Famous comedian Sarah Silverman once said “We don’t live in a democracy; we live in hypocrisy.”
In a time in which the media is filled with so much bias and misinformation, and it’s safe to say that most people are getting the majority of their news from TikTok, it is more than evident that something is fundamentally wrong. But why has the media become this way?
Well, the easiest way to begin explaining our fractured media infrastructure would be to address perspective. Perspective is key. Now, I know you’ve heard this phrase one way or another. I, myself, say this all the time. But what does this really mean?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines perspective as: “The capacity to view things in their true relations relative importance”. This is essential when trying to understand how and why people think the way they do.
When these news and media giants hire people with little perspective and call it news; this is where the problem begins. For example, if you are having an issue with your eyesight, would you schedule a dentist to check on your eyes? It is a silly metaphor, but it’s silly, too, when you are determining if someone deserves a national audience to explain issues they have not a clue about. This is probably the biggest reason there are misconceptions within our nation on just about every issue.
Although these news commentators may have a significant amount of experience in journalistic and political knowledge, how can you possibly expect a white man, who has only been around and exposed to a white environment, to know anything about the black experience? It is impossible for him to have even the slightest bit of insight on being black in the United States. Because, yes, it is completely different than being white in the nation.
So, when you see these prestigious political commentators on Fox News or CNN, or whatever you watch for your news, and you expect them to give a factual interpretation on the news and situations in the world, it is impossible for them to articulate the real experience.
It is important to know each news outlet has their own political agenda and audience they cater to. For example, CNN pitches their news to the Democratic party and those with liberal points of views. With Fox News, it is the contrary, as they formulate their sides of each issue to Republicans and those with conservative viewpoints. So, regardless of what issue, it will be saturated with whatever any news company knows their audience wants to hear. Not the truth.
What the media needs to do is stop casting commentators with one dimensional views–one perspective or reporters who only see one side of what is always a multi-faceted issue. This is dangerous, exactly as we see in our country right now, and this is a large reason so much hysteria, racism, hatred, and misinformation is spread across the country.
Quite evidently there is a complete and utter divide in regards to: race, sexuality, and politics. Many expected somewhat of a race war after the recent civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. But why exactly is that? We emphatically boast about our diversity, yet we as a country are the complete opposite of united.
This is the hypocrisy of the mass media. News is less of the truth these days and more about personal perspectives and entertainment. No matter what news media you watch or read, this is the bitter truth. A truth so bitter and nasty that we all subconsciously refuse to address it. It is not just the news media. It is even our political leaders who will often use their platforms that are perceived as truthful and trustworthy, to hide the reality in a lot of situations. They will often say one thing, and then completely contradict the previous statement to make it convenient to whatever is relevant now.
With the hopeful intent of democracy in mind, our country rightfully promised to deliver the honest truth to all of us, the people of this nation. The press has completely failed and embarrassed such a simple motive of what the press was even established for. To get the truth to the people. By embellishing every issue, and sprinkling it with a light touch of hypocrisy, this is what has killed democracy.
Perspective is key, but a broken key simply cannot open its lock. A flawed perspective should not be broadcast across a country to insight distasteful manipulations.
Truth and empathy is the only remedy to bring us to the unified and great country we have always had the potential to be.
Ignoring our issues and claiming everything is, in fact, great is putting a band-aid on a fatal wound. We as a country need to address the wrongs that have been committed, and change so we can truly be great.
Hypocrisy kills democracy. But if eliminated, ensures a true dynasty.