Dramatizing half-truths is just one of the dangers an agenda-driven media has a talent for. When combined with the documented liberal bias it has today, proven from various studies and anecdotal testimonies, along with its self-admitted lying to achieve a greater cause (a definition it assigns not based on fact, logic or reason, but by its own preference only), they synergistically destroy the information a free society needs.
One common way that occurs is by using images of ordinary people, portrayed as victims, repeatedly presented, regardless of whether true or not, regardless whether due to the alleged cause, and certainly regardless of the consequences of the alternative suggested on both the supposed victims and others (Goebbels said, tell a lie often enough, and some will come to believe it). Certainly, deception has been around long before the media. However, technology has allowed the media to become a significant component for supporting a similar bias in political action.
Visible harm is always easier to recognize than the longer-term, deeper, complex and diverse beneficial effects that are destroyed or denied by deceptively emphasizing or selecting individual, isolated events. For example, repeatedly televising pictures of a terrorist made to squat in his underwear in front of a guard dog can be manipulated to appear as greater suffering than the horrors of a totalitarian regime. Only free societies allow even minor transgressions to be communicated by those in the media, throughout the whole of society, while equivalent access is denied by totalitarian regimes of unspeakable horrors. Often the very same media have even been shown to intentionally ignore these abuses when known. This is an irony that free societies cannot long endure and remain free.
Janice Shadley is a resident of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
From the Aug. 10-16, 2005, issue