Archive for December, 2019

Lesson 528 Religion, Politics and Media

The founding fathers debated the role of religion in their republic at some length. There were many opinions. Eventually, keeping “church and state” separate,” with the promise of freedom of expression for all faiths, was their conclusion. This was based on analyzing the experience of other governments.

Today, the direct involvement of some denominations in the political process is a source of serious social and political division.

Media revolutions have also influenced religious denominations in different ways. For the most part, mainstream denominations have been slow to use television and social media platforms effectively. This no doubt is because the formats of their traditional worship services do not adapt to television and new media easily.

Evangelical groups, however, have been quick to use television and other media platforms to extend their reach to mass audiences, and to bring more vitality to their overall religious experiences.

Indeed, the impact of both media and politics on religion in America has been significant. Even whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays has become an issue.

So whatever your faith, I wish you and your family the very best!


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Lesson 527 Impeached Forever

Impeached forever. That is a fact. The constitution gave that authority to the House of Representatives.

From a communication perspective, what is clear now is that no matter what happens next, the Democrats will continue to investigate the President’s chaotic dictator behavior through all of next year, and the case against him will likely grow.

The President has been impeached. And in this digital media world that will ring loud and clear for a very long time.

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Lesson 526 News Media Temptations

The media revolution ecosystem was a major producer of gridlock in Congress and divisions in society. These divisions have actually been good for the news business.

Many national television and print organizations are more profitable than ever. Here are some of the temptations they face:

  1. Many TV news organizations have given-in to temptations to increase ads, to shorten serious reports, to add lighter and more entertaining stories, and to repeat over and over those that have emotional appeal.
  2. They have also focused more on developing celebrity anchors and reporters.
  3. In addition, mainstream news has not yet figured out how to report lies and tribal divisions without appearing to favor one side or the other… as retired co-founder of PBS’s News Hour explained on CNN’s Reliable Sources.
  4. Also, watching professionally directed events and crises on TV is a much different experience than being there live. News can easily be turned into exciting drama.

Right now, everyone in the news business should be feeling a “freedom of the press” obligation to curtail commercial temptations and focus mostly on reporting truth. Maybe they should also spend some of their recent profits on funding media and civic literacy education in schools and communities.

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Lesson 525 Disinformation Wins Again

When argument becomes word-salad confusion, debate hearings become boring and people tend to tune them out. So impeachment based on what happened in Ukraine is now beside the point. Disinformation in this new media world can win, and it did again this week. On Ukraine, Congress today remains in a swamp.

The overall big concern now must be… continuing dictatorial behavior, and the public’s fear of unstable handling of increasing domestic violence and deadly conflicts with other countries.

Can a growing autocracy be compatible with the U.S. Constitution? Read it and decide for yourself. A possible dictatorship, or a democratic republic?

When all is said and done, no matter your political affiliation, a “save-the-constitution” candidate win in 2020 is all that matters.  

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Lesson 524 Focus On 2020

Forget the current impeachment “word-salad” confusion… and FIND THE BEST CANDIDATE…

one who will stick to explaining 6 basic talking points, while sounding totally confident and decisive:

  1. Develop a simple explanation for any and all personal controversies. (For example, for a son on the board of a controversial organization… simply state that he makes his own decisions and has broken no laws. And also give examples of adversaries’ questionable activities)
  2. Offer a constitution-inspired vision for the future of the nation... and explain U.S. Constitution basics.
  3. Offer a plan for health care for all, keeping a private coverage option.
  4. Focus on climate change… especially carbon neutral initiatives, clean water, and air.
  5. Explain the behaviors and dangers of dictatorships... and give examples of current crazy outbursts.
  6. Propose a nationwide literacy and civic education project… to help future voters understand how to deal with social media created confusion. (Richard Stengel in his book Information Wars points out that major media organizations could easily afford the hundreds of millions of dollars it would cost to sponsor such a project in schools and community organizations).

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Our Communication Dilemma…

Information clutter and widespread public confusion are the result of ongoing media revolutions and have become the norm for most of us. The recent House hearings featuring expert constitutional lawyers did little to change that.

The only immediate recourse is to compare the words and behaviors of our current chief executive with how our founders explained the American democratic republic and its’ protections in the U.S. Constitution.

Finding truth inside constant information clutter will take time, and will require a major public media literacy education initiative. 

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