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A Millennial Response to Deja Vu Article

By On

It scares me to think of the president of the United States turning this country into a police state. The idea of the ‘strong man, taking charge, making the correct changes and using any means needed to bring those changes to reality’, or of this same president deporting millions of people, or increasing government surveillance of citizens, or going after government whistleblowers. Yes, this is terrifying, and it is what President Obama has done for the past 8 years.

In reading your previous article, ‘A proud vote for Hillary Clinton’, and now your article ‘1924 and 1933 - and Deja Vu in 2016’ I am struck by how comfortable you are with the leaders you have chosen, even when they enact policies which go against your purported beliefs. Yet at the same time, you are quick to compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and Mussolini, and warn of the things he might do, even when the things you are warning against are the same things your political party’s candidate has been doing for years (and which your preferred candidate this term, Hillary Clinton, would have no doubt continued).

This brings me to the point of my comment: the incredible bias in our media today, and why it is you, the media establishment who have let down all Americans in such a horrible way.

The media plays a special role in our society. They are the face of the news but they are not supposed to be the news. They aren’t supposed to be part of the story, but rather reporting on the story, as observers, bringing us - the public - the facts. At least this is how it’s supposed to be. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it seems that most of our media has gotten lazy. Rather than digging up facts and giving us a balanced report on what’s going on, they give us their opinion, some sound bytes, and then more opinion. Often times our media tries to portray their opinion as fact - well, of course they may throw in a little disclaimer somewhere stating that it’s just their opinion, but that’s just the fine print, so they continue their news piece with all the vigor as if it was true and not just their own personal view on reality.

As a regular citizen I find it hard to determine what’s real and what’s not. Is what they’re saying on Fox News real? How about MSNBC? Maybe I should be reading Info Wars or WikiLeaks? I thought when I watched the presidential debates I would at least finally be getting some truth, as it was just the candidates there on stage, with a moderator, answering questions that they hadn’t had time to prepare a canned answer for. Oh wait, sorry I forgot - CNN leaked the questions to Clinton before the debates, so even this supposed reality was tainted by our New American Media.

To form a proper opinion a person first needs to know the facts of a situation, considered from all possible sides, before coming to a conclusion. In the past, it seemed that we could turn to our favorite news anchor on one of the mainstream cable networks to get a rundown of the facts, both sides of the story, and then maybe a bit of the news anchor’s personal opinion delicately placed at the end. We would all pick a favorite news station, one that might have a news anchor who came to similar conclusions as ourselves, but the facts were all the same no matter which channel you turned to and all the channels gave us the facts. What we find today in the New American Media is wildly different facts, often in direct conflict with what other channels are reporting, along with so much opinion that we can’t figure out what’s real and what’s not.

This gross media bias has reared its ugly head during this election cycle more than I can ever remember. Watching Fox News gave a completely different story than what was on CNN. Reading news sources online gave equally differing facts, so much so that we have seen the divide between the voting bases of the two parties grow farther apart than ever. Trump supporters are appalled that their friends would vote for Hillary Clinton, a person who lied to Congress and the American people repeatedly regarding her email scandal; a person who was exposed for corrupting the Democratic Party to block Bernie Sanders and all of his supporters from their chances in the primaries; a person who was caught sending agitators to her opponents rallies to incite violence; and a person who is backed by major banks and foreign entities, i.e. Wall Street; and who was exposed for using pay-to-play strategies to make money through her political influence. Meanwhile, Clinton supporters can’t believe that any of their friends would vote for Trump. Surely if you vote for Trump you are a racist, a misogynist and a neo-Nazi. After all, he’s said he will deport millions of people, he’s spoken about women in crass ways and he’s done all the other unsavory things that a big businessman does. Now, I’ve listed a lot of the negatives of these candidates and that’s what’s mostly in the news. No one focuses on the positive, as that seemingly gets fewer views, lower ratings, and less interest. It’s no wonder we have a polarized nation, when our media barrages us with the scariest things they can come up with, often times exaggerated and smothered in opinion which speaks directly to each of us and touches our hearts and fills our minds with terror. It’s no different than the regular news cycle, where every other week we have a new catastrophe coming down on us which clogs up 90% of the time on the news channels, that is until the next big story comes along and the first one is forgotten and left behind, rarely with even a follow up report as it disappears in the rearview.

