“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”
– Jim Morrison-
I listen to radio talk shows sometimes. Okay, a lot. It’s hard to avoid. Like the media in general.
One thing all these shows have in common is that they pick a certain point of view, which is always deemed as being not the opinion of the station, and they put it out there.
I can’t always tell how much truth is involved in the information they project, and sometimes I get the feeling they are only speaking about one area of a story, and not keeping it balanced by presenting all sides.
I call it media manipulation.
It’s good for ratings. It gets callers phoning in and saying some of the most intelligent and ridiculous things I’ve ever and never wanted to hear. And it annoys the crap out of me. Not because I know better, or even disagree with the host or some of the callers. No. It’s because the media is looking for a certain point of view and they will do everything in their professional power to get it. They certainly know how. Sometimes it feels like they only take calls from the callers who agree with them. Everyone else gets shut out or shouted down.
Media people have something I don’t. Well, besides a degree of some kind in the delicate art of communication, they have the knowledge and professional training to manipulate an unsuspecting public. And that includes me. I hate that feeling.
Sometimes, someone will phone in who gets it and is particularly challenging and it’s fun to listen to them try to out-bully the media. But it’s impossible. Yes, the media is that good.
I do believe the media, for all their spin, are generally trying to get to the bottom of the real story, get a feel for the public reaction, and report their findings honestly and without bias. They just go about it in a most annoying way. And that is exactly what keeps me listening. So, ya, score one for the media. They are doing their job well. And they are professionals.
Here’s what I really think…
I think any organization who is in charge of any form of public information should also be responsible enough to present it fully and without personal opinions or comments. And they should have all the facts before hand. Otherwise it forces us to pick sides, and not always the right one because we don’t have all the facts. Not fair.
Anything less leads to mutiny on the bounty, so-to-speak. A kind of ground zero for all kinds of conspiracy theories, public mistrust and a feeling that we are only getting part of the story and may never hear the truth.
The media is not our friend. Not really. The bottom line is numbers, and ratings, and salaries and jobs. We, the public, are the least of their concern, for the most part. Those who openly choose to speak to the media because they think they have their ‘sympathy’ do so at their own peril. I hope I’m never one of them. The media can be awfully fickle.
I like to keep it ‘off the record’….
But just for the record, remember what I said in a previous article? Don’t believe everything you hear or read, and read between the lines.
This from someone who should have taken journalism a bit more seriously back in the day.
This from someone who also took courses in communications, advertising and marketing, among other things…
This from someone who has been caught up in more than one media scrum and almost got trampled as a result.
Remember, I too, am a writer and I could also be a spin doctor…
Now, take two aspirin and call me in the morning…