Worse than Politicians by Steve Chase
“I saw that I had been too ready to believe our so-called experts, without trying to find out who they were.” (former) NBC News President Michael Gartner.
We get it…you are incompetent. The public has been bombarded and brainwashed for decades by these condescending egotists in the media. They are the self-anointed elite who decides how news is disseminated and if it doesn’t suit their ideology they’ll just alter it or bury it altogether…and what really gets my blood boiling is when they manufacture the news. The tragedy is that far too many people believe that journalist live in a world of credibility and can be trusted.
I’ve been guilty of that myself. There was a time that I assumed that journalists were reporting hard news without opinions and just providing facts. It took a while but I finally woke up. As the years went by journalists became more and more opinionated and lazy. In the 1980’s and 1990’s major network news organizations were caught red-handed committing outright fraud. For anyone not familiar with this episode the following is a story from 1992 and explains Mr. Gartner’s statement.
“Dateline NBC aired an investigative report on Tuesday, November 17, 1992, titled “Waiting to Explode”. The 60-minute program was about General Motors’ Rounded-Line Chevrolet C/K-Series pickup trucks allegedly exploding upon impact during accidents due to the poor design of fuel tanks. Dateline’s film showed a sample of a low speed accident with the fuel tank exploding. In reality, Dateline NBC producers had rigged the truck’s fuel tank with remotely controlled model rocket engines to initiate the explosion. The program did not disclose the fact that the accident was staged. GM hired Failure Analysis Associates (FaAA, now Exponent) whose investigators studied the film, and discovered that smoke actually came out of the fuel tank six frames before impact. Acting on a tip from someone involved in the Dateline crash test, FaAA investigators searched through 22 junkyards in Indiana before finding the charred wreckage of the GM pickups. It was also later revealed that the Dateline report had been dishonest about the fuel tanks rupturing and the alleged 30-mph speed at which the collision was conducted. The actual speed was found to be higher, around 40 mph, and after x-ray examination of the fuel tanks from the C/K pickups used in the televised collision, it was found that they had not ruptured and were intact. (my note; they used different gas caps and left them loose) GM subsequently filed an anti-defamation/libel lawsuit against NBC after conducting an extensive investigation. On Monday, February 8, 1993, GM conducted a highly publicized point-by-point rebuttal in the Product Exhibit Hall of the General Motors Building in Detroit that lasted nearly two hours after announcing the lawsuit. The lawsuit was settled the same week by NBC, and Jane Pauley read a 3 minute 30 second on-air apology to viewers. Wikipedia, “Dateline NBC”.
NBC was not alone. CBS and ABC were caught pulling the same kind of stunts themselves. The print media is just as bad if not worse but that’s another story.
I reached my limit. I am way beyond ‘trust but verify’ because trust left the building a long time ago. The ONLY time I tune in to one of those networks now is to watch college football. If I see a red-banner news alert I will go to my computer to get the information from other sources. The thing that puzzles me the most however, is how they survived? After being exposed committing fraud? And they are still seen today by millions of people as credible news sources? Simply fire a few people, issue a three and a half minute apology, institute “new” policies, then settle out of court and bury the story…and that is all that’s necessary? It’s disgusting.
I do watch news clips sometimes that are posted on the Internet and I zero in when it is a report on electronic cigarettes. I have seen about a dozen of them that were produced by local affiliates from all over the country and they are ALL very much the same. They have a title like “The truth about electronic cigarettes.” They begin the report by interviewing a retailer to get an explanation of what an ecigarette is. Next in line is a customer to talk about their experiences using the product. Fantastic, so far so good. A great story about an innovative way to quit smoking. Now the reporters need to interview experts from the medical community. On it’s face that is a great idea. Information from a medical perspective to balance out the report. From a Vapers perspective this is where the story heads south like ‘Sherman’s march through Georgia’…and with the same results. The journalists select a doctor or a bureaucrat that is not well versed on the subject or even worse they find a shill from big pharma that is hidden behind the mask of a ‘Save the Children from Smoking’ type advocacy group. Time and time again these “experts” make statements that are negative or wrong or half-true or they just flat out lie about ecigs. One thing they all agree on however is to advise people to use FDA approved methods to quit smoking…I wonder why? What I have yet to see on any of these reports is someone with credentials that disagrees with what their hand picked experts are saying. Since there is no rebuttal the viewer is left with the impression that the advice they are receiving must be the consensus view. The story ends and the result is that the viewing audience is left with a decision to make about whom do they trust…a retailer who is making money selling a product or “experts” who are just trying to save them from a hoax.
The real story here is why the slight of hand? Why is there no follow up questions about the safety and efficacy of the FDA approved products? Why is there no input from an unbiased expert or medical professional that actually knows about the ecigarette or THR? Obviously, that might throw a different light on the subject. I can think of all sorts of possibilities why they would run a hit piece like this, some sinister and some possibly innocent. As an example I will cut them some slack and take evil intent off of the table for the following example…Perhaps they simply have a preconceived notion that the product is bad and it’s up to them to save us hayseeds living out in the sticks from disaster. While they don’t go as far as NBC did rigging a truck to explode I think that the agenda is the same. They are manufacturing the news to fit their ideology. Whatever the reason one thing is clear to me …they are not only incompetent they are actually doing harm to their audience.
The bottom line; Worse than Politicians? No doubt in my mind…at least politicians are elected.
My next blog will be part two on this topic..”Time to go proactive and educate the media”