Coronavirus - the ultimate downside of "media"

© 2020 Jim Spence -  On very rare occasions human beings experience epiphanies. It may well be, that in the saddest way imaginable, the Coronavirus has created an earth-shattering epiphany this week.
On the pages of this website, the news media has been taken to the woodshed so many times. And rightfully so. One could run through a litany of reasons why the news media has political biases. We'll save those and another column.
Of course there is more to the term "media" than NEWS media.
We are all too familiar with social media. Of course, it does not stop there. If you have an interest in something, practically anything, there is a designated media outlet for you. Are you into weather? The Weather Channel runs programming 24-7-365. After watching for a little while, you can figure out what the producers of the Weather Channel want you to THINK about, beyond merely the weather.
The list of industries with media outlets is almost endless, Here is a short list: NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Tennis, hunting and fishing, regional sports, horse racing, food, ethnic, local, Spanish language, shopping, Hollywood, pay per view, history, science, geography, national sports (Fox, ESPN, CBSSN, NBCSN), science fiction, women’s programming, movies, international, geography, travel, reality shows, music, military, children’s programming, cartoons, babies, Christian, Jewish, Mormon, Muslim, and criminal justice. Again, all the companies running these channels want you to keep watching. What media operators in all genres want above all else, is that you stayed tuned in. Accordingly, any time there is the potential for a huge damaging storm, count on the Weather Channel to get you as fearful as possible by predicting the strong potential for catastrophe. Often when the Golf Channel is not covering players and tournaments, the commentators are stirring controversy. It all makes sense. Why would anyone want to watch shows on golf 24-7, if you didn’t have some pundit making the case for why you should have a strong opinion on Rory McElroy, Tiger Woods, or whoever?
What about news? News outlets are now naked advocates for their political views. Almost all NON-political stories are re-shaped for political purposes. Democrats have several networks that reflect their partisan viewpoints exclusively in virtually EVERY segment they run. While they still call themselves news channels, on a full-time basis, CNN and MSNBC plus several lower profile networks, offer a steady drumbeat of pro-Democrat opinion disguised as news reports.
Republicans were slow to react to this trend that completely mixes news with politics. But no more. Fox News, as well as upstart networks like Newsmax and One American Network offer stories inside the pro-GOP wrapper.
What does this all mean? Above all else, it means consumer beware. And consumers are wary. Americans understand that very little in the way of unvarnished facts ever gets through the political filters.
One might shrug and find this to all be true, but mostly harmless. Let us beg to differ.
This perplexing situation has created a lethal problem where Coronavirus is concerned. So tired of being manipulated are viewers, that most certainly it is now very difficult for many Americans to determine precisely how accurate the reports on this virus are. Many believe it is all political. Can you blame them?
Americans have seen so many flu and virus scares come and go. However, only the coverage of this virus has been presented as a pandemic that will result in total catastrophe. This angle is presented despite the fact that more people die in traffic accidents in two days worldwide than have been killed by the virus since it was discovered many months ago. More people are dying in America's inner city violence than are dying from Coronavirus. Just check the homicide stats in Chicago and Baltimore for a small sample.
And it is with these simple facts, that we see the great scandal associated with CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, and most of the major newspapers in America. So obvious has been their efforts, virtually all of their efforts, to destroy Trump and return Democrats to the White House, that a very large portion of the nation does not believe a word they say.
Many Americans believe based on all they have seen, that these outlets listed above are perfectly willing to scare the global economy into complete shut down, in the hopes that the voters will blame Trump and vote Democrat.
This is the ultimate downside of political obsessions leading to wave after wave of unreliable news reports. Because nobody can be trusted, we are all at risk. And our economy will surely suffer now,  whether this latest scare is real or mostly phony.
Even more sad, those engaged in these deceptions do not care about the impact, and will not reform themselves.
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