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misteraven

Mainstream Media: Agenda driven or just ignorant human error?

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Alright people, probably should do this as part of my "Weigh In" series, but its already pretty close to the first one so screw it, making this a normal discussion topic. Should also go into the news section, and maybe I'll move it later, but for now, it's in Channel 0 since I'm already in here half the time.

 

Topic: Is the mainstream media most often agenda driven or are the obvious omissions (at least if you actually know the topic they're reporting on) misleading to plain old ignorance and human error?

 

*Yes, I know we're making blanket statements and in almost every case, there are will always be exceptions... But seeing how often this seems to happen, it appears more the rule than the exception. So onwards...

 

Subject:

Florida Didn't Run FBI Background Checks on Gun Buyers for a Year Because of a Forgotten Login

https://gizmodo.com/florida-didnt-run-fbi-background-checks-on-gun-buyers-f-1826701317

 

So knowing a fair bit on this topic, a few glaring omissions jumped out. If it was a rare occurrence I'd just ignore it, but literally nearly 10 out of 10 times, there's major details that end up somehow left out, that in my opinion would likely shift the takeaway from the article for most people. At the very least, it diffuses it to just being a whatever type news entry versus the urgent WTF type click bait it's being published as.

 

So, now for the crucial bits that we're omitted despite the fact that lots of stats are quoted making it seem like a well researched authoritative article (never mind that the guy that wrote is a "night time and weekend editor"...

 

Here's some facts:

 

- In the United States, it is Federal Law that purchasing a gun from a commercial dealer requires an FBI NICs check for every single purchase. Regardless of any prior purchase, license or military / LEO service.

 

- True that at the Federal level, private transfers do not require NIC's checks, but most private sales also occur online and to send a gun, you need to do it through an FFA (Federally Licensed gun dealer), which in turn does require a NICs background check.

 

- 15 States (out of 50) have Constitutional Carry legislation, meaning you do not need any sort of licensing to own and carry a firearm as recognized by the Second Amendment in those states, which means no background checks to carry, considering you already need one to buy the gun to begin with.

 

- 25 more States are in the process of voting on legislation to institute Constitutional Carry. If less than half of these pass, it would mean that more than half the states in the USA would allow you to own and carry a firearm without requiring an additional license. Again, you still get background checked with every purchase.

 

- Several states, ironically the ones often with the worst gun violence issues), have their own State background checks and / or gun registration, in addition to the Federally Required check. California for example, actually now requires most guns to be registered, as does Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois. Hawaii requires all guns to also be licensed, which means that all these states keep specific record of who has guns and what address those guns are located in, which is illegal at the Federal level.

 

-------------------------

 

So in the article above, the author is stating that several hundred thousand guns fell through the cracks in Florida and implying that this is an extremely alarming issue. It's up to the reader to catch the fact that these aren't guns that were issues, but rather licenses to carry. Nowhere in the article does it state that those seeking to get a carry permit, already underwent background checks to purchase or that statistically, those that actually have permits are the absolute lowest probability of people to commit firearms related crimes or any crime in general other than active law enforcement.

 

No doubt, we can split hairs in regards to syntax and nuance, but I think 99% of the people reading that article would be outraged over the current state of gun ownership / control in America and assume that this is indeed the epidemic they keep hearing about. Never mind that gun related murder in the USA is not in the top 15 causes of death in America... That if we were to remove Maryland, Illinois, Louisiana and California for the gun murder statistics (Each of these being among the strictest states in the USA in regards to legal gun ownership), that the USA suddenly becomes one of the top 3 safest countries in the western hemisphere... Or that with very few exceptions, according to the FBI violent crime stats, violent crime and assault / murder committed by firearms, have been on a year over year decline for most of the last 4 decades. (Ironically or coincidently depending on your position on the subject, one of the major exceptions to this were the years of the assault weapon ban under the Clinton administration. Not ironic is that when the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, firearms deaths again declined.)

 

In any case, I'm still pretty amazed by what passes for news and also pretty blown away by how few people bother to read up a little on these topics, especially when they're often on the 24/7 news cycles for weeks at a time and prompt multi city protests. (How those are organized and funded will be great content for another thread).

