The Sound of Silence?

26 Oct

I just can’t seem to help it! Perhaps I am just watching too much TV (like most Americans) but today as I was switching through channels I inevitably crossed paths with Fox (how many channels do they have, anyway?) and their crap just seems to fly out at you like a broken sewer line so you can’t help avoid getting covered in their excrement just by passing by. Anyway, their lead news story came blaring at me just as I was about to click to the next channel…

“How much did the White House know about the Obamacare website disaster and why have they been covering it up? This story today and all night…exclusively on Fox News!”

Must Fox report everything that President Obama does as though it is part of a conspiracy? They have treated every moment of his presidency as though it were a planned terrorist attack on the United States formulated and put in motion at the very hour of his birth some 52 years ago.

In 1983, 90 percent of the American media was owned by 50 companies. Today, 90 percent is controlled by just six corporations: General Electric, News Corp., Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS. These large media conglomerates are continuing to get bigger and bigger and even in the era of the internet traditional media still dominates.  A 2012, study by the Pew Research Center  found that 55 percent of those surveyed said they got news from television and that people still spend more time on average getting news from radio than online.

If these conglomerates continue to get bigger our exposure to diversity of opinion, in a country that is about as diverse as any country can get, will become more and more limited. According to the FCC’s own data, women own fewer than 7 percent of television stations and racial and ethnic minorities own just 3.4 percent. That’s an amazing statistic when you take a moment to really sit and think about it.

Whose voices and opinions are we listening to? When you consider the statistics mentioned above, we are most definitely NOT listening to the opinions of every day, commonplace, hardworking Americans.

If this media trend continues then what will be the alternative to the opinionated, narrow minded and biased media outlets of our future?


9 Responses to “The Sound of Silence?”

  1. ruminationville October 26, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    At least we have Rachel Maddow. And, thank God for that! Great post.

  2. Morgan Mussell October 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Such observations often remind me of two things. First, the statistic that 100 years ago, the vocabulary of the average high school graduate was 50,000 words. Today it is 10,000. And at least to some degree, vocabulary determines the range of thought, as Eskimos can think more deeply about snow because they have more words for it.

    The second is a quote from Andy Warhol, in the sixties. A true visionary on the effect of media on our lives he said, “Someday everyone will be thinking exactly what they want and it will be the same thing.” The quote is from his book, “The Complete Thought of Andy Warhol from A to B and Back Again.”

  3. momshieb October 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

    Very important point! My kids have been railing against Clearchannel and network news for years. They, and all of their friends, get their news from as many non-traditional sites as possible. It gives me hope to know that the next generation if turning away from mass consumption of traditional news.
    And the utter irony of the Republicans complaining that people can’t get access to the ACA website! They are incredibly upset that people can’t access the program that they have desperate to destroy…..?!

  4. serendipityherbals October 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    At least we have no one but our own brains, our own selves, and our own existence! Education is poor in the US. I always thought my own education was poor when growing up, but since I had the opportunity to live in many countries while growing up, everytime I came back to the US, I noticed a discrepancy…where I might behind in in another country, I was top of my class here. When I taught in the public school system I was shocked at the bureaucracy that got in the way between me really teaching and reaching kids and aimless crap. I came to find out, I was gifted for having one teacher in my past , at a young and delicate age, to learn about propaganda and the mechanisms it employs on people to sway an outcome that is not in their own best interest. Furthermore, having family that survived the Hungarian Holocaust and Hungarian Revolution that was partly sparked by the USA with no backup, I came to learn how the common people are thwarted consistently for other interests. I had one Ecology and Atmosphere and Space teacher who taught me how our Earth is but a small player in this larger system, and how that correlates with the microscopic systems of the Earth.

    Even tho’ I have a hard time speaking perfect English (country hoping and foreign parents and language not being my top forte), I am amazed at the lack of education in the USA anymore, and see a democracy going downhill through ignorance.

    I am a freedom lover, rising out of the works of Walt Whitman, Tolstoy, Jefferson, Voltaire…..yet I find many people have absurd ideas of freedom, and politics plays on these ideas without the people having full understanding. A person who is free can never be put into captivity…but how does one free themselves? While I know the answers to these questions in my own personal life, I find many of the next generation Americans do not even know the questions to ask, and what directions to seek them.

    I DON’T watch TV, as when I like to indulge in make believe, I prefer making it happen in the real world, not copying TV producers selling products. I am not hiding a huge disdain for our lack of culture, or understanding our how humanity. I wish I were a more patient one, I am not.

    I believe most human beings are born intelligent, with the Grace given by the Creator. However, a corrupt human society does something to smother many life-full flames, redirect our attention to expensive sneakers and fitting in to buy our love. Real love is a spontaneous happening that doesn’t need to be bought.

    Anyway, other than keeping tabs on a little worldly and environmental news, double checking with many sources, I tend to want to tune out most of what I hear. It is fantasy of a corporate control sort, I take freedom seriously. Even the tea baggers are bought and sold from here to yesterday…if you want to be free, start acting and living freely!

    Love this skit…

  5. Anne October 27, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    The news out of the US looks very different on foreign news services than it does on US TV. I encourage my family in friends in the US to occasionally read news from other countries online.

  6. Doreen Gatien October 27, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    Thank you! What an annoying channel Fox news isalways so mean!

  7. Dan Hennessy October 27, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    Stupidity , repeated over and over with conviction , becomes reality — the big lie phenomenom .

  8. trophos October 30, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    This is one of the reasons I love podcasts and blogs – there’s a different kind of vetting and critical thought you have to apply to your sources, but you can generally trust that the message you’re getting is honest and in-good-faith and not working for someone else’s hidden agenda. Plus, they tend to be more interesting than mainstream news 🙂

  9. bobev18 November 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    I used to turn the TV on only as a background noise. I have canceled my cable service for four years now.

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