Just following up on the last post, I think the idea that admitting you’re wrong, or journalists admitting they are wrong, only re-enforces the perception that journalist are untrust worthy, needs discussion too. We all make mistakes, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise when someone makes a mistake should it? No one likes to be lied to, yet we all tell lies, at various shades of gray, to be sure, which has as much to do with our perception of the deceit of other people’s lies. What motivates the speaker, or writer, is a perception that we presume to know, but really can’t. White lies that we all tell, you look marvelous, sort of lies we all know and understand the motivation behind those lies. But even that white lie can get pretty complex rather quickly, and the white lies and complexity of motivation grow exponentially as we move beyond our own personal comfort.
But that isn’t what journalism is all about either, Nor is it alone in its’ opinions and fictions being passed off as fact. I can’t assume that Megan Kelly and Bill O’Reilly are anything but counter factual about mythical beings such as Santa Clause. I could be wrong, they may very well believe in Santa Clause being an actual individual that lives at the North Pole and delivers presents to children with reindeer and magic. Given the rest of their work, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think they do. But I tend to think it is my assumption of their motivation that offends me more. It’s what they are not saying when they say Santa is white, which is keep the blacks and whites, blacks and Hispanics, and Hispanic and white working class at each other’s throats and they won’t be going for the throats of the Murdock’s and other wealthy people.
Forget that most of us don’t care if rich people are rich, and just want a fair shake and decent slice of the pie, they work off a different presumption, which is derived from divide and conquer. Knowing that makes some people less inclined to listen to, or read, their work. So they have all sorts of reasons besides laid out in their minds by the butler of self-worth to wear, instead of admitting that they are being assholes because it pays them well. I shouldn’t single those two out like they are unique in the business either. Santa Clause is for children, so the controversy is too. It’s the same with the war on anything else too. It’s intellectually first grade bullshit to obscure the hands on the levers of power.
War on Christmas. Jesus Christ people! You want to believe all that stuff do so, I don’t care, and I don’t think it’s all that polite to shove your belief or disbelieve in my face so you can feel better about your self-assertion of personhood. The truth of the matter is no one corporeal individual gets to define Christianity, so you can pretty much do as you like including nothing at all. I choose to put it right up there with Halloween, something for the children. That a President decided it was a national holiday makes it a political holiday. How many holidays has Hallmark cards declared that people follow religiously now?
I don’t think we’re going to get any journalist to admit they were wrong about something important either, even when the errors are pointed out to them unless it’s done in private, which is one of the first rules of leadership – praise in public, correct in private. A lot of the vitriol of the modern discourse can be attributed to the public dressing down of individuals for their errors. There isn’t a graceful way out for anyone. As Greenwald, a lawyer, can attest, when all evidence fails attack the witness as a person. To say that our national media, including the blogs and siblings, don’t short-circuit that and go straight for attacking the individual instead of the evidence is to admit that your reading level is somewhere around the War on Christmas level of intellectual development. Did you wash behind your ears?
I don’t expect anything to change, and a lot, if not all of this is running over old ground, but if that’s what I have to do to get someone to figure out how to send money through a string, then at least you know what motivates me. Not that I would lie about it, because I would.