 

Anyhow, though I'd put this out there. Granted gun control / freedom happens to be a topic I know and is indeed the vehicle being used here to make a larger point in regards to the integrity of current day news and the dynamic that exists in our current society for consuming it, as well as a severe lack of critical thinking, applying rhetoric or non-emotional, evidence based dialogue and debate.

 

Thoughts on this?

 

cc: @6Pennies @glorydays

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While there is 'freedom of press' I think it's pretty well known that most forms of media are backed by people who push their view/agenda in multiple ways, although I doubt the average member of the publc considers this as they are being hit with headlines. I imagine that people do gravitate toward news sources that reflect their views but still, you can't just eat what's put in front of you because it was put there. Probably helps to have a basic understanding of statistics, science, etc. as well, not sure how many people have that. You can always find a study or some stats to support your views, and if not, someone will make one that does and then do a news story on it. Anyhow, news is painfully agenda driven and biased for sure.

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True, but I don't think it requires any type of special background. Healthy skepticism, particularly when there's any chance of bias, as well as the ability to look shit up and have even a basic understanding of the integrity of the source, should be freakin fundamental if you can rum more than a handful of brain cells together. Pulling stats of organizations that lobby one way or another is obviously a waste. Pulling stats from any type of news article is a waste (and in fact, what we're discussing here)... Not saying it's a full proof once you track a source to its origin, but I'd assume most people would recognize that the FBI stats on violence, which is the origin of all those crime stats, might be considered the official record.

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I think about it from a cause and effect perspective. People are generally uninformed about anything that isn't a personal interest of theirs, and have an appetite for confirmation bias. I don't know if I can blame the media for having left/right confirmation bias buffets in print and media when it's their audience they cater to. I get annoyed by all of them, even the NY Times, Vice, etc. They've all dumbed down.

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True re: people being uniformed, or at least less informed, on what is not personal.

Raven you're giving people too much credit, sometimes they just want to be told the news and don't have the time/energy/resources to look up the facts on their own. Even then, you still have to consider the source of your facts.

Not sure there is much in the media that isn't agenda driven on some level. Even how the news is produced, like they always try to end the news with a feel good story. Even the comics in the newspaper.

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I feel what you’re saying and reflecting back on past work places can see how easy it is to conclude that most people are dumbasses. But, I also believe there’s been a ongoing effort for decades to condition people towards falling in line, not questioning the world around them and certainly towards the binary dichotomy we see globally that clearly and effectively preserves the status quo in regards to political power and wealth.

 

But still, how can people just keep grinding away and assuming that eventually they’ll see a different result?

 

I usually see this quote attributed to Einstein, but has a ton of truth regardless of who spoke it first:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

 

In any case, circling back to the topic and bridging it back to the foundation of the vehicle (2nd Amendment) I’m using here to criticize news and the mainstream media, I really see the genius of what the founding fathers created with the Bill of Rights.

 

If we’re mostly at a consensus that on average, people are misinformed or ignorant/ incapable or simply too busy grinding out their existence to give a shit, then it’s even more alarming that it’s kargely the same group marching to change laws and voting on topics and politicians that are creating new laws, interpreting existing ones and governing more and more of our individual lives, relationships, freedoms, property, etc.

 

Here’s a quote that’s always resonated with me and seems as relevant (if not more so) today as the day it was spoken:

 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

 

- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

 

What’s amazing is that he was obviously a key figure in establishing our form of government, that even back then, they realized this and especially, how many people in the USA actually believe that our system of government is a democracy.

 

Here’s another great one by Thomas Jefferson:

 

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.

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Alright people, probably should do this as part of my "Weigh In" series, but its already pretty close to the first one so screw it, making this a normal discussion topic. Should also go into the news section, and maybe I'll move it later, but for now, it's in Channel 0 since I'm already in here half the time.

 

Topic: Is the mainstream media most often agenda driven or are the obvious omissions (at least if you actually know the topic they're reporting on) misleading to plain old ignorance and human error?

 

*Yes, I know we're making blanket statements and in almost every case, there are will always be exceptions... But seeing how often this seems to happen, it appears more the rule than the exception. So onwards...

