion on these, and other issues, before the scheduled AGM set to take place in Langley this Saturday?
Even more importantly, will the principles of transparency, integrity and accountability even enter into the discussion – or should we cynically be discounting all posts from this individual as self-serving propaganda?
Not really up to me to decide – on behalf of other folks. For myself, I have my personal opinions – and I’m not afraid to share them.
For the record, I have no personal animosity whatsoever toward the individual to which this comment was posted. In fact, to my knowledge, I have never met the gentleman. My sole objection is a claim that may prove disingenuous. He is simply just another example of political enthusiasm gone awry. Just don’t say one thing – and do another.
And yes, Alan, as previously indicated to you, I am fully prepared to debate the foregoing points with you, and others – now or at any time in the future.
Publicly. With full transparency. With full disclosure.
I believe that the members of the BC Conservative Party who will be meeting in Langley, BC this weekend should have another perspective on recent events – so that they can make an intelligent, informed decision – with as much disclosure and transparency as is possible.
If those paid party members choose to continue with the status quo, in spite of its recent obvious failures, that is a decision that they alone can make.
Do not abrogate your democratic responsibilities by ignoring issues and challenges that must be faced if the BCCP ever has any hope of becoming a viable, meaningful alternative for BC voters. At the moment I, for one, would not be giving the BCCP any keys to the BC legislature. The party (whatever its name may be after this weekend) hasn’t earned that privilege – or the trust of the voters.
Glen Walushka, BA, AICB
insightbc.org, advocatebc.com, rightforbc.com