Newscasters are in the business of delivering the news that is approved by their corporate masters for your delectation. Please note that the news being delivered is, as often as not, false. A news anchor could say anything with a straight face. If there are two takes on a news story, regardless if one of them is flat out wrong and stupid, both will be given equal weight. Some examples:
- 2016 has been the hottest year on record vs. There is no global warming.
- A small minority of Arabs are jihadists vs. All Arabs are terrorists.
- Coal is a major pollutant vs. We need to put more coal miners to work.
- We don’t need to import more oil if we develop wind and solar power sources vs. We need to drill, Baby, drill!
This elevation to respectability of crackpot points of view is usually referred to as Fair and Balanced Reporting. I prefer to think of it as abrogation of responsibility to discriminate between what is true and what is considered desirable by the lunatic fringe.
I have posted many blogs recommending that people do not watch or listen to news programing, especially if they are easily influenced by what appears to be blatant attempts to influence your thinking. During the upcoming Trump presidency, Americans will be told blatant lies, frequently self-contradictory. The strategy is known as gaslighting, in which an alternative reality is created to neutralize potential opposition.
Most at risk are people who tune in on the same news program every night.