 

Subject:

Florida Didn't Run FBI Background Checks on Gun Buyers for a Year Because of a Forgotten Login

https://gizmodo.com/florida-didnt-run-fbi-background-checks-on-gun-buyers-f-1826701317

 

So knowing a fair bit on this topic, a few glaring omissions jumped out. If it was a rare occurrence I'd just ignore it, but literally nearly 10 out of 10 times, there's major details that end up somehow left out, that in my opinion would likely shift the takeaway from the article for most people. At the very least, it diffuses it to just being a whatever type news entry versus the urgent WTF type click bait it's being published as.

 

So, now for the crucial bits that we're omitted despite the fact that lots of stats are quoted making it seem like a well researched authoritative article (never mind that the guy that wrote is a "night time and weekend editor"...

 

Here's some facts:

 

- In the United States, it is Federal Law that purchasing a gun from a commercial dealer requires an FBI NICs check for every single purchase. Regardless of any prior purchase, license or military / LEO service.

 

- True that at the Federal level, private transfers do not require NIC's checks, but most private sales also occur online and to send a gun, you need to do it through an FFA (Federally Licensed gun dealer), which in turn does require a NICs background check.

 

- 15 States (out of 50) have Constitutional Carry legislation, meaning you do not need any sort of licensing to own and carry a firearm as recognized by the Second Amendment in those states, which means no background checks to carry, considering you already need one to buy the gun to begin with.

 

- 25 more States are in the process of voting on legislation to institute Constitutional Carry. If less than half of these pass, it would mean that more than half the states in the USA would allow you to own and carry a firearm without requiring an additional license. Again, you still get background checked with every purchase.

 

- Several states, ironically the ones often with the worst gun violence issues), have their own State background checks and / or gun registration, in addition to the Federally Required check. California for example, actually now requires most guns to be registered, as does Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois. Hawaii requires all guns to also be licensed, which means that all these states keep specific record of who has guns and what address those guns are located in, which is illegal at the Federal level.

 

-------------------------

 

So in the article above, the author is stating that several hundred thousand guns fell through the cracks in Florida and implying that this is an extremely alarming issue. It's up to the reader to catch the fact that these aren't guns that were issues, but rather licenses to carry. Nowhere in the article does it state that those seeking to get a carry permit, already underwent background checks to purchase or that statistically, those that actually have permits are the absolute lowest probability of people to commit firearms related crimes or any crime in general other than active law enforcement.

 

No doubt, we can split hairs in regards to syntax and nuance, but I think 99% of the people reading that article would be outraged over the current state of gun ownership / control in America and assume that this is indeed the epidemic they keep hearing about. Never mind that gun related murder in the USA is not in the top 15 causes of death in America... That if we were to remove Maryland, Illinois, Louisiana and California for the gun murder statistics (Each of these being among the strictest states in the USA in regards to legal gun ownership), that the USA suddenly becomes one of the top 3 safest countries in the western hemisphere... Or that with very few exceptions, according to the FBI violent crime stats, violent crime and assault / murder committed by firearms, have been on a year over year decline for most of the last 4 decades. (Ironically or coincidently depending on your position on the subject, one of the major exceptions to this were the years of the assault weapon ban under the Clinton administration. Not ironic is that when the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire, firearms deaths again declined.)

 

In any case, I'm still pretty amazed by what passes for news and also pretty blown away by how few people bother to read up a little on these topics, especially when they're often on the 24/7 news cycles for weeks at a time and prompt multi city protests. (How those are organized and funded will be great content for another thread).

 

Anyhow, though I'd put this out there. Granted gun control / freedom happens to be a topic I know and is indeed the vehicle being used here to make a larger point in regards to the integrity of current day news and the dynamic that exists in our current society for consuming it, as well as a severe lack of critical thinking, applying rhetoric or non-emotional, evidence based dialogue and debate.

 

Thoughts on this?

 

cc: @6Pennies @glorydays

 

The media will always conflate a non-existant issue. The media will also target those who are not only uninformed, but live in a bubble of "repetitive social mores". These citizens usually live in a hyper-liberal bubble, surrounded by people who confess the same old platitudes, and are not open to adapting to these changes. It's just as bad for conservatives who don't adapt to progressive changes.

 

The news, though, hasn't always been the evil money grubbers that they are known for being today. There was definitely a time before google when the news gave straight talk, no non-sense daily events. But with everything being bought out and being assimilated to larger corporate entities, the "truth" has been lost in whatever dogma the corporation focuses on. So I give credit to those who are actually on the ground just pointing their camera in the right direction. Not talking, no talking points, just pure unadulterated video of whatever is happening. We will never get back what the media started as.

