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i'll start by letting you know 'where' i work, to get a better… - polemicist playground [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Jun. 4th, 2004|08:43 am]
i'll start by letting you know 'where' i work, to get a better picture of the environment here. i'm in the air force at lackland, afb in san antonio. i work in a computer help desk as a systems operator. right now i'm in the front waiting for more people to get here to start having troubles...because that's what i do. i fix people's problems or pass them to someone else with a sigh of relief.

in the front here we have a rather large LCD screen hanging from the ceiling that is on all day, specifically for emergency bulletins to come in, but it's also tuned into the news just so we aren't watching a blank blue screen. i've noticed, since being back on days, that the only real news program anyone around here wants to watch is FOXNEWS which is, in my opinion, the epitomy of evil and biased news stations. i've had numerous "arguments" if you can call them such on the topic. i try to tell them that the likes of hannity and colmes, bill o'reilley, those three fucking IDIOTS that host the morning show, etc are all ridiculously retarded and ill-informed liars who can only report on something if it will help them suck up to the bush administration or the military. their debates are often reduced to nothing more than calling all of their opponents "un-american" or "haters of america" if they run out of notecards instructing them of what to lie, or say. bill o'reilley first caught my interest in the weeks after september 11, when he suggested that if 'the afghani people don't come forward with osami bin laden in the next few days that we go over there and bomb all of the major water and food supplies to starve the people into ratting him out". when confronted on the issue of suggesting we discount the geneva convention and literally kill thousands of innocent people through starvation, he denied his quotes and claimed that he never said naything about civilians and that he merely suggested we bomb major al qaida hideouts over there. those are just a few examples...you can find more by just turning on the station for a few minutes and listening.

but my coworkers arguements consist of, "well EVERY news station is biased....just look at larry king!!". "i LIKE bill o'reilly". "fox news tells more of a 'fair and balanced'(their slogan) news report than anyone else."

right. fucking sick.

wasn't it o'reilly who also suggested we cover 'too many' civilian deaths in iraq? he justifies this by suggesting that 'civilian deaths are a part of war and always have been since the beginning'. so are marine deaths that you so proudly report on a minute to minute basis asshole. everything in war is a part of war then, and doesn't need to be reported. how could ANY news station suggest this and get away with it? that a suicide bombing in iraq that kills 30 civilians is any less important than a bomb-threat in america?

after arguing this shit until i'm blue in the face, the major arguers of the topic have actually told me, "we could both argue this point all day and not get anywhere. i probably don't know as much as you about it because you've read into it and i don't..but i still believe what i believe."

what does that mean other than, "obviously, you know more about the matter, but i'm going to stick to my biased news because i need something to cling to and they make me feel important. we could argue this forever, but since i'm stubborn and refuse to do any research, we can't get anywhere." ????

last week one of my supervisors had an argument of, "oh yeah? that's why fox news has blown CNN out of the water with ratings, right?"

i didn't know what to say to this other than to spend 2 seconds on a website looking it up because i knew i'd read somewhere he was sorely mistaken. and he was. he WAS right in that fox news often flaunts the 'fact' that it has higher ratings than cnn or msnbc. however, this is just one trick of many for faulty journalism....distortion and contortion of facts. there are so many...my favorite is misquoting by using "..." or bits and pieces of quotes to get what you want the person to say. i could say, "man, i think one time that i actually heard layne say that blacks are dumber than whites. that's awful, isn't it?". and then layne could take that quote...put it in her paper as, " taylor gideon was quoted as saying "...blacks are dumber than whites."

anyway...i looked it up and found that there are two factors included in ratings. there is a percentage given for overall viewers...and then for actual view-time. fox-news won for overall view-time, most likely because their viewers are the kind that feel compelled to tune in for an entire afternoon to get a 'balanced' insight on the war on terror, while CNN viewers turn it on for a while to actual get, what else?, the news and then go about their day to day activities. turns out that CNN had FAR more overall viewers, thus making fox's claims untrue.

my coffee is cold...

[User Picture]From: burninglotus
2004-06-04 09:42 pm (UTC)
I've just been in my little bubble out here in China, and really haven't been getting any updates as to the situation that's going on. Frankly, I feel very uninformed, and what's stranger, is there's a feeling of "que sera', sera'" in me.

I guess it's mainly because I don't know who to listen to. Everyone's biased and has some kind of agenda... what can the average American do? Personally, I'm torn. Should I gather my information from all reputable sources and then make my standings clear, on whatever issue? But what person has the luxury of the time to do such research? Only those who have televisions blaring at them all day as they sit behind a desk? (NOT A PERSONAL SHOT). To gather the facts in such a way is a daunting task none-the-less, and is mainly why there are fewer voters today then there ever have been.

So, whether someone gets all of the "real" facts, or not is certainly important, but what is ultimately more important is that people take a stand for SOMETHING, even if it's uneducated. Acknowledge those who are willing to do so. It still takes guts to make a stand. Even if it is for FoxNews.

Besides, CNN's logo is much cooler than Fox. They have my vote... :)
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From: breakermorant
2004-06-05 05:55 am (UTC)
see, that's the thing... you CAN'T get your information by sitting in front of a tv. that's part of my point. it's really hard to say how you can get your info...i try to do it by bookmarking a LOT of websites. i have buzzflash, the-hamster, new york times, the herald, cnn, etc. i have a number of political communities in my journal to read from. i try to read a lot of different sources from different viewpoints and then draw some sort of conclusion based on who i think is more credible as far as facts and legitimate quotes go. the problem is that there aren't a lot of restrictions set on journalists as to what they can or can't propose as truth. like i said, it's so easy to misquote someone or just flat out lie in the media with no reprocussions whatsoever.

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[User Picture]From: burninglotus
2004-06-06 03:08 am (UTC)
right... and you've just made my point beautifully. how on EARTH can I trust my vote to information that could be so easily skewed to fit "X" person's agenda? What source is there that isn't tainted? How can ANYONE for that matter possibly make a truly informed decision?

I guess it comes down to an applicable metaphor: If you're planning a trip to a nice destination, you don't wait for all the lights to be green before you go.
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