Historians will look back on 2017 as a year of unprecedented political upheaval, intrigue and exposure.
Thankfully, the power of the Internet, including Twitter, has pulled the ideological teeth of the MSM (Main Stream Media) who can no longer exclusively control what hoi polloi, you and I, the average Canadians are able to see, hear and ultimately determine as factual reality.
If an individual is committed to seeking out the truth, the tools are in virtually all our hands. Only lazy, misguided or uneducated individuals will continue to rely on the MSM as their only source of filtered information and distorted reality.
As I am writing this, Twitter is uploading literally hundreds of video feeds from Iran that clearly indicate that the spark of a revolution is underway in that totalitarian regime. Alarmingly, the biased and polarized editorial boards of virtually all MSM opinion networks (I won’t even call them news networks anymore) are either not covering this momentous event or ‘hedging their bets’ by downplaying the breaking news since the MSM apparently doesn’t want to offend anyone – unless it is the political ‘small c’ conservative or republican.
That is truly the watershed story of 2017. The Emperor Has No Clothes. The Main Stream Media has exposed itself as largely a corrupt propagandist conglomerate of socialists and globalists who have an agenda to continue to modify and influence the mindsets of rationale, thinking individuals.
Thankfully, there are exceptions. Even more thankfully, the ability of individuals to convey their own thoughts and opinions, including transparent, open, candid uncensored dialogue is available to anyone through tools and vehicles accessible to almost anyone with a cell phone, tablet or computer. No high speed Internet? No problem. Find your way down to the nearest public library, coffee shop or Internet Hot Spot.
People of like mind can now find each other, offer opinions, rebut, rebuke, support, augment – or even ignore. We now have choices never really previously available to us in a meaningful way.
The individual spearheading this vanguard of ‘direct’, not ‘fake’ news? The infamous Donald Trump.
I watched a Fox News broadcast of Hannity just after Christmas as he replayed a collage of MSM broadcasts that dealt with the legitimate and legal election of President Trump in 2016. Any rationale human being would have been alarmed at the vitriol, the condescension, the political bias being exhibited by individuals and networks that purport to be disseminators of news and factual coverage. Instead, a steady procession of ‘frothing at the mouth’ commentators offered their incredibly biased and propagandized opinions concerning how the US was about to implode.
It was embarrassing then. It is embarrassing now. It is even more alarming now as the polarization of the ‘Fake News’ leftist media becomes even more entrenched and dogmatic in their refusal to provide balanced news coverage. Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, those selfsame MSM sources decried the blatant propagandized output from Pravda and government controlled news agencies behind the Iron Curtain.
It is now a reality that that same form of ideological propaganda has infiltrated into our Western Democracies through polarized Main Stream Media, controlled now by special interest groups and political parties who have somehow bought or hijacked what was once the only way that most individuals were able to see beyond the confines of our own backyards.
The Main Stream Media is now largely illegitimate – and it has de-legitimized itself. Perhaps Marshall McLuhan was prophetic but not in a desirable or acceptable way.
The Medium is the Message. If the Medium is Corrupt, the Message is Corrupt.
Main Street Media. CNN (at the top of the list). CBC (top of the list in Canada). MSNBC. NBC. CBS. ABC. CTV (in Canada). Global (in Canada). Even BBC and PBS have lost touch with their original mandate and purpose.
That purpose was (and is) to gather, distribute and publish news – factual news, not polarized opinions.
As a result, I will no longer be referring to you as MSM (Main Stream Media). Instead, let’s be honest. You are actually MSO (Main Stream Opinions).
You are opinion networks, not news networks – and you have been opinion networks for a very long time. It was a subtle and protracted abrogation of your Fourth Estate mandate and responsibility. We should have caught on when you started to replace actual political participants with pollsters and/or individuals from special interest groups who provided opinions commentary instead of allowing us to assess facts and draw our own conclusions. Somehow, the MSO networks fancied themselves globalists and ‘smarter than their audience’ and like a herd of trusting sheep, we acquiesced and declined the opportunity to demand accountability, transparency, balance and journalistic integrity.
We allowed radio and television talk shows to proliferate so we could become lazy and listen to, sometimes watch, for hours ad nauseum, the opinions of individuals who we fancied because they were ‘celebrities’ – and we were just ‘common folk’. We allowed the anchors of major news networks to become ‘media stars’ in their own right – when in actuality they are merely ordinary people with ordinary intellects (to be overly charitable in many instances) who do nothing more than read from teleprompters and look or sound good on camera or microphone.
Bizarrely, we have watched as these ‘Heroes of their Editorial Board Ideologies’ have been paid literally millions of dollars per annum and have amassed huge staffs of sycophants to allow them to further their ego driven status.
What has happened to common sense? Why has no one publicly considered the actual significance of this devolution into a 1984 style of media control and bias?
Just follow the money. As usual, these high paid ‘actors’ are merely conveying the intended editorial board policy of boards of directors, CEO’s and their ilk who have committed to driving their agenda into the mainstream. Often, by the same principle as Chinese Water Torture.
The MSO follows the theory that ‘if you say the same thing over and over again, enough times’, it will somehow become relevant and true – even if it is not. It is propaganda in its purest, and most alarming, form.
I watch, with increasing horror, as Justin Trudeau, the incompetent self-serving Prime Minister of Canada conducts interview after interview denying that has has broken any ethical laws – even after he has been convicted by the Ethics Commissioner. He truly believes (or his handlers believe) that by continuing to deny the truth, the truth will somehow metamorphosize into the Liberal Party bastardization of the truth.
