Truth Getting Harder to Find These Days

I’ve been seeing the ongoing controversy over Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline, but this is one of those cases I feel like everyone involved, regardless of the “side” they are on, is lying to me. I’d imagine that, given the intersection of US Tribal Law, rights-of-way, easements, etc, it’s probably a lot more complicated, in which case no one outside of a handful of lawyers really understands the actual issues.

Part of the problem in the return to partisan media is that you can’t count on anyone to give an impartial account of the issue, even if it’s complicated. Sure, the old media had bias, but it was easier to see through that. It’s a lot harder when you’re dealing with media outlets that are willing to outright lie to you to advantage their preferred narrative.

I remember in the golden days of blogging, back when we were all hobbyists thinking we were fighting the man. By that time the media might have been the sick old man, but they were still the man. Well, the man is basically gone, and in those days we never thought all that hard about what would replace us.

15 thoughts on “Truth Getting Harder to Find These Days”

  1. The news I see about the pipeline betrays more about the political partitions of the people posting the news than informs me of what’s happening.

    The few articles I’ve clicked through to can’t even agree on basic facts.

  2. It’s funny and sad how the media has basically resorted to being a bunch of bloggers, without the checks and balances of other bloggers to make sure the details are right.

    1. Careful there! I’m sure there are a LOT of Bloggers who’d take offense at being compared to the MSM… ;)

    1. Check out Pyramid Communications. They are claiming credit for crafting and disseminating the anti-pipeline message seen in the national media. The protesters actions are not spontaneous. Someone is coordinating.

  3. What I have found when I’ve spent time on it is, the “best of the best” among the media (old or new) all lie, regardless of their ideological persuasion. That, in the sense that “a half truth is a whole lie.” Left or right, all will tell you just enough of the truth to bias you to their viewpoint. The best will report facts, that are seldom false, but always leave out facts that would substantially alter the picture they’re attempting to paint.

    If you now want to get into arguing about who’s worse, you’ll be largely wasting your time and breath.

  4. I think I had a moment like this, early this summer. It was when I had to click through four or five different articles to find an original source. They were articles about a rather shady vote that Paul Ryan oversaw about an amendment to an amendment concerning religious freedom. In short, the Republican Congress approved a reasonable amendment concerning the religious rights of government contractors, the Democrats tried to pass an amendment to protect minorities from the previous amendment, Republicans voted that amendment down in a way that sort of violated legislative rules, and then the Lefties overreacted and screamed that the sky was falling.

    What struck me was that I had to follow a long chain of articles to the original source to find out what the what really happened, but there was no game of telephone. One article wasn’t misrepresenting another article and then being misrepresented in turn. The first article got it completely wrong, and then the others parroted it without fact-checking. None of them included source quotes, though they were more than happy to quote each other.

    So. Now that mainstream media is in freefall, how do we go about replacing this new bag of ratfuckers?

    1. I don’t know. Back in the old days, you know, like a decade ago, the blogging culture was such that everyone had their biases, but we were up front about them. There was also some degree of embarrassment if you were duped, got a fact wrong, or got caught deliberately misleading people. We were trying to destroy the media by doing a better job than they did. We have been replaced, largely, by unapologetic propagandists.

      1. ” the blogging culture was such that everyone had their biases, but we were up front about them.”

        Everyone was up front?

        With all due respect, you sound like one of those people who believe “stealth” went out of style in the ’80s.

  5. We have always had partisan media. It is just open now. In many ways that is better since you can try to make allowances for the bias.

  6. The reporting is slanted as always You are just more aware. Facebook memes and posts always push a narrative. This was approved and consulted with all the owners and tribes in area. Government approved. It is legal. Blocking a legal construction is not protected under 1 st amendment IT is anarchy.

  7. I don’t think its any more difficult than before. I would say its actually easier, because of the internet. Before, all people had were the papers and TV, all who had an agenda, slanted to the left for the most part.

    Now people can actually get both sides. Sure, they have to use that thing inside their skull to come to a good conclusion (made difficult by government schools). They have to be aware that everybody, including themselves, is biased. And they have to actual think about their position and the positions and “facts” they are being told.

    But its definitely better than it was 20 years ago.

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