Miner Queries | Cherie Miner
Recent events have an old Marvin Gaye song – “What’s Going On?” – playing in my head. I really like its refrain: “talk to me so you can see what’s going on.”
Do we really know what’s going on?
Sophia McClennen wrote in an a recent Salon Magazine article about the failure of our mainstream media to inform citizens about the facts of our political reality. In this case, McClennen not only indicts propaganda mills like FOX News and Breitbart.com.
“Instead, the story of media failure comes to us from those mainstream sources we thought had some semblance of balance and reason: outlets like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press. I suspect we will be unpacking the failures of the media to inform our citizenry for months to come. But for now, here are three highlights.”
According to McClennan, in this election year major media outlets have denied voters their right to shape our political future three ways.
First, via the country’s “first media-created presidential nominee Donald Trump.” Without mainstream media’s non-stop coverage of this TV personality, voters would not be interested in such a completely inexperienced, unqualified and outrageous candidate.
Second, by counting votes before they’ve been cast. As we saw on June 7 this year, not to mention in previous elections, major media have opted to call elections before all the voters across country have cast their ballots. By discouraging voters from voting, the media has suppressed voters’ right to play their role in our democracy.
Finally, these outlets have deliberately ignored real news, e.g. election fraud. McClennan writes: “Evidence of something going terribly wrong hit hard after reports came in from Arizona and New York of a range of ways that eligible voters were not able to vote. The mess in Arizona took place [on] March 22 – but we still have yet to see any serious mainstream reporting on it. ... We have a list of states where similar problems occurred.”
Yet how many major news stories have we seen about these events?
I will say again, if you consume your news via TV and radio, you need to unplug and start reading. And when you read, know who’s funding what you read. Don’t trust labels. Just because an outlet claims to be “independent” doesn’t mean it is. Knowing how a source is financed will give you an idea of its perspective. Broaden your views by reading articles with opposing views.
And maybe talk to some real people. We’re all too prone to parrot slogans we hear about issues without considering the effects of our ideas on real people. Their stories can illuminate the effects of the policies we’re debating.
As Marvin Gaye sang: “Talk to me, so you can see, oh, what’s going on.”
Cherie Miner is a local parent, community volunteer, freelance writer and artist. In a former life, she was a corporate writer and public relations professional. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.