As you may know already, I and several other commenters have clashed quite a bit with another commenter, “Short Little Rebel”. We disagree on the issues of gay marriage and gay adoption and abortion, among other things. One would think that we are complete opposites, unable to ever see eye-to-eye.
However, “Short Little Rebel” wrote a post the other day that I completely agree with. I couldn’t agree more, in fact. And it is on an issue that I feel strongly about. I was shocked to be reading the very thoughts that go through my own mind written by a woman who I had originally thought was a nut job on the opposite side of the spectrum (to be quite frank). I see now that it is wrong to write someone off as that, no matter how far-fetched their opinions seem to you.
It made me realize how important it is not to label someone (I wrote a post about this yesterday). You may disagree with almost everything that comes out of someone’s mouth, but it doesn’t mean that you CAN’T agree on something. The public will never be able to get along or compromise if we don’t keep an open mind about others. Ultimately, if we are going to make any progress in fixing the issues that entangle our country, we must look past the barriers and work together, even with those that we don’t fully agree with. I doubt I will EVER agree with “Short Little Rebel” on gay marriage, gay adoption, abortion, etc. and vice versa. But now I know that there is an issue that we see eye-to-eye on, and that blurs the “line” that separates us. When that “line” is less distinct, the conversation and debate is more civil and productive.
So what is this issue, you may be wondering. It’s about control of the media and what effect that has on our ability to participate in the government. Control of the media is incredibly centralized. The corporations that own the media dictate how the news is covered. And they do so based on their give-and-take relationship with the government. Politicians make decisions that benefit corporations economically (the war in Iraq greatly benefited Halliburton, one of the world’s biggest oil-servicing companies, which Cheney was CEO of before he became VP), and in return those corporations make sure the news is favorable to those politicians and their interests (according to this MIT article, 71% of media coverage of the Iraq war was pro-war, while only 3% of coverage was anti-war).
Furthermore, these corporations have a hand in defining what issues are important (through what they allow the media to report on). The public then goes on a tirade debating these various issues, and it leads to a battle that ends only in deadlock. Meanwhile, these corporations laugh at us and do their own bidding with the government behind the scenes.
This is wrong. The public deserves unbiased, transparent news. That is NOT what we are getting from privately-owned media outlets.
Take a look at Short Little Rebel’s post on all of this. The research that backs this up is laid out clearly. I NEVER thought I’d be saying this, but…I encourage you to read it and to take it seriously.
This is exactly why I encourage people to follow non-profit news organizations. There are no secret agendas there. It is journalism in its truest form – the way it is MEANT to be.