Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Letter to the Editor: Incivility in the media

on June 13, 2017 9:24 AM
Indiana, PA

Something new has occurred in the media, and is accelerating at a rapid pace. There is a new outright vitriolic flavor in both the content and the protestations against the current administration which was unknown during the prior administration. There is a deliberate search for anything which can be an embarrassment, and if they cannot find anything, they make something up: “fake news,” usually attributed to a fake leak. It is then broadcast repeatedly until it achieves status as fact. This is the reinstitution of the “Big Lie” propaganda technique used so effectively by the Communists during the Cold War.

In this technique, an unsubstantiated accusation from a secret source places the accused in the logically untenable position of proving the negative; meanwhile the accusation is repeated and repeated by sympathetic sycophants, lending substance by familiarity to a lie with no substance, while the sycophants argue with every response of the accused, making it seem that even the accused lends weight to the accusation. It is a diabolical political tool.

There are currently three major unsubstantiated lies dominating the corrupt news cycles: 1. The Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the election. 2. The president shared classified information from an ally with the Russians. 3. The president sought to quash an investigation of Gen. Flynn.

All seem to stem from wishful thinking of political opponents through reporting of purported leaks from sympathizers remaining in the government, sending Democrats into paroxysmal howling for Mr. Trump’s blood for their political advantage.

The media is of course complicit in the irresponsible spreading of anything which could be to the detriment of the administration, while ignoring anything favorable.

We are used to editorials posing as news, but not to the vitriol, extent and constancy of the attack, which no longer bears any veneer of propriety. Satire in SNL is no longer subtle, but nasty.

Even the political cartoons appearing in this paper are hard-edged caricatures of caricatures with slanderous intent. Kathy Griffin’s severed head is only the last straw.

Rampant incivility, the spreading of unsubstantiated fake news and palpable bias are making the media irrelevant. A free democracy depends upon a believable and informative unbiased media, and we aren’t getting it.

McClellan G. Blair, Ph.D.


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