Tuesday, 31 May 2011

*The* Conspiracy Theory

The corporate-industrial-media oligarchy sure does love it's labels: left-wing, right-wing, conspiracy theorist, "so-called: truther", alarmist, crack-pot, pinko-communist, home-grown terrorist, etc... I tend to believe that people "cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced." -- Fox Mulder, the X-files. People are complex; people are not single-minded; people can change their mind, therefore these labels can only serve to discredit the individual.

They call upon experts and witnesses to be interviewed only to throw in their own commentary and when their argument holds no water, out come the labels. Just when we thought name-calling ended once we left the junior-high years, here are self-proclaimed journalists resorting to name-calling.
1. the occupation of reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news or of conducting any news organization as a business.

[nooz, nyooz]
–noun ( usually used with a singular verb )
1. a report of a recent event; intelligence; information: His family has had no news of his whereabouts for months.
2. the presentation of a report on recent or new events in a newspaper  or other periodical or on radio or television.
3. such reports taken collectively; information reported: There's good news tonight.
Journalism and news reporting are not supposed to be opinion pieces; opinion pieces are called editorials.
[ed-i-tawr-ee-uhl, -tohr-]
1. an article in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher, editor,  or editors.
2. a statement broadcast on radio or television that presents the opinion of the owner, manager, or the like, of the station or channel.
3. something regarded as resembling such an article or statement, as a lengthy, dogmatic utterance.
Editorials almost always have the disclaimer that this article may not represent the views thoughts or opinions of the parent entity because they are a no-holds-barred soapbox pulpit for the author and, while are a part of the news, are not labeled as news. The intent of the editorial is to give it's reader the author's single minded opinion on the topic at hand, and the label of editorial is to allow the reader to make up his own mind if this is what they believe or if they choose to see a different angle on the topic. An editorial is also labeled and disclaimered to assert to the reader that not everybody agrees nor has to agree to what has been said or written on the topic.

Yet, most news available for general consumption is wrought with the opinion of whomever is writing or broadcasting the NEWS item with nary a disclaimer nor proper classification as being an editorial piece.

So during the course of these fake-news-we-deny-being-an-editorial-piece items, they break out the labels to categorize previously credible experts and witnesses in the same class with as many nut-jobs as they can name in an hour. Better still they have not called this an 'editorial' and in so not doing they have also failed to distance or shield their whole news conglomerate with those opinions.

Try to remember this the next time someone is interviewed and is 'summarily dismissed with a label that peg them as being the same as the Unibomber, Osama bin CIAsset, Charles Manson, or a hamster that eats their young'. The station and every part of the organization and all affiliates is backing this label, maybe even feeding it to the person saying it under threat of never working for a reputable news outfit again. If you could call a propagandist machine 'a reputable news outfit'.


On this blog, most of what I write is editorial. While I do make an effort to research, link to, cite sources, and even resort to the dictionary, my opinions do find their way into every post. I feel no need to apologize; I have never taken any journalism classes; I have never taken any writing classes. Oh, and I have not lied by calling myself a 'journalist' who is 'reporting on the news'.


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