Is it possible to avoid hyperbole on social media? Can you avoid it from traditional media?
It is getting increasingly difficult to find objective information. Everyone is upping the ante on hysteria either to get attention or because they forgot their meds. I have never seen anyone change his or her belief system because of a social media post. Sensationalism creates a bigger chasm between objectivity and subjectivity.
The extremes used to reside on the fringe but now the fringe is the middle. Former president Obama divided the nation along racial lines and his loathing for law and order was evident by his support of criminals over the police. President Trump seems to be swinging the pendulum the other way. Neither extreme is optimal.
More damage occurs through ignorance than malice. We all know the President’s supporters and detractors in our circle of friends. We tune them out because we know their bias. I like facts and focus on policy not person. But there are those out there who believe everything they read without researching or understanding the facts.
There used to be three sides to every story. Their side, your side and the truth. There are still three sides but now it’s the Liberal side, the Conservative side and the truth.
Let’s look at the two hot issues of the day. The temporary ban on refugees and the wall.
The Liberal media is spinning the temporary ban as an unconstitutional executive order that discriminates against Muslims, which is un-American. Meanwhile, the Conservative spin is that President Trump is saving America from extremists who want to kill all Americans
The Liberal media will bombard us with stories of families being broken up, the separation of spouses, and refugees being killed in their homeland because they were unable to escape. The Conservative media will blast us with stories of the return of law and order, how Americans are taking back our country and promote instances where terrorists were captured because of better vetting procedure.
A fun fact: The policy is similar to what former President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. In addition, the seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. I do not recall such an outcry in 2011.
What is being ignored is we need better vetting to stop terrorists from coming into this country by posing as refugees or overstaying their visas. That is the bottom line. Everything else is noise.
The Liberal spin contends the wall proves President Trump is a racist who hates Latinos. He is a heartless person intent on destroying families and condemning impoverished Mexicans to a life with no hope of advancing. The Conservative spin is President Trump is saving jobs for Americans, improving tax dollar allocation and making the nation safer from a criminal element.
The Liberal media will hit you with sob stories of Mexicans being deported leaving their children alone in America. We’ll also see stories “proving the executive order is not preventing illegal immigration complete with quotes from border patrol. You will also see stories of legal immigrants fearing for their safety. What you will not see is stories of families the incarcerated illegal aliens destroyed through their crimes.
The Conservative media will focus on the deportation of illegal aliens with criminal records and suggesting it makes America safer by default. It will tout more Americans working at jobs previously occupied by the illegal immigrants. There will also be stories from legal immigrants saying they are happy about the wall and talking about their journey to citizenship. Those stories will also come complete with quotes.
A fun fact: Former President Clinton proposed the same toughening of immigration laws to deport illegal immigrants in 1995. He said, “We are a nation of immigrants but we are also a nation of laws.” The difference is when former President Clinton said it the media treated him as a savior for working Americans but call President Trump a racist for saying the same thing.
The reality is immigration laws have been treated as suggestions the past 16 plus years so Republicans can get cheap labor and Democrats can get votes. Simply enforcing the laws is a step in the right direction. I do not know anyone who objects or disagrees with immigration. We are against illegal immigration. There is a difference.
In both issues, the media is not trying to inform; it’s trying to persuade. That is not journalism.