Does today’s “free” press cost us our perspective?

Have you ever noticed how many news stories read like a drama movie script?  They have a villain, fear, controversy and suspense?  Maybe it is good business but it seams that any news channel you tune into somewhere half of the viewers are actually muttering anger at the “newscaster”  It seams that for our country that our own anger is so addicting that we tune in again for more!  Is all this anger healthy for us emotionally, socially or for the common good?  Maybe not.  But ratings are healthy for the new business and Ratings going up means advertising revenue.   So how much do they charge for an add spot?

They charge..       Your answer after this message……….

 

…….   we are back.    Network news adds can cost   $100,000-200,000 per 30 second add spot.    But, if Christie and Clinton argued then they are granted all kinds of free airtime buy the news media.  Again hateful speech boosts ratings and that boost revenue.  Some recall when news was educational.  Today some feel “News” = Addicting “Rage Porn” If candidates do a town hall and discuss the pros and cons of possible solutions then you get 0 air time.   No, Americans would rather have a score, a debate is the format of choice.  After the debate we want to know:  What solutions could be solved?   Nope,  We must know who won and who cheated.  Call on the “Fact Checkers” to raise our rage levels.    I somehow always miss coverage of solutions in our political newscasts.  I am not even sure any of the candidates waste their precious time creating solutions.     OH yeah, I remember.  See their websites.  No that is too boring.  Lets see what the opponent can blast on the candidates website.

How does the popular media determine which news stories to focus on?  Is it possibly ratings?  If so, how would you be able to bolster ratings?  Perhaps focus on emotions, divisive controversy, villains at large, fear and morbid curiosity seam to boost ratings.  Perhaps mislead, perhaps miss-direct our attention?  Perhaps ignore the stories that do not divide and outrage us?  Perhaps highlighting the editor’s personal political bias?  Perhaps choose stories depending on the advertising sponsors’ best interest?  If any of that is true is this really news or are they selling us propaganda or an infomercial for their station and sponsors?  Does watching their news make us wiser or more naive?

Skeptical that the media might choose to bolster ratings over accuracy and fairness  I did some research comparing memorable airtime news stories vs actual statistics.  I tried my hypothesis by comparing stats to air time.  I did the best I could to find some unbiased stats (finding these stats took more time than I guessed).

Racist is a great hate term. Just mention a popular conservative a racist in a news story and ratings go up 3000%,  Here is how it works.  Mention a candidate then get somebody that is offended by her plan and the candidate is raciest.    The non-racist, aka “oppressed group” is the always the one using the term Racist.  Mark twain said: “Figures don’t lie but lairs figure.  Oppressed groups (including the major news outlets) use the this 1954 publication to frame their argument.  How to Lie With Statistics.  when I was a student I was tough that if my statistics lied I would fail.  Today if a new story lies with statistics then they are rewarded with ratings and promotions.  If Darrell Huff  or Mark Twain listened to today’s “news” they would be mortified.  If they said so publicly then they would be called out as racists. The new would say: “Did you ever notice how stereotypical Twain created his character “Jim” ?  Jim called Huck “Maser Huck”  Obviously Twain was a racist!.  We need to pull all mark twain books from our schools!!!! and boycott any retailer who carries those racist books.  Why I hear that “conservative figure” once wrote 6th grade book report on Twain entitled “Twain, Great American writer.  The hateful teacher gave her an “A”.  really Did none of them have spell check?  Great writer, never can a racist be a great writer!

This year I have learned that un-biased stats are banned for racism.  Here is a test.  If you read this article and you are in the pursuit of unbiased knowledge then you might think:  “Wow, not the complete story, but why did I never hear these statistics before?  If you are addicted to “hate porn”  Then you will think that these statistics racist lies.  5 Statistics You Need to Know about Cops Killing Blacks

Since News gives so much time to stories about death I actually expected that news reports might devote more air to incidents or that the most people.  So I googled deaths tolls in memorable news stories.  My hypothesis was that  the higher death rates stories would get more ink and air time?  Full disclosure here.  There are many sources of conflicting facts on the internet.  All I can promise is that I looked for the most credible sources which is no easy task these days.  I encourage you to research any of these stats on your own.  (Hopefully that task will take time away from you listening to the popular news products). 

   Deaths            Story
   3-4000 9/11/2001 US attacks or related
   230,000 killed in 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in 14 countries
   6500 to 22,000 Killed in the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines
      0 killed by nuclear radiation in March 2011 Fukushima “disaster”
       2 July 12 2012 bridge collapses under weight of coal train.   Burton and Zorine Lindner were driving under a Union Pacific railroad bridge at Shermer and Willow roads in Glenview IL when it collapsed. Union pacific rail way was sued but results of suit were difficult to find on Google.  Was still pending Aug 2014.  the whole story was brief and scattered with local coverage only.
  15,891 Killed by March 2011 Japanese earthquake.   Another 2,500 still missing years later.
     186 Amber alerts issued in 2014.  56 recovered due to amber alerts,
   118 Children recovered by other means. 6 at large, 6 recovered deceased
    9,800 Earthquake deaths in 2015 mostly in 5 of 14,795 earthquakes.  2 of the deadliest 3 earthquakes in 2015 were in Nepal

 

Deaths 1/1/2016 to 3/13/2016 in the US (73 days or 1/5 year):

see updated US death stats ticker at Romans322.com

 

