There is a commonly known saying: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” In the wake of the Arbery case, it has been quite clear who follows this saying, and who the gullible people are. But fear not, for in today’s rendition of Casual Saturday, we’re going to talk to everybody about how you can get the full story when you get your news, and how you can resist false and dishonest reporting.
Despite what I believe or what other dissenters believe about the case, it’s clear that the vast majority of society thought that Ahmaud Arbery was brutally murdered with a racial motive. Both sides can acknowledge that and ask: Why was this the case? It seemed like to question the official narrative during those few days was to make yourself a pariah in the court of public opinion. Don’t ask how I know… but how did it get this way?
I touched upon this in a republished article a while ago called “Climate Change: Is It Really About the Climate?” about how people form their opinions, and how the media influences that process. To summarize, the authoritativeness or credibility of the sources viewed, what exactly the “credible” sources are saying, and the amount and spread of dissenting opinions from the majority are the genesis of how opinions are formed.
Let’s say you turned on the TV on Wednesday or Thursday when the case was in full blast, and you wanted to see the news. You would essentially have 5 stations to choose between viewing: CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News. To the uninformed, all of these seem like high-quality, neutral, and professional sources. The layout and color of the headlines on the bottom of the screen, and the resumes of the commentators make the shows airing seem like they know what they’re talking about. Everything is well-put together, or so it seems… For example, I believe that Rick Wilson, a “Republican” strategist on CNN, is a lunatic neoconservative. However, the average CNN viewer probably thinks he’s just an honest moderate Republican worried about his party and a guy whose presence is evidence of CNN’s neutrality.
This dynamic applies to all of the news stations. If there’s a guy in a suit who speaks articulately on national television, he looks like he knows what he’s talking about. But does he? To even ask that question is to take a step back and analyze what one hears, which is a task that a vast part of this country fails to do every day. Let’s avoid that mistake and see where these news stations stand. In a 2017 Harvard study that I have referenced before, in the first 100 days of President Trump’s presidency, CNN and MSNBC’s coverage was found as 93% negative. CBS was 91%, and ABC followed soon after. Fox News, the supposed conservative bastion, was charted at 52% negative. Moreover, the newspapers weren’t spared either, with the New York Times at 87% ,the Washington Post at 83% negative, and the Wall Street Journal at 70% negative. So when the average citizen looks for their news about Trump, for example, they will have to choose between sources that have 93%, 91%, 87%, 83%, 70%, or 52% negative coverage about him. Considering those outlets are the household names people think of when the topic of news sources is brought up, does the American public being artificially swayed really seem like rocket science?
The final component is a short one, which is the amount of dissent to the monopoly that liberalism has on the news industry. Some may have heard of Breitbart News, One America News Network, or even the Epoch Times, but usually in a boogeyman-esque tactic, calling these outlets “state-run media” or something along those lines. However, just take a look at the ratings between the combined four liberal news stations plus half of Fox News, and you will see that they dwarf any kind of smaller start-ups that require subscriptions and whatnot. To put it simply, way more people watch mainstream media than alternative media. Perhaps what we have instead of state-run media is a media-run state…
But what is the remedy? With such a vast amount of sources vying for political control, how can you ensure that your worldview remains consistent with reality? Besides the few that watch OANN or read Breitbart or the Drudge Report, your answer lies online. I’ll explain what I did to get to where I am now, and then how you can do the same.
Luckily, I never really watched the news stations to begin with, therefore I never had to break the conditioning that afflicts many others. So back in 8th grade, when the fabled incident of my teacher comparing Donald Trump to Hitler occurred, I didn’t watch the news when I got home that day. If I did, that worldview probably would have been enforced on me, and since I had no idea that the media was biased back then, who knows what I would be believing today. Instead, I googled Donald Trump’s campaign. I looked up the pros and cons of his policy proposals, and looked at the sources for the pros. Going into detail would take forever, but essentially, with every pro-Trump outlet that I found on the Internet, the more I was awakened. Now, I watch online podcasts, browse Twitter, watch the rare YouTube video, and chat in groupchats.
“Okay,” you might say. “What makes your sources better than mine?” Well, firstly, indeed they are better than yours. But why am I so certain in what they’re saying instead of what other people say? If you take into account that Google, YouTube, Twitter, and other tech companies that provide platforms to people that I watch are of the same political persuasions that the media is (Look into Project Veritas investigations and leaked Google memos for damning evidence about this), and that they are currently censoring and silencing these people similar to how an authoritarian third-world country would crush political opposition, it kind of adds up. If the people that I watch are the sworn enemies of massive tech monopolies that admit to trying to sway elections (again, definitely look into this), then maybe they’re onto something.
So what can you do? How can the average citizen emulate my journey? Firstly, stop watching mainstream media entirely. The only TV show I watch is Tucker Carlson Tonight, and it’s usually just the clips from his show that Fox uploads on YouTube. Then, literally just look up yourself the issues that you think you have a strong left-wing opinion on, and find an opinion different than yours. Think rationally, and see if you still think the way you did. If you still do, that’s fine, but you must try this or else you’re lying to yourself.
Once you are perhaps thinking a little differently, always remember to remind yourself that when you hear an opinion given to you by an authority figure in society, question it. This means that if a teacher or professor preaches to you in class, an actor from Hollywood lectures you when they should just be acting, or if a reporter pompously bobs their head and spouts off talking points on television to you, always take it with a big, fat grain of salt. Do this because it’s mathematically proven that more often than not, these people aren’t being honest, and actually want to brainwash you for their sinister political ends.
Don’t be a sheep!