Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What is Truth?

Today word came out that Fox News' parent corporation made large donations to the Republican Governor's association. The story also noted that pretty much all news media (CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, etc) have made political donations (mostly to Democrats by the way). It begs the question, do any of them report the truth or is it all slanted?

In church there is a hymn we sing called Oh Say, What is Truth? The last verse goes:

Then say, what is truth? 'Tis the last and the first,
For the limits of time it steps o'er.
Tho the heavens depart and the earth's fountains burst,
Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,
Eternal, unchanged evermore.

Unfortunately in this era of ratings and advertising the truth seems to be something of little importance to the "news" media. There is always a slant that misconstrues the truth and leans either to the right or left politically. It is a huge issue for those who are young and impressionable as they are easily swayed and can mistake the slant for the truth. For others it leaves a feeling of distrust and dislike leading to misconceptions and over exaggerations about the source.

So in this world of slanted news how does one know the truth? How can the truth be deciphered from the pieces that are given to us by those who are supposed to report the actualities of what is going on?

My answer? Read/view as much as you can and let your instinct (gut, spirit, whatever you want to call it) guide you. If it feels right, then it probably is. If it feels wrong, it almost definitely is. Don't be afraid to challenge premises and assumptions. Take off any colored glasses you may have on (which is very difficult to do sometimes) and look at things as objectively as possible.

So what can be done to make the news media report things without bias? The last thing I want is for them to be regulated and forced to do things. They should be doing things because it is the right thing to do. However, doing the right thing seldom makes money and let's face it, it's hard to do the right thing without cash.

So where does that leave us? Well it means that we have to be smart enough to see the slant to the story and look for the things that will lead us to more truth. That is not an easy thing to do. Also it takes time. Of course the truth is probably worth it in order to ensure that we don't get duped by those on either side of the political aisle.

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