I watch, again with horror, as the Democratic Party in the US continues to deny the mounting evidence that any collusion in the 2016 Presidential campaign involving the Russians actually involved the Democrats far more than the Republicans or President Trump. I watch Democratic pundit after Democratic Senator after Democratic Congressman ‘stick to the talking points’ even as Congress is ready to serve the corrupt Department of Justice and the FBI with contempts of Congress citations for their obstinate refusal to comply with the oversight of duly elected representatives of the US people.
Somehow, the matter of Hillary Clinton deliberately flaunting laws concerning top secret confidentiality, deliberate destruction of thousands (33,000 more or less) emails that might potentially implicate her in further corruption, the multi-millions of dollars that flowed into the coffers of the Clinton Foundation from Russian and Middle East sources that are supposedly the enemies of the US together with the complicit support of ‘bad actors’ in the Deep State Department of Justice and FBI who exceeded their legal authority as well as their pledge of impartiality to further the Democratic Party interests has remained an opaque factual wall behind which the MSO is hiding.
In spite of the complicity of the Main Stream Opinion networks, slowly and inexorably, facts are being exposed thanks to the focused and determined efforts of groups such as the Judicial Watch who have routinely sued the US Department of Justice and the FBI in order to have incriminating evidence (albeit heavily redacted) exposed to the public.
Trump himself has left his mark by continuously exposing and ridiculing the ‘Fake News’ networks and the inconsistencies and the often totally incorrect coverages that persist, now into 2018. Twitter has unfortunately become a necessary tool in the fight to maintain balanced coverage in the political sphere and it is a truism to note that the same form of special interest group bias has polarized social, economic, cultural and even intellectual matters.
Almost single handedly, Trump has taken on the Main Stream Opinionators and to their utter dismay, he is winning the media war hands down. Why? Because he is honest, open and transparent – and they are not. Neither can the Main Stream Opinionators and their financial sources stomach the reality that Trump cannot be bought. As a result, he cannot be controlled or unduly influenced by them.
I enjoy watching the immature pettiness and barely concealed rage as the Main Stream Opinionators hurl vitriol and partisan invectives at a duly elected President who really and truly doesn’t care what the MSO thinks. Trump has turned the focus on an industry that lost its integrity, moral compass and impartiality decades past. We hoi polloi have paid attention and now a majority of viewers and listeners do not trust the MSO networks. Savvy, intelligent individuals are balancing news and opinions from different sources and perspectives. And that is the way it should be. No single news source should be trusted implicitly. All have biases and agendas.
It is up to the US Congress and Senate to restore the public confidence in the US system of government. This is a public confidence that has been severely and rightly shaken as a result of some of the major stories and events in 2017 that the Main Stream Opinion networks have consistently and abjectly refused to make public. The Main Stream Media is dying a deserved death. The Main Stream Opinion networks will be confined to propaganda that appeals to their base while the rest of the common folk resort to the emerging tools of direct communication through the Internet to achieve the desired goal of timely, factual coverage of real news – not filtered and biased opinion.
Here, in Canada, I don’t know what we can do to fix the similar problem of ridiculously biased and sycophantic media coverage concerning the agendae of certain political parties, special interest groups and their disciples.
What I do know is that those of us with the necessary ideas, resources and political will must remain vigilant and counter the inaccuracies and deliberate distortions of the truth whenever, and wherever, we find them.
I don’t see any other way that we can continue to ‘hold the fort’ until the new generation of Millennials decides to take matters into their own hands and resolutely restore some semblance of balance and accountability into the Canadian model – or the US or European model, for that matter.
The deliberate and concerted efforts of many individuals will be required to purge a cancerous growth of media bias and unaccountability that has taken some Western societies to the brink of economic, political, cultural and intellectual disaster.
It now remains to be seen whether the events of 2017 will become the tipping point and allow us to start moving again in a direction where the sanctity of individual rights including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of expression are held to a higher standard.
There is an undeniable social contract that goes with the responsibility of maintaining our individual rights and the ideals of freedom from want and freedom from fear must also be considered as we move forward, in line with universal inalienable human values.
There are those who believe that we must also support ‘freedom from conflict’.
Individuals who support that totalitarian idea could not be more wrong. Conflict, and the skills we have gained, as humankind, from managing conflict (albeit poorly at times) has moved us forward into civilization – and a working relationship with the world in which we all dwell, for our ‘three score and ten’.
The secret is in how we acknowledge conflict going forward, managing and using conflict as a means to make our world better for future generations.
Will the Main Stream Opinion networks come on board in 2018, learning the lesson that their dropping ratings, popularity and influence is a direct result of their polarizing bias or will we merely see more of the same?
Only time will tell but we are all fortunate that alternatives are now available to disseminate, discuss and debate the truth. The Internet has an immense power to ensure integrity, accountability and transparency. The Internet also has the ability to pervert and distort- just as the Main Stream Media (Opinionists) have perverted and distorted.
For those of you who are not yet regular subscribers to Twitter, give it a close look. Twitter is as close to instant unbiased, unfiltered reality as most of us are going to get.
We cannot allow Twitter to become propagandized and special interest group driven the same way that the MSO (Main Stream Opinion) networks have become politicized.
Fortunately, if Twitter ever does become blatantly politicized, someone will just have to roll up his or her sleeves and develop a new (and better) Twitter equivalent.
The truth will out.
That’s just how we hoi polloi want it to be.
Happy New Year and may you have good memories of 2017.