Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

What is the thing we have all around us, every day, all day, while we are awake and sometimes even while we are sleeping? Media—whether it’s entertainment, news, shows, talk shows, reality shows, sports, roundtable discussions, political discussions, political news and on and on and on.

And what is the one thing these all have in common? They all have to get ratings and SELL, otherwise they can’t receive funding through advertising and they are done, period.

An alarm clock and a coffee cup

The point I’m getting at here is so many people are actively misled continuously, and mistake what they are fed with actual facts of the world. Remember the one common denominator of all these things: they must entertain, or at the very least capture their audience’s attention. How do they do that? Through controversy, shock, or story lines that are not based on the normal activities we participate in daily to survive. No one would watch if it were stories about cooking dinner or the family going out for dinner or paying the bills or being at work all day or talking to a friend on the phone or having a family outing. Although most of us enjoy these things we do every day, they do not make for good entertainment. Well then, how do these guys capture your attention? They create stories that are not like these things. They are different, they are shocking, they are not like normal life. And in most cases, just like movies at the theater, they appeal to our desire for ENTERTAINMENT. This is how they get ratings and this is how they make money, because after all, their staff have to put food on the table, too.

Is it wrong to do it this way? Well, depends on what you see as right or wrong.

Ever seen a news story of how crazy everything is “over there” and then you go “over there” or actually look into it and its absolutely not what the news was saying?

We all hear about fake news these days. Fact is, fake news has been around for a long time. Ever since newspapers were published, in fact, fake news has been doing its thing. In fact, it got so bad in the late 1800s and early 1900s that newspapers like the New York Journal intentionally lied to the American public to lead us into war with Spain. CNN and most other news outlets in 2003 fed outright LIES to the American public daily which led to the invasion of Iraq. The public bought it, hook, line, and sinker. Why? It was exciting, sensational and out of the ordinary. It was in no way based on real life, though, or the actual facts of what was occurring at that time (or not occurring, as the case may be). These were STORIES. William Randolph Hearst was quoted as saying: “War makes for great circulation.” True then, and no less true now. But it doesn’t have to be.

Man holding a newspaper on fire

Does this mean that ALL news and newspaper articles are fake? No. But the only stuff you can be sure is factual that you get out of newspapers or mainstream media today is the weather, sports and stocks. And one thing is for sure on all these “stories” and “shows”: much of it is fabricated or changed to fit a narrative that will sell. Bits and pieces of truth may be injected to keep at least some semblance of honesty, maybe, but they are almost always tailored to fit the storyline being sold. Fine by me if I want to be entertained, but not fine if I’m trying to find some truth about people and the world I live in. I assure anyone reading this that if you desire to have a better opinion of your fellow man, stop watching the news and reading the newspapers. If you want to be scared, perplexed, divided, upset, angry or apathetic about life and others, by all means keep reading and watching “the media.” I choose, instead, to go to dinner with my wife and kids, go for a beautiful walk with my family on a beautiful night, play with my kids after school and ask them what they learned that day, and all those things most people love doing which would NEVER make it to the front page. In fact, I’d say 99 percent of what we do are things like this, but all we see is death and mayhem that the media feeds us daily and continuously. I, for one, will not participate. I am just going to go on being as happy as I can be without the unneeded “stories.” I’ll take a well-made story at the theater, where stories are SUPPOSED to be.

What does all this have to do with religious intolerance, you might ask? Well, division, mayhem, and controversy are the dominating themes in mainstream media, plain and simple. Where ratings are key, it’s a must (the way things are now). So you get all these things as above in waves. If I want information on any religion, I go to the source which is THAT religion. They will give you their information, usually very happily. Ask the religion’s parishioners, they will give you a good idea of their faith and the goings on. Weigh what you learn against all the “stories” you have heard and you will usually see just how far apart these are.

Ever seen a news story of how crazy everything is “over there” and then you go “over there” or actually look into it and its absolutely not what the news was saying?

I woke up and smelled the coffee a LONG time ago about mainstream media.

Join me for a good brew and a better life, won’t you?

Author

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