Archive for January, 2022

Lesson 617 TV News-Caused Confusion

Today’s TV news organizations inadvertently produce confusion on important topics and issues. Here’s how:

  1. TV news can’t resist the temptation to seize opportunities to increase profits.

2. They add lots of commercials… and even shorten them to cram more into more frequent breaks.

3. They promise new information on previously reported stories… but only change words and pictures.

4. Anchors and reporters talk faster and louder to add drama, cutting stories short, with no context.

5. Anchors are selected with star-potential and are groomed into fashion-conscious celebrities.

6. They point out that the entire story is on their website… but know few viewers will actually go there.

7. Mainstream stations invite opposing experts or politicians to argue… resulting in more confusion.

8. Also opinion-driven stations find commercial success by serving only viewers that agree with them.

To serve the broader public interest, mainstream TV news programs must slow their pace, report complete stories, and provide much more context. In other words, “Lester Holt, the anchor for America” should end.

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Lesson 616 How Civil Wars Start

Prof. Barbara F. Walter explains in her book, “How Civil Wars Start,” that a civil war is very close when really important groups begin to fear losing their power and influence.

A political party, a minority group, a religious group, a current government, a key institution or organization, or even an antigovernment militia group, can be one of those groups.

Right now the leading group in the U.S. is the Republican Party.

Examples elsewhere around the world include Hindi and Muslim groups in India; Shia and Sunni groups in Iraq; Catholics and Protestants in Ireland; Walter lists and explains many more.

In today’s Internet and social media-driven world, Walter explains that civil wars usually begin with groups or inspired individuals making personal attacks… but they often also go on to include street protests, militia wargames or dry-run attacks, labor strikes, targeted assassinations and bombings, and more.

There are many ways to stop modern civil wars… these include finding leaders to call-out and explain over-and-over what’s happening; asking prominent reporters and respected pundits to urgently repeat every day the “democracy in danger” message; offering civics and media literacy education in schools and community groups. Walter’s book lists more.

Walter’s book is an argument that we in the U.S. are very close to a civil war… and it issues a strong warning that this is how other democracies have been lost.

I highly recommend this book… it is very well-researched, and her examples and practical suggestions are all based on historical facts.

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Lesson 615 What Kind Of Nation?

Preserving American democracy must quickly become the President’s primary priority and message.

This message must include legislation to guarantee voting rights.

Other issues must be addressed by other supporters… i.e. COVID confusion and infrastructure.

Political parties and individuals that are creating barriers must be “called-out “aggressively every day… one-by-one, and by name. The democracy threat has become that serious!

Otherwise, history will record that this is the president who didn’t save American democracy.

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