In reading your article I find that NWCitizen is no better than the rest. Your articles are opinion and use as many comparisons and trigger words as possible in order to incite fear in your readers. You start your most recent article stating that it is a “dire prediction” and you end by stating that Trump’s supporters made an “angry choice.” Your work here only goes to further divide our country. You deepen the wounds that already exist, you put more fear into the minds of people who are already afraid and you use more insulting labels to dehumanize your opponents. You follow the same recipe as the rest of the New American Media. You go for shock value when you lack substance, you profess wisdom when you lack facts. You shirk your responsibilities as a journalist to bring facts and truth to your readers so that they can form their own opinion. You sir, are part of the problem and I have yet to find a news source that is unbiased and does good, honest reporting.

Sincerely,

Joe Blow - aka Whatcom Citizen

32 years old, married with children, small business owner and part of the silent majority that voted for Trump.

Editor note: this anon writer is known to us and allows this to be posted only if we keep them anon. We felt one reply was merited for my Deja Vu article. - John Servais

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Writer • Member since Jun 15, 2008

Comments by Readers

Larry Horowitz

Nov 13, 2016

Dear anon writer,

I agree with much of what you have written; it is difficult to find unbiased, honest reporting.  If you haven’t visited THE INTERCEPT (https://theintercept.com), you might give it a try.  Glenn Greenwald and his colleagues have unique stories and information and seem to have a balanced approach.

I’d like to take a moment to defend Northwest Citizen and publisher John Servais.  I did not agree with John’s opinions in his two articles (and John will tell you he often does not agree with me), but John made it clear that they were his opinions.  More importantly, I’ve never witnessed John refuse to publish articles on all sides of an issue.  Instead, his approach is to go beyond when reaching out for diverse opinions, offering NWC as a platform.  Providing this space for you to disagree with him is a good example.  I appreciate your article and John’s willingness to publish it.  It’s an example of John’s integrity.

Illuminating dark places is often a thankless job, and it’s a great way to lose friends and make enemies.  Those who shine the light ride a volatile, emotional roller coaster, and it’s not easy to remain positive.  I’d only recommend it if you enjoy being marginalized.

John is an illuminator.  We might not always like what he shines his light on, and we may not always agree with his interpretation and views.  A light rarely exposes the entirety of its subject.  But, I believe, John does what he does honestly and with good intention, and I hope he will continue.

 

 

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Dick Conoboy

Nov 13, 2016

I agree with Larry that you might be on thin ice with an overall panning of this site.  The articles certainly do not represent some homogenized mind-set.  When you add comments the homogenization dissipates even further.  So I think your jump from the specific, John’s articles, to the general, we are a divisive force, is not supported by looking at the variety of articles and blog posts. 

If you disagree with posts, make your comments.  Since I do not know who you are, I have no idea if you participate at all in our dialogues.  Not sure why you are hiding but you may want to think that over.  John often does not agree with my articles but he invites me to post nontheless.  Tip often disagrees with me on rental issues and ADUs.  David and I see eye to eye on some topics but I think some of his ideas are not on solid ground. 

As for alternative news sources, there are many and varied.  Larry has mentioned one, The Intercept.  May I add a few others?  Click on the links and make a few bookmarks.  You do not have to read them all, every day.  Check in once in a while and see what some pretty astute people are saying.

Counterpunch

Truthdig

Wall Street on Parade

Democracy Now

Michael Hudson

TomDispatch

Reading and research are the keys.  This is done throughout our lives as we learn more (your facts) and recalibrate our world view.  We find out that some of the so-called facts, are actually fiction.  The problem begins when nothing is recalibrated, like meeting up with the college buddy who seems stuck in a 1960s construct. 

You speak of facts as if all would be well if we had all the facts.  Aside from being an impossible task, facts in and of themselves do not provide a necessary ingredient, context.  It is the job of writers to contextualize and not to propagandize.  Or if they do propagandize, self label the propaganda.

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David Camp

Nov 14, 2016

I also agree with your comments about the mass media, which IMHO are the propaganda apparatus of the corporatist State. But to apply this critique to NW Citizen misses the point - we are not agents of anybody but ourselves - if we truly were what you say, shouldn’t we be getting paid? 

I think your real disagreement is of opinion regarding Trump and Clinton.  Well - we shall see if John’s scary predictions come out - I rather doubt it but if we have another deep recession, all bets are off.

Now - in addition to the sites Larry and Dick mentioned I would add:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/      - run by economists, a pretty solid news aggregator

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

-run by a retired DIA colonel, pretty right-wing, but a terrific source of info on what’s happening in the imperial war zones

Our Republic has morphed into an empire and almost all the corruption and BS in our political life is related to this - just as in Rome, the empire destroyed the Republic and we are very nearly there in the US of A. On an optimistic note, perhaps Mr. Trump will inject some honesty into a political arena characterized by lies and populated by filthy liars.

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