Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page.

Local news reports often place dirty laundry entertainment ahead of informing the public. It’s all about ratings, clicks or selling papers or magazines.  There’s a combination profit-power motive.

That’s partly the fault of the public, and partly the fault of people who have sold out to a competitive rumor-mongering system (the latter do that to stay in business, which is our fault because we fail to boycott sensational reporting).

It’s also partly the fault of people outside the “news community” who release or fabricate information to suit their own purposes. They use the media as their messengers.

Right now I’m thinking of a current news story in which too many details are being made public. One recently deceased person on the West Coast is the subject of that story, and his family — as well as his professional legacy — are likely to suffer.

Many of the attention-grabbing details we get from local “journalism” do not inform. In the instance I’m thinking of, police officials appear to be releasing information (or making convenient claims?) only to harm the reputation of one of their political adversaries. An adversary who cannot defend himself because he’s no longer living.

You might know who this deceased person is, but that part doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you think carefully while reading or hearing anything that’s meant to influence you. The trash I read this morning was meant to influence us, and we should be angry about it.

Helpful hint: During a police investigation, information is supposed to be kept confidential to avoid creating a bias in future witness accounts. However, within two days of this particular person’s death, the police have made announcements that can only give the impression that he was an icky person.

You have it right there. This isn’t a legitimate investigation. It’s a hatchet job.

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