Thursday, May 11, 2023

Media and Print Endorsements: Providing Bread and Circus Coverage for Fun and Profit

 Another Opinion has published this article in one form or another  every election cycle since 2001 as a public service. Why? Because we now live in a world where independent thought is no longer considered "politically correct". We're expected to toe the line dictated to us by the Status Quo. America is no longer a Republic. It's a Corporatocracy run a super rich Oligarchy.

There are just 5 of these corporations that control 96+% of all media content---TV, movies, video games, radio, publishing, newspapers and so on.  This means they have the ability to directly influence your opinions by controlling and spinning what you watch, read, or hear.  They keep you entertained, distracted, and confused. Bread and Circuses. They also try to influence who you vote for by their so-called "endorsements".

We have a problem with this. We believe you should make your own decisions based on your own research regardless of who you ultimately vote for. Independent thought  is important for our present if we are to have a future. Please consider sharing this article. Thank you.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.


Media and Print Endorsements: Providing Bread and Circus Coverage for Fun and Profit

There was a time when the news media (particularly newspapers) were the ever vigilant "crusaders" of public interest, albeit self-appointed and as often as not, the creators of their own hype (see "Yellow Journalism"). However, society and technology grew up. Today, we have instant access to information the world over, and with it, the ability to do own investigation of candidates and the issues which are important to us.

For years, I campaigned for the release of unedited transcripts of candidate interviews  and full disclosure of the interviewer's names and their political affiliations especially when it came to newspaper "endorsements".  The public has a right to know exactly what a candidate said and in what context, what their positions are, as well as the identity of those making the "endorsement" and their  political leaning.

I've been a community organizer and political activist for over 40 years.  Too many times over those years I've come across candidates who were misquoted, misattributed,  or instances  where the "correct" answer  was inserted while gaffs were  removed on behalf of certain individuals. In fact, I've been a victim of these manipulations.  

 Today, a relatively small handful of news outlets are recording and making public these interviews unedited and providing the facts behind their research in a timely fashion. They are also providing unbiased information regarding both side of key issues, particularly those that will be appearing on the ballot. To those brave few actual journalists and editors, bravo to you!  

However, not all are providing full disclosure of the names and political registration or leaning of the interviewers making the endorsements nor are they disclosing the criteria by which the endorsements are made. Those remains hidden behind a false veneer of make believe "integrity".  You, the voter, have a right to know if an "endorsement" on an issue or candidate is honest and fair or is being made with a political or economic bias.  

As I have done for decades, I've urge all voters to take a few minutes to do their own research and make their own decision before casting their vote. Using a Voter Guide is one such resource for you to consider.  You can check out a candidate's or issue's website, or do a general search on the internet. You'll find out a lot more than just reading or listening to a biased review or opinion.

As an aside, if you're looking at a political party's website or that of an endorsing organization, bear in mind that they are writing from their point of view. Any endorsements or opinion they make are to serve their interests, not necessarily yours.  Always understand the political slant of any source.

If you find that you happen to be in agreement with a candidate or issue, fine. Then support that individual or issue as a volunteer,  or with a financial contribution, or simply with your vote. But whatever you, do so as an informed voter. Don't let anyone think or decide for you. Never surrender your vote.

I would also suggest that candidates or those representing an issue who are being interviewed for  an endorsement, and especially by the news media, to be sure and write down the names of those conducting the interview. Ask if they will be making the endorsement. If not, who will?  Also ask when their endorsement is expected to be announced. If you're being recorded for TV or radio, ask when it will be aired.

 Finally, when being interviewed for an endorsement, don't be afraid to ask for their stance on any issue they ask you about or what their political affiliation is. If they refuse to tell you, note that too. You may want to make all this public once the interview is over in order to keep everyone "above board" and honest. Keep it factual and to the point. Leave any personal opinions or animosity out it. If your campaign depends on their recommendations, then you, your supporters and the voters deserve to know what to expect.

The role of the media, regardless of its format, is to present the facts in a impartial, balanced and fair manner. It is not to attempt to manipulate or sway public opinion to suit its own political or economic  agenda, even if they think it's "for your own good".  Only you can decide what's in your own best interests.  

Organizations, including business associations and unions, have a specific agenda. It's in their interests to make endorsements. It is not the job of the media. It should have no agenda. Remember  too that endorsements are merely personal opinions and not always the most informed ones at that! Think for yourself. Do your own research.  And then vote.  America is counting on you to help keep it free.

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