Friday, May 05, 2006

Fox News: The Most Trusted News Source In America?

Who's the most trusted poll?

They all suck. Twenty years ago, we polled two equal groups. We asked one "Do you agree with the ERA? The Other we asked, "Do you agree with the following statement: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. The results were opposite.

The first 65% opposed the ERA; The second 65% favored the statement. (For those that still don't get it, they are one in the same.)

Most Americans are functionally illiterate; they don't know where Iraq is on a map, nor can they distinguish Washington from NYC. Do you really think they know what the difference between "trust", "believe" and "choose to watch".

Hell, I choose to eat McDonald's hamburgers more often than Fuddruckers; I guess that means I like them better?

All we like sheep have gone astray... Fox has better marketing than PBS. I don't know anyone that would, after watching both O'Reilly and NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, suggest that Fox is more trustworthy, if they knew the meaning of the word.

I guess it really does go to the core of what most people misconsider as "trust".

Is it "trust" when someone says "I trusted you to do" what I expected or wanted? Or is this "control"?

If you trust your significant other, it is unconditional. You don't say, "I trust you not to have affairs." You just "trust". It's kind of like praying to God to do something specific for you, presuming (a hypothetical, all-knowing) God wouldn't know what to do without your instructions.

For most their use of the word, is aligned with expectations of something other than one's "trustworthiness", but instead their obedience or allegiance. Our founding fathers understood this well, bright men. They suggested an unconditional "In God We Trust" while proclaiming allegiance to the flag.

The problem is, people have no idea what the things they are saying "mean". And without this semantic knowledge, how can one say what they mean, and mean what they say. (My definition of "integrity".)

America's supreme court made a huge mistake in adopting the standard of "Absence of Malice" as applied to journalism. Prior to that, the "Zenger"/Truth defense was the standard. These were the days of fact checkers and honorable journalists. Now, we have "spin doctors" and lawyers checking whether or not something can avoid a lawsuit rather than whether or not it is true. "Trust", no longer; profitable position is the current standard for today's editors.

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