I asked you to imagine I had a magic wand that would make Troy Smith agree with my opinions. Now, I want you to imagine my magic wand would work on everyone. Imagine I could make the entire population believe what I wanted them to believe. Imagine I could shape every thought and every emotion. It seems hard to imagine and a bit ridiculous. Unfortunately, there are several magic wands out there that are almost that powerful. Between the internet, traditional broadcast media, and written media there is an awesome, almost magical, power that is being abused. Most individuals who see it just blame those wielding that power, but I don’t blame them. I blame those of you who blindly swallow what is being fed to you. We fail to teach and utilize discernment. We teach students how to consume information but ignore teaching them how to evaluate that information. Not all information is equal, and not every fact helps to reveal the truth. What authority or qualifications do I have for you to accept my words? As you read that, you realize I am right. Then you turn on your television or computer and blindly accept every syllable of excrement that is blasted at you. Why do you naively accept it? I have seen devout Christians question every word from their priest or pastor then faithfully present as fact some nonsense they heard on television or read online.
Harry Truman was lucky to have run for president in 1948. If his election had been today, he might not have become president. The Chicago Daily Tribune was so convinced that Thomas Dewey would win the election that they printed and released their Nov. 3, 1948, edition with a front-page headline that read “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Thankfully, Dewey conceded the election, and other media outlets reported the actual results. Today, the ideas of independent journalism and journalistic integrity have long been replaced by biased, targeted, and uniform media. Fox News shows examples of this by presenting clips from news organizations repeating the exact words of a Democratic Party spokesperson without questioning the validity of the statement or offering a counterpoint of any kind. Hypocritically, Fox News does almost the exact same thing with a Republican perspective. My father believes he can buy an electric scooter for $49 because he sees an ad on Facebook. The information we consume is supposed to be filtered. The government, politicians, mainstream media, and big tech all believe that they should be that filter. They want to control what information is available. They want to control you! You should be your own filter, and you should question every sliver of information you consume. You wouldn’t eagerly eat unrecognizable food in a filthy restaurant. Well, there are plenty of roaches and rats in mass media and politics. The internet is a powerful tool that can be a beacon of communication, but it is also an excrement-filled sewer. You must evaluate and discern what information you will consume, and which facts are useful.
I wish I knew why people so blindly accept what is presented to them in mass media. Even more, I just wish that they didn’t. My children see a poll on television that says presidential approval is at 41 percent, and they believe that 59 percent of the population agree on a different person for president. I see the same report and start to question the accuracy of the poll based on the sample size and recognize that disapproval does not equate to agreement on an alternative. Information without context and vetting is useless and could be dangerous. Challenge the information presented to you and demand unfiltered access. We live in a media-driven age. Almost any information is accessible. We should be the most informed generation, but you must think for yourself!
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