Culture, Politics, Uncategorized

The Power of the Media

The Power of the MediaThe political motivation undergirding the journalistic analysis of our political figures creates the environment of extreme subjective biases rather than objective reporting committed to the necessary virtue of personal integrity in the pursuit of truth. This is an unfortunate state of affairs because the power the media has over the psychological demeanor of a citizenry is quite remarkable. This power is often used to deflect responsibilities of political leaders onto others, spread disinformation concerning political events, and create smoke screens that allow for the ruling class to operate without public awareness. For example, the manner in which the trivial actions of a private citizen, who happens to have zero impact on the political direction of the country, are turned into spectacles worthy of mob like denunciation.

Case in point, Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick.

The Ryan Lochte situation was so entirely meaningless that I felt embarrassed for those turning it into some Greek tragedy with the reputation of America’s “greatness” on the line in the eyes of the global community. Lochte made a mistake and he was thrown to the lions in the Colosseum of political theater. Matt Lauer and others seemed indignant towards Lochte’s alleged fabrications and embellishments, while at the same time become deaf, dumb, and mute when extreme scenarios of political corruption are embedded in the very fabric of the political party they root for every election cycle. The way in which the media treated this situation was misguided and unfortunate.

Currently, the hyper-reactionary legions of “conservative” pundits are going after Colin Kaepernick for staying seated during the national anthem. Kaepernick said he is protesting because he believes that black people are oppressed in this country, and wants to give them a voice. “Conservative” pundits have turned this situation into Kaepernick saying that he is oppressed, and then mock him for making money in the NFL. This childish pandering is more annoying than the initial instance of sitting during the anthem. Kaeperkick is a political leftist; his actions are indicative of the progressive mindset. Why is this surprising?

Even more vexing than the protest and the reaction to the protest, is how misleading the “conservative” media is when interpreting these actions. If oppression is taking place in our country isn’t Kaepernick exactly the kind of person that should be the voice of the voiceless? Usually those who are being oppressed don’t have a legitimate shot at being heard in the public square. Kaepernick is wealthy and has a platform. Isn’t this what we would expect of someone who is passionate about a specific issue concerning justice for a class of citizens in this country? Instead of attacking Kaepernick, which is childish and petty, why not critique the argument he is making? I would argue that if Kaepernick is claiming to protest contemporary systematic oppression, then his case would strain credulity. If he were arguing against instances of injustice that occur due to terrible federal policies, he would have a legitimate argument. A thorough analysis such as I am suggesting won’t likely happen because a reasonable critique requires thoughtful consideration while a swift denunciation gets thunderous applause minus the hard work of serious examination.

Consider this for a moment. What if a Christian athlete refused to stand for the anthem because they wanted to bring attention to the oppressive barbarism of the abortion industry? Wouldn’t this be a worthy cause? Would something like this be a legitimate reaction from progressive pro-abortion advocates, “Hey, abortion isn’t an issue nor is it oppressive because all of you were born healthy and given the opportunity to be successful. So sit back down you ungrateful spoiled brats and quit complaining about the supposed industry that “oppresses” unborn babies. I mean, if this country was so cruel towards the unborn, we are pretty terrible at it because not every baby is aborted, while some babies survive pregnancy and even become successful human beings. Protesting this issue is meaningless and disrespectful.” This line of argumentation is what mainline “conservative” commentators are offering their readers. The point being that an instance where oppression is not evident is not an indicator that no oppression is taking place. The issue should be taken more seriously than combing data to find support for politically motivated biases.

Let’s remember that Ryan Lochte and Colin Kapaernick are private citizens that have zero impact on the political realities this country is facing (other than maybe casting a vote for a person running for office or contributing to a campaign). Maybe our attention should be focused on those seeking office rather than a couple of athletes making personal mistakes or entering into the political discourse in a seemingly controversial manner.

 

– Lucas G. Westman

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