Why a truthless media is a useless media
“The Federalist Papers” are the best example of the job of the media in American History. Three men getting together to establish and articulate their opinion and desire for a constitution is amazing. It created the foundation for American democracy where every individual gets a voice. The best part was most of those articles were advocating for the next appropriate step for America, not just a political agenda.
Unfortunately, we have lost this art in modern journalism. The main concern with news outlets is being the first one to break a story, no matter what, regardless of what is best for the nation or what the actual truth is. Today, this is where the problem lies. To what extent is the modern media sacrificing truth for viewership?
The media showcased this flaw this week when they doubled down on the twenty-second video of a 17-year-old junior from Covington Catholic High School on a class trip. While in Washington to attend the March for Life rally, Nick Sandmann and his classmates were caught waiting in front of the Lincoln Memorial for their bus to pick them up.
While they were standing in front of the memorial, a video surfaced that seemed to show Nick and his classmates engaging in behavior “which included chanting “Build that wall,” and potentially harassing women,” according to Anna Scheffer of Hello Giggles.
The video seemed to show that he and his classmates were attacking, if not harassing, an elder Native American Vietnam veteran who was protesting for his land. These allegations were further proven when the elder man, Nathan Phillips, interviewed with CNN. In this interview, Phillips talked about the anger of the Catholic school boys that had surrounded him and how all that anger was now directed towards him. He continued to say they wanted “the freedom to just rip me apart –– that was scary. And I’m a Vietnam times veteran, and I know that mentality of ‘There’s enough of us. We can do this.'”
Things seemed grim, there was no way to justify these actions. Conservatives and Democrats alike piled on and began to demean and condemn the actions of the young man. Then, something miraculous happened in the media: more information surfaced.
A two-hour clip was released, showing the whole story. It turned out the man had never actually been deployed to Vietnam. There was an African American Israelite group chanting horrifying racial slurs at the Catholic boys. In response, they chanted their school chant –– not “Build that wall.”
If anything, Nick Sandmann stopped a friend from engaging with the Native American man. Furthermore, he did not attack, nor touch, nor was he the one to even start the event. Nathan Phillips walked up to him banging a drum in his face. A statement was released by the young boy that matched the longer video. Now the truth is subjective.
The damage had already been done, however. The media found themselves trying to justify their story. They had published almost entirely false information and failed to provide the American people with the full story.
Even Joy Behar admitted on The View that “we’re desperate to get Trump out of office.” She justified the media jumping every gun because they have an agenda. In essence, she said having an opinion matters more than reporting actual fact, as long as you are trying to impeach someone you disagree with.
We are missing something key here: if we don’t have the media, we don’t have a democracy.
We depend on them for the truth and to represent our voices. They have access to all the videos, all the coverage and all the facts. It is their job to decipher fact from opinion and deliver it to the American people. If we can’t trust the media to dissect the truth, who can we trust?
That being said, the people also have to be held accountable. We have to stop being so quick to jump on bandwagons and actually look for the facts. The burden now falls on us to decide what we trust and what we can believe, and maybe give stories a couple days to fully flesh out.
The media chose 21 seconds of a two-hour video to push an agenda. That is not the essence of journalism. Journalism is about detecting the truth. Yes, they may not be the first to break the story, but they should worry more about conveying the truth.
The media jumps so fast to put out stories nowadays, they often have to redact or edit parts. The problem is that things cannot be unheard or unread.
Most importantly, this is not a story. Nothing illegal happened here except for a practicing of free speech. An elder man and a young man were standing and looking at each other. This is not a national issue.
However, it has become an issue because the media has an agenda. Some media outlets will sell a story regardless of fact to get their point across, which is why the MAGA hats were so important. These boys were only demonized because of their political and religious beliefs.
The media should not have an agenda, they should be the voice and truth for the people. This cannot be the start of an attack on religion. This cannot be the start of an attack on conservatives.
In a world with an ever-changing media, it is important to remember to not judge a book by its cover. Looking inside, finding the whole story, is the only way to decipher the truth. We must stop taking everything at face value and realize that agendas and opinions influence most everything.
The media must be held accountable. Truth is not subjective.