As a blog which attempts to identify the difference between news and opinion — which are not the same — allow us to present last week’s news from three different perspectives: the left, the right, and somewhere in between the two.
From the left:
“Lamar Jackson and the NFL’s Quarterback Double Standard”
“Opioid-maker Purdue Pharma Is Allowed Bonus Payout in Bankruptcy Case”
“Rudy Giuliani Melts Down On Live TV In Bizarre Chris Cuomo Interview”
“‘Urgent Concern’ About the President”
“New Allegations Against Brett Kavanaugh Mean Congress Must Finish What the FBI Started”
From the right:
“A California Court Dealt a Blow to Religious Liberty. It’s Time for SCOTUS to Act.”
“Meghan McCain Leaves ‘View’ Stage after Clashing with Ana Navarro over Whistleblower Reports”
“Betsy DeVos Busts Colleges Misusing Federal Dollars for Anti-Semitic Social Justice Curriculum”
“Ilhan Omar Deletes 2013 Tweet About Her Father”
“Awkward: Colbert Corners Warren on Middle Tax Class Increases, Calls Her Out When She Dodges”
And now from somewhere in between:
“GM Workers On Strike”
“Attacks on Saudi Arabian Oil Sites”
“Colt to End Production of AR-15 Rifles for Personal Use”
“Three Questions: Antonio Brown, the Latest NFL Morality Test”
“For Clues about 2020 Campaign, Look Back to 2004”
[Note: the above headlines are taken from multiple sites, including CNN, FOX News, and NBC — albeit none of the three are quoted in the “somewhere in between.”]
No doubt precisely because of the above glaring disparity, many of us have stopped tuning into the news. The bottom line is that much of what is advertised as news is not. It’s opinion. Opinion and news are not the same. And opinion is not reliable.
What’s the potential motive for the intentional slant? I think it may be misidentified; it may be deeper than a partisan agenda.
Allow me to quote Senator and bestselling author Ben Sasse in Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal (an excellent read, by the way). While openly sharing that he is a Christian, conservative man, Sasse is also not a fan of division and partisanship. [Noting all emphasis is mine] Sasse writes:
“Sean Hannity is good at what he does. So good, in fact, that his daily cable news show is number one nationally, and his daily talk radio show is number two. TV and radio are very different media, but Hannity has mastered both. There’s a reason he reportedly earns a ballpark $40 million annually. You might not like what he’s doing, but it’s definitely on purpose.
So what’s he doing?
He explained the core objective of his two different programs to the New York Times. It’s not to promote a particular conservative agenda, or to encourage American patriotism, or even to offer coherent arguments against liberalism. His core cause is to rage…
Most cable news and talk radio shows today — on both the right and the left — operate this way. The leading programs are orchestrated by executives and personalities who understand well that there’s real money to be made in helping people keep their fears and hatreds aligned.”
So understand what the above headlines are doing. Understand what Sean Hannity, Don Lemon, and Rachel Maddow are doing. Understand what the Drudge Report, Palmer Report, and other biased reports are doing. Their goal is to make you rage — to make you mad and keep your fears and hatreds aligned.
So do you think you know the news?