Saturday, April 20, 2013

B65. FOX News, Truth, and Me Playing Basketball

For many years there was a trophy in Starmount High School’s gym lobby with my name on it.  I don’t know if it’s still there.  I might be the only basketball player in Starmount’s history to have ever shot 100% the entire season, including an end-of-game buzzer shot about midway between half court and the foul line.  We were an undefeated team, usually winning by 50 or more points.  I still have my jacket.

True.  Every word of it.

But it’s FOX News kind of true.  A recent study found that those who get their news mainly from FOX are less informed on national and international news than those who follow no news source at all!  Here’s why.  FOX is a tool of extremist politics.  Not interested in balance, it chooses and creates stories that push extremist Republican ideology and hide any bits of truth that might support the opposite political side.  For example, it would be detrimental to let FOX viewers see President Obama as the Christian he claims he is, so if he makes a trip to the Holy Land and other news networks cover his travels and his reflections of walking where Jesus walked, FOX might instead choose to do a story on repealing Obamacare with a break-in story about how Obama keeps screwing over Israel.  Did I mention that during that trip, Israel awarded our President its highest civilian honor, the Presidential Distinction Award, and a large Israeli audience gave him a standing ovation?  One blogger noted that the Israeli people apparently are not watching FOX News.

OK, so what are FOX’s deceptive tactics?  1.  It chooses to air only the stories that support its political extremism, and  2.   it creates its own stories, aired by no other networks (when they say you’ll only see this on FOX, they are telling the truth), to support its own extremist agenda.  3.  It runs religiously and emotionally captivating stories to deceive the large segment of the Republican audience that comes to confuse the network with Christianity.  This is a political ploy, successful especially with those of the older generations who remember watching Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather in a time when the evening news really could be trusted.  And finally, 4.  it tells half truths.  Whatever words it chooses to air are probably true, although it might air only 5 true words out of a hundred word story, and fluff the rest with FOXisms.

There are levels of truth, and most of us have used them at some time.  There’s the “how close can I come to lying without actually telling a lie” truth.  This is one we learn to use as children.  “I didn’t actually lie. My exact words were  . . .” Familiar?  Unfortunately we carry this deceptive tactic with us into adulthood, and so does FOX News. 

Then there’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; the quest for real meaning and deep understanding of issues and events.  No politically affiliated entity, right or left, should be our most trusted source for this kind of truth.  If we see it on FOX (or MSNBC), just like hearing it from a politician, we can be sure there is far more to the story than what we are getting.

My basketball story was the first kind of truth.  It included no lies, but I conveniently “forgot” to share some of the facts.  Here’s the rest of the story:  I only made the team my freshman year, the freshmen team, and then only because no one was cut.  Being one of two players on the team who had not even made my jr. high team, I never even grasped the concepts of screening or running plays.  Indeed we were an undefeated team, complete with jackets to celebrate it, but none of that credit goes to me, because I spent the season on the bench.  Most games, when we were over fifty points ahead, the coach would put me into the game for the final 3 seconds.  (I must have been really bad, because I’m not exaggerating when I say 3 seconds!)  I did shoot twice during my 3-second play times.  Once was a foul shot, and once was a long buzzer shot.  Both went in, thus my 100% shooting record.  And the trophy story is true also.  I just forgot to mention that it had nothing to do with basketball.

Which kind of truth would you rather hear?  I prefer as unbiased a source as I can find, unaffiliated with either political party.  Just give me the facts, all of them that are available, and allow me to process them for myself without being fed political interpretations.

Why am I so adamant against a news network that I don’t even watch?  Because it’s deceiving people I love, not because they are unintelligent, but because they are too trusting to realize they are being politically used and brain-washed.  Less informed than those who follow no news at all?  Think about what that means.

It used to be that if it was in newsprint or aired on the evening news, it could be trusted.  Those days are gone, and I too lament it, but there are other networks that are trying harder to give us truth.

OK, enough about news.  Let's get back to me! Want to hear the story about when I played on an all women’s volleyball team in a league of all men?  Or about the season I ran track?


Judy Armentrout said...

I'm waiting for you to write a piece on MSNBC and CNN. Please don't forget to include entertainers Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Soledad O'Brien,
Suzanne Malveaux, John Roberts, etc.

Kathy Vestal said...

Hi Judy. MSNBC got a passing mention in this blog. I definitely agree with you that, like FOX, it is not a viable news source. MSNBC's viewership is minuscule though, compared to FOX's, and I'm not personally familiar with most of the names you mentioned. I don't watch either. What news source do you like to use? Do you ever get back to Alleghany?

Judy Armentrout said...
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Judy Armentrout said...
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Judy Armentrout said...

Kathy, we have become very disillusioned by America's journalism. Max and I stopped watching CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS (especially after Dan Rather's debacle) years ago. All of these news outlets have proven to be biased. Because we are conservative, we watch FOX, BBC, CNBC financial news and the UK Guardian online. It's amazing what we discover from the European news sources. Evidently a lot of people agree with us, since FOX has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined. The names I mentioned in the first post are all so-called journalists from either CNN or MSNBC. We are glad we live in the United States where we have the freedom to choose our news outlets and not have to listen to stations we don't care for. I pray that I can be tolerant of other people's views also.

I just got back from North Carolina on Tuesday. It was good to see family and friends in Sparta. Hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

And your opinion of the very fake CNN?