1st 73 days of 2016 projected 2016 annual death rate   Causes of death (USA)
217,268 1,086,340   Abortion:
118,696 593,480   Heart Disease:
114,739 573,695   Cancer:
69,637 348,185   Tobacco:
61,081 305,405   Obesity:
41,782 208,910   Medical Errors:
25,653 128,265   Stroke:
28,440 142,200   Lower Respiratory Disease:
25,156 125,780   Accident (unintentional):
19,697 98,485   Hospital Associated Infection:
19,896 99,480   Alcohol:
14,690 73,450   Diabetes:
16,907 84,535   Alzheimer’s Disease:
10,709 53,545   Influenza/Pneumonia:
8,508 42,540   Kidney Failure:
6,658 33,290   Blood Infection:
7,863 39,315   Suicide:
6,726 33,630   Drunk Driving:
6,319 31,595   Unintentional Poisoning:
4,975 24,875   All Drug Abuse:
3,342 16,710   Homicide:
2,984 14,920   Prescription Drug Overdose:
2,287 11,435   Murder by gun:
1,192 5,960   Texting while Driving:
995 4,975   Pedestrian:
779 3,895   Drowning:
696 3,480   Fire Related:
552 2,760   Malnutrition:
290 1,450   Domestic Violence:
155 775   Smoking in Bed:
118 590   Falling out of Bed:
29 145   Killed by Falling Tree:
16 80   Struck by Lightning:
10 50   Mass Shooting  *:
? ?   Killed at USA Presidential candidate rally disturbances

 

  47,055   US deaths by drug overdoses in 2014.
  32,727   worldwide deaths by terrorism in 2014
  18,893   overdose of prescription pain relievers
  10,574   Overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014.

 

 

      Deaths mentioned in longer term news stories
  6,828   Americans have died so far in Afghanistan and Iraq wars
  511   Police killed by felony offenders 2004-13
  540   American’s killed by Police 2004-13
  243   Police killed by black felony offenders 2004-13
  289   Police killed by white felony offenders 2004-13
  281   White offenders killed by Police 2004-13
  232   Black offenders killed by police 2004-13

 

So I ask you to reflect on these statistics vs the amount of air time which the media devotes to each item and draw some of your own conclusions.  Do they devote more time to fear and hate or more time to death disaster and morning?

Some have pointed out that the press loves to report terrorist acts. Active shooters and police induced deaths while in comparison to the stats they give little heed to much larger killers including: heroin, suicides,  hospital infections and abortion.

Rather than put my own editorial spin on these facts here is what the HBO TV show “Newsroom” said about our news process

I could never say it this well.

 

Finally there are the claims that the Chicago Police Department under reports crimes.  That drug wars get no response and that the gangs bury their own dead.  It saves officers time, keeps them out of harms way and helps the department’s numbers.  It is a media win win.  I did find a story about Chicago Police crime numbers but It seams that there are few follow up stories.

You might think that these stories of conspiracy would be picked up by the press.  One hindrance to printing news stories may be the competitive new cycle itself.  Reporters race each other to be 1st.  So can reporters afford to bite the hand that feeds them?   Who can afford to burn bridges or news sources?  If they depend on these same officials for easy big stories they choose to kill some stories to strengthen inside relationships with potential to give them a competitive edge.  If this theory is true then would you rather get the real story or get the wrong story really fast?

Me?  I’ll get my alerts for eminent dangers by other means.  I would rather get the real news un-hindered by rush to print and corporate advertising goals.

 

Does the popular press do harm?

By over reporting terrorism and active shooters 10,000 times more than vs suicide or abortion you could say that they are encouraging mass shootings and Terrorists who need their moments of fear and fame.  By under reporting stories on Suicide and heroine are they diverting our attention from facing larger problems and finding solutions?  Are they causing us to loose perspective?

If you have found  new sources who give a more complete story in a more credible way then let me know.  Meanwhile I’ll tune in to the BBC, PBS Frontline (WGBH) and even Positively Naperville.  They might not be the most profitable news sources but they are less likely to pollute my mind with sensationalism. I had high hopes for NPR as it takes less advertising.  However I feel they consistently spin their comments to the left and skip over context or arguments on news items that lean right positive.

Great news for Haters.  Hating is really vogue.  If you love a green party or a socialist candidate that is great! You are all cool in the news.    If you are a company, star or leader who found Trump a more palatable candidate then the press will endorse anybody who calls you racist.  However here are some groups that you can hate or dismiss as idiots with no press accountability:  Americans, Whites, Sys- Gender Men, Russians, Veterans, Christians, people who read the constitution as wisdom, employers, business people, Banks, Wall street and insurance companies.  Rich people who make over $50,000 a year and have savings or investments.  Also anybody who hates people who think a fetus deserves a choice is a cool to hate!  These people are all insensitive, racist toothless ignorant Neocons.  The authority that defines “hate groups” is universally accepted as the SPLC.  Please write if you ever hear them call out haters of anybody loosely associated with any of these groups.

References:

http://www.mediaethicsmagazine.com/index.php/browse-back-issues/179-fall-2013-vol-25-no-1/3999003-objectivity-and-advocacy-in-journalism

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/21/police-kill-more-whites-than-blacks-but-minority-d/?page=all

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/01/09/are-black-or-white-offenders-more-likely-to-kill-police/

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2013/tables/table_44_leos_fk_race_and_sex_of_known_offender_2004-2013.xls

http://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf 

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/10/heroin-kills-more-people-car-crashes-most-america

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/06/02/40-reasons-our-jails-and-prisons-are-full-black-and-poor-people

 

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