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Crazy that so much isn't even hidden, but just flagrant and in plain site... Like seeing who actually own much of the media specifically and how many are also major donors, lobbyists or public about specific agendas and then seeing how the media platforms they own are so completely aligned with that same belief / agenda. Yet somehow, so many still take it at fave value.

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Related quote I just came across from Mandela: "...newspapers are only a poor shadow of reality; their information is important to a freedom fighter not because it reveals the truth, but because it discloses biases and perceptions of both those who produce the paper and those who read it."

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Posted (edited)

Most Americans would trade every last bit of freedom they had, if they thought it would only effect a demographic they're currently not a part of. That's why things like prostitution, drug use, suicide, gambling, and writing your name on a blank wall that's supposedly owned by the public is illegal. Further supporting this claim, human driven vehicles have killed between 30 to 50,000 people a year since I was born, yet that's considered a necessary part of life. We could easily adjust into more compact, urban living, increase public transit ect. yet we don't. Why? Because most people drive.

 

Most people from a broad range of socio economic backgrounds are somewhat urban now, and have probably never shot a gun. Most likely they live in a place where police respose times are fairly good as well. Keep in mind that these are the same people that eat meat, but would never harvest an animal. They're more likely to abstract the word "butcher" into a negative metaphor for something else as they eat their chicken nuggets. They cannot understand why anyone would want to own, shoot, or carry a gun. So media manipulation isn't really necessary, they're naturally anti freedom when it comes to activities they don't participate in, and sometimes even the ones they do take part in them still want it illegal.

 

I don't think the media/press could ever make people choose freedom, over a false sense of security. Governments continue to be directly responsible for more civilian deaths worldwide (not even including war) by several orders of magnitude over civilian criminal activity. Yet if you state that fact, there's very little chance your average citizen would feel like that applied to their current situation, even if it they lived someplace it did. People inherently want to limit the freedom of other people in the off chance it might effect them, no matter how rare that chance is.

 

I think the only solution to people actually supporting the 2nd amendment, (outside of directly exposing them to crime/tyranny) is to place a gun in their hands, have them pull the trigger, and let them experience shooting for themselves. When you're at a gun range, you see the level of responsibility people around you have. I'd guess most people might even enjoy it, and some of them may become hobby shooters themselves, wanting to advance their skills. Either way, real world experience will give people for a more realistic view of what gun ownership means outside of movies and TV. The media can't provide that, and this is why I don't think they can sway public opinion too much in either direction.

 

Let's face it, the public is full of morons, and we're all a part of that. If you disagree, take a look around you next time you're in the DMV, then think to yourself "what do these people probably think when they look at me". Reaching out to people any way you can on an individual basis, and giving them the opportunity to fire a gun is much more effective than anything the media can provide. I have little faith that they're actually that influential.

 

My wife was "Anti Gun" until our last trip to Las Vegas. I took her to a shooting range, rented a .22 semi auto pistol for her and framed it as a "fun, adventurous activity". After we sat through a safety video and started to fill out the paperwork, her hands started shaking. I had to bitch about already having paid, and she didn't have to shoot if she didn't want to, to get her to finish filling out the paperwork that allowed you to go to the outdoor range. We made it out there and she was shocked there were other women out there, some of them were very well put together and admirable. Not what she expected at all. I emptied 2 magazines and filled one back up, and said honey you're up. Our range safety officer was a female, and noticed she was a little shook, so she came over and gave her some 1 on 1 instructions way better than what I could have. By the time we used up all the ammo I bought she was filling the magazine herself, and actually had a pretty good grouping at a standard handgun target range.

 

My point is, she was proud of what she'd accomplished, had a good time and left there with a different perspective. She even posed for a photo with one of the targets out in the parking lot. While she still thinks strict background checks are a good idea, she at least gets it, and can understand why other people would want to own and enjoy guns. It took about an hour to undo what was most likely months, if not years of exposure to movies, TV, anti gun media confirmation bias programming. It's not a big deal the press is misleading, necessary evil if we want that to be free as well. Never underestimate how uninformed people are, and how much resistance they have to becoming informed. They all still have the potential to overcome their inherent biases if given the opportunity and a little bit of luck.

Edited by Mercer

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