Wednesday, September 21, 2016
The following brief essay by Todd Tennis is reprinted with permission:
So I'm driving home listening to Sirius/XM radio and they have an ad for the upcoming presidential debate. Then they go into a pitch that really made me think.
In essence, they said that if you're a conservative, you can listen to XM Patriot. If you're a liberal, you can hear it on XM Progress.
Think liberals are scum? We have a news source for you that reinforces that belief! Think conservatives are fascists? Listen to this station here and we will prove you right!
I've been wondering for a while how it is that so many reasonably intelligent people can believe things about the world and this nation that are so diametrically opposed. It's because information in our society has been separated into two or more very distinct patterns that serve not to illuminate, but to confirm. Not to educate, but to reinforce.
The world is gray, but we are being taught that it is black or white, and anyone who says otherwise is just a filthy rotten liar.
This is how civil wars get started.
Todd Tennis is a county commissioner and partner at Capitol Services, a prominent government relations firm, where he focuses on civil law, labor, public utilities, retirement, education, childcare, consumer protection, tax policy, public benefits and poverty law. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1993. A former aide to a state senator, Todd and his wife, Jacqueline, live in Greater Lansing with their son, Troy.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
|Courtesy Huffington Post|
I whine a lot. Sometimes I get so fractious and frustrated that my wife and kids want nothing to do with me – actually, my kids never want to do anything with me but sometimes Anita does – and I find myself watching television alone. It’s more difficult for them to put distance between us when I’m listening to the car radio but Anita’s equipped everyone with MP3s and ear buds so they’re not without recourse when something perturbs me in the van.
One of the things that really pushes my button is the false equivalence that the media advance during this presidential campaign to keep us watching, reading and thinking the way their corporate overloads want us to. The differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not be starker: he lies more than a rug in a mosque while she’s a tad less than perfect. To hear the white-toothed, perfectly-coiffed teleprompter readers on TV, however, you’d think the candidates are practically indistinguishable except for hair color and genitalia.
This is why I found a recent episode of TBS’s “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” so refreshing. Not only did she skewer the overrated, underwhelming Matt Lauer for his dismal recent interviews with Trump and Clinton – and she’s not the only one; click here to read, “Matt Lauer Fields Storm of Criticism over Clinton-Trump Forum” – but she addressed the false equivalence to which I refer above and described The Orange One so brilliantly that I just have to share it:
“On the one hand, you have the most breathtakingly unqualified ignoramus to ever heave his spray-tanned bulk within striking distance of elected office, a race-baiting, bully who according to two meticulously-researched biographies is a tax-cheating, investor-swindling, worker-shafting, dictator-loving, pathologically-lying, attorneys general-bribing, philandering, mobbed up, narcissistic serial con artist who hasn’t got the attention span to read a fortune cookie much less a fucking intelligence briefing...
...while on the other hand Hillary Clinton used a private e-mail server.
See? Perfectly even.”
Click here and here to see the entire piece (warning: contains colorful language).
I’m not Ms. Bee’s Number One Fan, I don’t watch much TBS and the point that our satirists and comedians are more reliable news sources than the network teleprompter readers has been made. But every once in a while, someone nails it so well, lampoons someone or something so accurately and cleverly that it just has to be disseminated far and wide. This post is me doing my part.
Anita and the kids apparently have no problem with me laughing and cheering because they don’t run out of the room as if the tornado alarm has sounded. This time they have Samantha Bee to thank.
Catch “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. on TBS.
Sources: Vox Media, “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” Rawstory.com.