What Happened to Real News?

12-Oct-16

I rarely watch TV and when I do it is typically Netflix or HBO due to my strong aversion to commercials and my therapist’s recommendation not to watch the news. The news, I have found, causes me so much anxiety and anger that it is simply unhealthy for my mental well-being.

Due to the upcoming election though I have felt a civic responsibility to keep my pulse on the candidates and all the dysfunction that has ensued. I have watched both the presidential debates and last night, for some reason, decided to watch…the news.

On PBS station KQED 9. Public Broadcasting Network. Paid for by viewers like me. Right?

I thought that PBS must be an unbiased, legitimate news source. After watching just thirty minutes I am certain that is NOT the case at all.

The news program is called NBR and they were interviewing Kelly Ann McConnell, Trumps campaign manager. The topic of the interview, to no one’s surprise, was the hot mic scandal that erupted last Friday prior to the second debate.

It was difficult to stomach but I listened on. Hearing anyone, ANYONE, equate Trumps actions to those of Hillary Clinton is such a glaringly ignorant red-herring I cannot understand how the American people lap it up like warm cream. Yet, they do. Even worse…is the smug ‘warm cream’ mustache dripping with ignorance as the public chides Clinton for things she is (1) not guilty of and (2) has no basis of proof outside of the now famous sentiment of “I hear things”.

The program continued to report from Moscow and played a clip of Putin denouncing both Trump and Clinton during a press conference. Leaked emails on WikiLeaks were already exposed as fake and falsified, yet NBR ran the story as if the emails were factual and incriminating evidence of wrongdoing on Clinton’s part.

This, as was the entire news “Program”, was not news, but political theater at best. At worst, a horrible misrepresentation of the facts. Or the truth.

I listened on.

Next story: Coverage of Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpfs $134M forced retirement and announcement that Tim Sloan is replacing Stumpf as CEO.

The news outlets financial correspondent cites that “Stumpf withstood questioning during a Senate hearing” which made me laugh out loud having watched the hearing first hand. Stumpf withstood nothing and I found this to be a clearly misleading statement. Stumps standard response to each and every question put before him was “I Don’t Know”. As a CEO pulling in millions in wages, bonuses, and other financial “incentives” how do you ‘not know’ anything about the company you are running, its guiding policies and procedures, and basic commercial operations.

This is a GLARING example of how NO ONE deserves the wages and bonuses made by these CEOs. If a person is making an income above $500k and answers any Senate question with “I Don’t Know” you are grossly overpaid and should not only be dismissed immediately but forfeit any bonuses or other excessive financial incentive based on job performance.

There is not a point to this post – only my random observation that the news outlets cannot be trusted to provide us, the general public, with useful, truthful, informative reporting on local and national matters of interest. And that is just the terrifying reality of our world today.

 

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