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Buying the hype hook, line and sinker
Just the facts, ma'am
by Frank Corder
The very conservatives who abhor the liberal, 'lamestream' media for their bias and propaganda style journalism are the ones buying into the overhyped zealotry that has popped up on the far right being loosely labeled as news.

Both are equally as damning to reasonableness in the political process as both only convey the narrative they want you to read or hear. It isn't fair or balanced if it's always one sided, ripe with opinion and short on fact.

Sure, talk radio was the only show in town in the 1990s, but we have the internet now. We can customize our news and research facts without having to take someone’s word for it, no matter who that “someone” is.

Just because a "news story" supports your worldview doesn't mean it's actual news. You still must be willing to look behind the veil even if your principles and values are being stroked by the writer, and whether his/her values are being stroked by someone else.

Such is the case in the Mississippi Senate race, with the prime example being Breitbart's Matt Boyle's political crush on Chris McDaniel, which has been unseemly to say the least. But since the news hole is desperate for content . . . any content . . . it rolls right on up and into the feed with Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Erik Erickson, and the like waiting for the softball. Even Chuck Johnson, the heretofore unknown California pay-to-say Tea Party darling, has found a niche among the fringe as of late.

None of these are from Mississippi yet all of these would have us believe they know more and are better suited to define and dispense conservatism on the masses, as if they have received some ideological ordination to impart their wisdom upon us and we redneck Mississippi conservatives should just fall in line without questioning their motivation or journalistic integrity.

Yet if you know state election law, understand the process and even know the players then you quickly see right through the trumped up, self promoting rhetoric at play. It is less about the cause and more about growing their brand.

And social media feeds their pandering without even realizing it (or you do and just don't care).

Social media has made it all too easy to sit in judgment of our fellow Mississippians during this Republican U.S. Senate race, throwing snarky one liners across feeds like grenades, most based on some spun report or news story from sniping talking heads.

If anything social media has made the Hospitality State less social and less hospitable while at the same time more apt to rush to judgment, facts be damned. And these gotcha far right and far left self-styled "journalists" know how to reel you in and play on those passions and fears to sell themselves.

Gone is any semblance of debate or respectful discourse. It is now the world where opinions no matter how disjointed from fact or common sense find companions in conjecture while vehemently opposing anyone who doesn't share in the hard line, overhyped flare.

The Mississippi Senate race has become the cause célèbre for those who intentionally seek to create a toxic environment for anyone who disagrees with them and it's being propagated by so called news organizations that are practicing the same style of journalism on the far right as they oppose from the far left.

And people are buying it hook, line and sinker with little thought because it feeds their own passionate perspective.

Posted July 11, 2014 - 11:06 am

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