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Is Anyone Shocked?

As anyone who consistently reads BO Blogs knows, I don’t have a positive view of any of the major news outlets. That goes for all of them. Whether it be CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews or even OAN, I typically don’t trust any of them completely.

Then the videos from Project Veritas break this week of a CNN higher up saying some pretty controversial things.

First things first, good reporting from James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. It seems the videos were taken secretly, and I haven’t heard any rumblings of legal action being taken. So it is safe to assume it was legal. According to sources, the meetings with the CNN employee were set up through matching on Tinder. Which may be the most bizarre way to set someone up for undercover journalism, but hey it worked.

After the initial buzz, I watched most of these videos myself expecting to hear something groundbreaking. Maybe some high level plagiarism or even some cover up of a huge story. I was disappointed to say the least.

In the videos, all I heard was that CNN was putting emphasis on Covid-19 deaths because it brings in more ratings and thus more money.

As I asked in the title of the blog, is anyone shocked by this? A media source emphasizes negative news to inflate its ratings. This is one of the oldest tactics in selling news. People love to be scared. And if they’re already scared, they look to media sources that will confirm their fears. That’s why you see Dr. Fauci on TV all the time ranting about how terrible the Covid situation in this country is. It gets eyeballs on the TV.

And let’s face it, if the news was uplifting and cheery, nobody would watch. They’d be out doing things and spending time with their families. So the media outlets would be dumb not to try and make as much money as possible. The same goes for the other side. There is a hunger for opposition to the mainstream, so FoxNews and the like will show the exact opposite. The right wing media groups bashing the lockdowns and left wing media is negative as well. Sure they put a positive swing on it, but it’s the same exact thing.

I wrote something similar around election time. Read all about that here:

Like it or not, the media as a whole is trying to scare you into watching. The left wing media is trying to scare you into staying home. Saying Covid is killing all these people, so stay home and listen to us. They even put a counter right on the screen to tell you immediately when someone dies. Meanwhile, the right wing media is telling you that the left is taking your freedom. You have to fight back and take your liberty’s back from them. They’re scaring you into watching them, saying that anything else is “fake news.” Full disclosure, it probably is at least a tad fake, but the same tactics are being used.

Not only that, but humans like to be told that we are right. It is actually a psychological phenomenon called confirmation bias. When looking for information on certain topics, we look for things that prove our preconceived notions. It is just something we do naturally. For example, in a sports argument about who is the better player, you look for the stats that prove you right and your friend wrong. When really you should do the opposite to find a truly correct answer.

That is what these news outlets are doing. They aren’t looking for answers, they’re looking for answers that confirm their bias. What’s really unfortunate, is that most people don’t realize this. Folks take either side as gospel and don’t look to confirm things. They just take it as fact.

There’s an old saying, no matter how flat you make a pancake, there is always two sides. I tell this to my students all the time. No matter what, there are always at least two sides to every story. The same goes for the news. To be a truly informed person, you have to look at both sides of everything. It’s tedious, but it needs to be done.

And as always, we need to keep one simple fact in mind. No matter the news outlet, they are in business for one thing and one thing only. To make money. And you watching or reading is how they do it. They’ll do anything to get your eyeballs on their product. Anything.

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