Bill Haenel

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Posted by Bill Haenel on 28-Jan-04

Mass Media: An ethical and socially acceptable method of brainwashing Large Groups of People simultaneously, without all the mess

Yep. I have finally stumbled across the news story that has led to my ultimate definition of the media.

It's not that the story itself is so remarkable or exceptional. It's not that it hasn't been done before, or read before, or heard before. In fact, the Martha Stewart court case is nothing more than ordinary. It's just another public hanging.

So why, then, does this story tell me what I have been waiting to know? It's one simple statement that got me. Apparently the judge told the jurors in this very public trial that if they "see a headline, turn the page."

Why? Why would a judge say this to a group of people who are about to embark on the journey of delivering a final verdict?

Jurors are asked to listen to facts, questions, and statements about an issue. The issue is up for judgement, and someone has to decide, objectively, the outcome of that issue. It is important for the jurors to have the opportunity to form an opinion based on truth, on facts.

It is standard practice for jurors to be told that they are not to expose themselves to media reports regarding the cases they are hearing. The idea is, the media would tend to sway the jurors from the facts presented in the case. Each side of the argument is expected to have the opportunity to make the case with their own facts, so the jury might find the truth somewhere in there.

Granted, our legal system today leaves a bit to be desired at times when it comes to justice, but the point is, it is still all about truth, justice...and you know the rest.

Again, the question is, why can't jurors listen to a news story from CNN regarding their case? Why can't they read the paper as it presents an outside, objective point-of-view on the facts involved in the case? Shouldn't that help? Wouldn't it be better to know everything, to be exposed to as much truth as possible, to hear all sides of the story told from a different perspective, a perspective that reveres reality and open mindedness?

Because it doesn't. The newspaper is not outside. The radio is not objective. The television does not present the truth.

The internet is not honest, real or open-minded.

As I listen to the news this evening, I will remember the judge in the Martha case. I'll remember that if I want the facts, if I want the truth, if I want to form my own, honest opinion about the events of the world, based on reality, and formed with an open mind, I will not consult the media and all their spin-centered drama. I will remember that reality-TV is probably as real as it gets in the media. The rest is all...brainwashing.

I think I'll go for a walk.

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