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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Demonizing Mainstream Media

"Mad Cow Disease",  "Pink Slime", "Swine Flu". I get tired of hearing main stream media brainwash the general public and use biased language to shape a discussion without any interest in objectivity or public education.  I've nearly quit watching any news programs because of this.

The USDA, state and industry groups are trying to get ahead of the California BSE episode, before everyone else twists the presentation to give a skewed picture.  Am I the only one who has given up on the general news media?

I have in the past sent in comments to ABC, etc., asking them to use scientific or non-inflammatory names but have given up. Mainstream media does nothing to help small groups lilke farmers, and this occurs even at the local level where agriculture (or any target group) is a major economic and cultural force.  Oh, well, I gave up newspapers 15 years ago and missing ABC doesn't hurt, either.  I get my news from various aggrigators on the internet and while there is bias, at last I can balance the coverage that way. 

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35 Replies
k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

Jim seems a couple of points I find interesting being  Fox having to repeat  their  " fair  and  balanced  "  slogan again  and  again which  I suspect most already can decide for them selves and  I  watched  " Frontline on PBS  last night which gives us a  "eye  opener " to this  " lobby  game " in the beltway chaos ---  the money games after the gutting  of  Glas - Stegal  act was a pathetic tactic which will unfortantly rewrite history for the declining middle class folks and left me with less respect for the guy who made the statement of  " irrational  exuberance " ---  BSE  and  items like this need to be pro-activly addressed and not with halfbaked statements made for corperate interests only ---seems we didn't see any government officals hand wringing when pork prices skidded to there extreme lows a few years back and ramshackled 80% of that industry ---   

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Suey73
Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

I keep wondering how reliable the "news"  is.  Whenever they try to cover an agriculture story it so full of mistakes that I know of.    How often are the stories, I don't know about ,  full of mistakes.   In reporting about the public hearings for hog buildings  it is so full of mistakes.   Quite often I find myself wondering how can the public  not be against hog buildings with the misinformation the newspapers  print.    One time:  the press claimed to be quoting the owner, in print,   when he said,  "We aren't building a lagoon we are building a ditch".    That's right the press quoted or printed the word  ditch rather than pit.    In a recent fire on a farm  they talked about the fire being hard to fight because there were  several  "tankers of fuel"  in the machine shed.    I think it is safe to say they were talking about portable fuel tanks  that are placed in pickup truck or portable  500 gallons or less,  trailers.   In my mind a tanker is a semi tanker. 

The LTMB,  really got a bad deal.   That picture that was always  shown was  chicken.    And in reading through the lines this AM.  I'm guessing that  this cow got tested at the rending works?   Guns and Backhoes need to be used more often, 

Oh,  and lets not forget how everytime the price of farm commodities go up they are all over how the price of food is going to automatically rise.  Or if there is a drought or flood in the midwest the price of food will go up.   I guess it gives the grocery stores the story they need to automatically raise prices.   Too bad every network can not have an ag/farm person on staff or at the very least have a pool of agriculture persons they talk to or run a story by before they make fools of themselves and the public. 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

  Guns   and   backhoes  --- remember  that  shopping cart  is our  best  friend ---and the actions of the producer at all stages of production  will effect what goes into it ---   

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farmersaw
Frequent Contributor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

 I had an epiphany during the Fukushima "disaster".  I was very interested in the whole nuclear meltdown scenario so decided to do some research on the subject.  As I read more and more about what was involved, i realized that the media covering this event was interested in one thing and one thing only...  scaring the public.  IT IS THAT SIMPLE. 

 

You don't get ratings by being boring.  You get ratings by hyping any and all events.  Once I realized this, all other things they cover came into perfect focus.

 

If i was someone involved in the nuclear energy production business, i'd have been steaming mad (pun intended) at the coverage.  Hell i was anyway and i'm not in the nuclear energy production business.

 

I've long maintained that journalism is somewhat of an achilles heel of a capitalistic system.  Not sure how we can ever get "unbiased" news coverage from large news providers.

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

We pilots get irate at how badly the media report on airplane issues.  The reporter seldom gets the facts straight, quotes witnesses who give bad info and makes everything seem like a world shaking event.

The other day, a Delta plane hit a bird and lost an engine on departure.  The pilot and copilot calmly declared an emergency, flew the plane, coordinated with air traffic control and landed safely.  Diane Sawyer from ABC news got all gooshy about how calm the pilots sounded.  Did she want them in a panic?

I can promise you that both pilots train for this very scenario in simulators at least once every six months and probably more often.  They've done it many times before.  The pilot is not thinking, "Oh My God, I have 300 lives at stake here."  The pilot is simply thinking, "OK, choose the right memorized actions, declare an emergency so we get preferential treatment, have the copilot run the engine out checklist and do what it says."   Every pilot is trained to aviate (fly the airplane first) navigate (get it where you want it to go) and communicate (talk to those who maybe can help you or need to know.  In that order.

One of the things that gripes me most is when they say, "the was no flight plan filed" when talking about a small plane crash.  Only planes flying in the instrument flight rules (IFR) system like airliners and those who intend to fly in clouds are required to file a flight plan.  It's like a trucker working from a dispatch sheet.  Small planes flying a visual flight rules (VFR) mission are not required and usually don't  file a flight plan. They are like you running to the store for parts.  The reporter, not knowing anything about aviation, figures that when the FAA reports that no flight plan was filed that instead of that being simply a piece of information which is required to be included in every accident report, it is a key item of information.  Including it implies the pilot didn't do something s/he should have.  Sends an erroneous implication to the public.

 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

 Liken to the reporting of  " weapons  of mass distruction"  in Iraq --- disinformation at it's finest and I  don't  think it was main stream reporting at fault --- as far as the  BSE events would a cover up be more settling in the long run ?  

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

Ity didn't occur to me that the options were either (1) wildly provocative, unscientific, non-objective reporting which gives biased reporting of different perspective, or (2) a cover-up.

 

The place to start is to use terms like BSE, LFTB, H1N1 and so forth and not "Mad Cow", Pink Slime" and "Swine Flu".

 

Where is Walter Cronkite when we really need him? 

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dairy mom
Senior Contributor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

he died a long time ago and I think journalistic integrity died with him.

 

Part of the problem today is the news doesn't wait for a story to happen.  They start reporting before they know anything, report all the buzz and confusion and before you know it, it is impossible to sort fact from hysteria.  They always go for that blood pressure raising innuendo and run with it.   Don't care at all if they have to back track like crazy later, in fact seems like they don't really try to get the real story out once they do know it.

 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Demonizing Mainstream Media

When  I  hear  the  phrase  " Sound  Science " thrown around I seem to be really puzzled when I read the definition and it all plays down to who it placates to -- 

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