Misconceptions Being Fueled By The Media

Morgan Smith, Online Editor

There’s an unsettling trend in the world of American politics, and it has to be one of the most ironic shifts towards sheer ignorance that this country has ever seen.

At a recent town hall meeting discussing healthcare reform, a woman stood at the podium addressing Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, holding a picture of President Barack Obama including an all too symbolic mustache made famous by quite possibly the most evil man to walk the face of the Earth: Adolph Hitler. Frank, a Jew, took offense to the notion that a piece of legislature that he himself supports resembles something the leader of the Holocaust would do, asking the woman what planet she was from and describing how little he cared to entertain such a thought, comparing her to a “dining room table.’

While Frank’s comedic response will do little to curb any of the ever-growing masses that share the woman’s ideals, it seemed to show the exasperation among lawmakers, who have seen perfectly logical propositions turn into outlandish horror scenarios overnight. It seems like a daunting task to get so many people on board with ideas like these, but in today’s media climate all it takes is a few men with microphones and an agenda that they feel needs to be shoved into the faces of everyone who doesn’t share it.

So when a well known ultra-conservative pundit likens government policies to those of Nazi Germany, people will believe him. When a comedian turned teary-eyed talk show host calls out the democratically elected leader of the free world for being “racist against white people,” people agree with him. When two extremely rich men cry out that they’re being oppressed by a socialist tyrant, people believe them.

It seems, as the great Jon Stewart once said, they’re confusing “oppression” for “losing”. There’s no evidence to suggest that their claims are even remotely true, but that doesn’t seem to matter to people. The television is telling them, rather loudly and angrily, that what they’re saying is God’s honest truth, so they believe it.

Liberals aren’t perfect either. Keith Olbermann has long been a critic of everything the Republican party does, calling for just about every Republican in virtually any position of power to resign from their positions. His brand of criticism, which is an extremely eloquent and condescending one, seems to give the impressions that “Conservative” is the latin word meaning “One without a brain”. While that argument could be made for several of the parties more extreme members, much as it could for the extreme leftists, it is rash to assume that such a generalization encompasses the whole party.

One of the techniques used by great debaters is the “concession”, an admission that there is an exemption from their otherwise spotless views. The media on either side of the argument lack the ability to concede anything, and in the long run that is extremely harmful. Rarely do you see Keith Olbermann say that something President Obama has done is illogically dumb much like you never really see any of the Conservative pundits denounce those who falsely claim that President Obama was born in Kenya.

In times like these, it’s imperative that we understand everything about an issue before we put all of our weight behind it, and that means observing it from all sides. Liberals can’t simply watch Olbermann on MSNBC and expect to know everything about a topic with absolute certainty, much like Conservatives can’t do the same with the Fox News lineup.