– Wiktionary 2011
In a lot of ways progress actually causes us to lose ground from the efforts we make to attain something. In the case of government we’ve grown so much, we’ve progressed so far it appears we’re returning to the beginning where we had no control over government. We traded Royal Empire and imperative for a plutocratic oligarchy or government by a small dedicated few harboring the wealth necessary to ensure they remain in control. Toward this end we find a new class and sub-species of oligarch: the Media.
Yellow Journalism came into existence starting approximately in 1895 and ran until 1898.
The process was born of competition to control the sale of newspapers in the New York City market by Joseph Pulitzer and Wm. Randolph Hearst. Their goal was to corner and exert control of that market for the sake of monetary gain. The power to direct the reporting of events could have regionally, nationally and potentially globally consequences. Yellow Journalism shifted from strict, ethical reportage of events as they occurred to sensationalist presentations preying on the more corrupt of human instincts for titillation and the voyeuristic, ghoulish need to experience others’ suffering from afar.
Hearst created enough uproar to ensure public support for waging war against Spain after the sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor. The frenzy of indignation allowed the United States to enter the war with a feeling of vindication and certainty it was politically acceptable to America in majority.
You need five (5) basic things (more or less) to display Yellow Journalism. You decide if today’s media fits the bill of fare:
- Scare or sensational headlines
- Use of specific images directing a specific emotional response
- Use of structured and/or faked interviews, selective choice of specific/prejudiced scientific studies from questionable data and authorities
- Emphasis on specialized, color video/photography to enhance the sense of violent drama
- Dramatic, pointed and unrelenting sympathy and preference for the ideology of the “underdog” without reporting any or minimal controversial news affecting that “underdog”
We must view the Media as a form of social filter, much like the Liver is to a human. The liver filters the blood ensuring systemic homeostasis or balance. When the liver sickens by disease or injury it fails to cleanse the blood and the skin turns yellow. This is jaundice.
In the media, both Press and Broadcast, there’s a continuing growth of slanted and prejudiced editorializing in place of ethical reportage of true events as they unfolded. As an example: instead of reporting the fact the dam burst, the reporter starts directing slanted questions in the form of innuendo and unsupported supposition. It lends an implication of the administration’s possible benign wrong doing. The report doesn’t say there was wrong doing but it allows for the acceptance of innuendo and insinuation as truth. The old saying goes: “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
Any chemist will tell you, where there’s smoke, there’s smoke. It could be the result of a harmful or harmless chemical reaction. The failure to treat the true problem properly could lead to disastrous results.
The media have taken the belief they must be the genesis of change. Some in the Media believe they’re above the masses because the Media knows first; then transmit what it knows. It’s when the reporter or editor thinks he/she knows the underlying cause of the event they step out-of-bounds. They proselytize or evangelize from a specific, prejudicial point of view. They distort the news from the point of reporting it, to explaining it from their point of view only. Not all explanations are created equal.
The Media run the risk of preaching the word from their personal, false god-hood in much the same way the Pharisees at the Temple in Jerusalem saw themselves as the only true guardians of the word of God. Their sanctimony and hypocrisy led to their downfall.
The Media need to recognize the jaundice they display around the edges as they, the filter of our information related bloodstream, sickens and wastes like a liver rife with disease.
You have to wonder.
Thanks for listening.