How Opinion Destroyed Journalism

Opinion is a self-serving hypothesis, and unless you find facts and conduct experiments, the opinion is no better than a lie.

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Worse, it is a form of blinders preventing you from seeing the painfully obvious.

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And worst of all, makes you completely numb to reality as you become unteachable because you have already made up your opinion.

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You would think people were burned enough times to want to move away from opinion, but it seems right now, the version of journalism we have is all partisan, all the time.

Left. Right. It doesn’t matter. People who know nothing about politics and how systems work, clog their social media feeds with propaganda, declaring one ideology is superior than other. Of course, it’s not. It’s just opinion. It’s just a hypothesis or an interpretation of reality, not reality itself.

Media has become church, preaching to various flocks who think they can never be wrong because their opinions are perfect and can never steer them into oblivion. Just follow a partisan script, and the narrative will magically prove you right, never mind that a social fabric is unravelling for no good reason.

People listen to one band of crooks or another band of crooks without question. The dogmatic walls are closing in on far too many, most of which have not realized that journalism has collapsed and is devolving back to a partisan era, none of which is helping anyone’s fortunes.

It is an age of irrational sophistry.

As I outlined in my book OutFoxedthe reason the Fox News Channel gained prominence was not because they improved the journalism product: they diluted it with opinion, telling their viewers that nothing in their lives was ever their fault: they were right and perfect, and here is a laundry list of people to blame for your own short-sightedness and gullibility.

And all the while the FNC pretended to have the answers, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly were not living up to the moral code they preached.

But neither have those screeching from the Left pulpit. David Corn, among others, aren’t exactly the bastions of feminist-forward behaviour.

In other words, the Priests of the Press cannot be trusted.

It is all talk, and yet people get riled up and actually think they know something.

You don’t know anything.

Not one little thing.

Because the sources you are using are not gathering facts. They are keeping quiet on many atrocities because it does not “fit” a particular narrative. They did not want to offend “good actors”, such as Kevin Spacey because their target audience want to pretend to be cultured, and raving about movie performances seems like a good and safe shortcut. The hacks and cheats have proven to merely enable an industry that is nothing more than a prison dressed up in some shiny lights.

But the press builds up titans, and titans aren’t built on facts, but opinions. People are praised to impossible levels, and then all expectations become childish. A good media is a level-headed media that thinks with sensibility.

It is a media that understands the realm of the mundane: that people are people, not gods, not devils.

It will be very difficult for Western society to truly recover from this deliberate and desperate incitement of emotions. Once it breaks, they will be ripe for the picking. The press has been inciting their audiences in a bid to stem the exodus of news consumers, just as the upstarts are trying to take those audiences with their skewed ventures.

It is because of this double tsunami of ideological and political vitriol, I have completely left the church, so to speak, and became a political atheist and radical centrist. As usual, I am always on the prowl for facts, logic, and emotional literacy. A partisan press is one that deliberately commits the confirmation bias, always looking for evidence that proves a narrative, but never bothers with facts that refute it. It insists that people appeal to authority, instead of doing their own thinking for themselves. There can never be an app that does your brain work for you, and looking up to another person is just like cribbing your answers on a test by looking at someone else’s paper.

The problem is the ones everyone is cribbing from are just as ignorant and lazy as the cheaters who don’t want to do the legwork, either: they aren’t writing in facts on that test, but their opinion, and that opinion has nothing to do with truth — or reality.