If you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth

© 2020 Jim Spence - My father was a trial lawyer. He loved to go to court. And he often defended criminals who were guilty as sin or argued for dubious personal injury claims.
It is no secret that most lawyers are relatively clever people. They are trained in law schools all over the nation to argue in favor of things they do not actually believe. Twisting the minds of juries, is the ultimate goal of any lawyer who represents a client who has a weak case based on the “facts” and the “truth.”
Clearly most lawyers embrace the mindset of the ancient Roman Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate. Pilate asked of Jesus when he was brought before the governor, “What is truth?” Pilate did not ask what is “the” truth? Instead, he asked, what "is" truth? It was a very cynical question, indicating that Pilate believed there are always more than one valid version of the “truth.” This indicates Pilate felt the idea of "truth" was so malleable, the term itself, was a misnomer.
The beauty of governing Judea for Pilate was that “truth” was whatever Rome said it was. And by proxy, Pilate himself, thanks to his appointment by the emperor of Rome, could unilaterally decide truth, and take any action he deemed necessary for the benefit of the state, based on his arbitrary findings.
Until recently, Americans, living in a free nation, with democratically elected governors, and constitutional protections, enjoyed a life where it was more difficult for a would-be Pontius Pilate to simply issue edicts that have the same effect as “law,” without first persuading legislatures to pass laws.
Fortunately for those making an effort to be intellectually honest, history is replete with famously truthful men and women who understood the dangers of all power seeking politicians who are adept at peddling falsehoods disguised as truth. Ardent free-market capitalist Ayn Rand comes to mind as being in this camp, as do two famous socialists, Mahatma Gandhi and George Orwell, who also understood how oppression though manipulation works.
It is telling that we can readily find a capitalist and two socialists who were both able to produce profoundly wise observations on the importance of assigning virtue to facts and truth. All three were witnesses to ways in which the state used the media to produce propaganda and manipulate facts to produce the desired political outcomes.
In response to a cynical reporter who was commenting on the difficulty of overcoming the vast powers of the state to suppress facts, Mahatma Gandhi said, "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.” It was Gandhi’s way of reminding the reporter that even if the vast majority of the public is deluded, this does not alter the truth.
George Orwell said, when commenting on the astonishing power contained in state sponsored propaganda, “Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
It is naive to think these processes, which are fundamental to power seeking human beings, are not present all around us.
In America, while the details of how journalism schools influence students these days are endless, it is a pity that from the top of management to bottom level reporters, the news media is a business that is 70% political advocacy and 30% show business. For several decades media outlets such as CNN, NBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, have abandoned best practices in journalism. Instead of a honest search to determine and report only facts, these organizations routinely follow pre-determined narratives and produce infomercials for Democrats.
Alternatively, in recognition of a neglected market, based on narrative based infomercial operations at CNN, NBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, Fox News pounced on the under-served GOP segment more than twenty years ago. The market was wide open and Fox grabbed half the viewers.
This begs many questions for independents. In this polarized advocacy and show biz-based media environment: 1) What is the truth? 2) How do we sort out news coverage for facts when Fox presents one version and CNN, NBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post present a total contradiction?
Tearing human minds to pieces and putting those minds together again in new shapes of the media outlet's choosing ALSO means engaging in selective reporting. The omitting of stories that cannot be easily modified is a common practice associated with producing infomercials.
Take the recent fiasco this week related to Joe Biden’s comments on black voters. Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out if you’re for me or for Trump, you ain’t black.”
Many of the news outlets (except Fox) simply omitted reporting on this outrageous statement, which essentially suggests that authentic blacks are a one-size-fits-all group of monolithic thinkers. Biden was indicating he thought, real black Americans are 100% ALIKE when it comes to political philosophy and vote casting. It was such a condescending statement it could not be made to fit the pro-Biden narrative. So, CNN, NBC, NPR, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post mostly omitted coverage or worked feverishly after the fact, to mitigate the implications.
The independent thinker must survey a wide range of reports rather than look to the same biased news sources dominating the American media landscape. In previous columns, it has been suggested that Donald Trump will capture an unusually large portion of the black vote that will spell doom for Democrats. As many black voters, like other independent voters, seek the truth through the surveying of multiple news media outlets, many will reject Biden's atrocious stereotyping of an entire race. Nobody has to "like" Trump to understand the dangers of those who try to control voters like Biden.
Several fundamental facts emerge from this discussion. The most important are these: 1) The vast majority of lawyers are like Pilate. They will vote for Joe Biden, 2) If you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.