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“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.” – Eric Blair (George Orwell)
The United States has a public relations problem. Our media, especially the tech barons have abandoned journalism in favor of public relations. So have our universities, colleges, and public schools. No one is supposed to feel bad, or hear things that trigger them, especially anything that challenges the delivered wisdom as defined by the mainstream media and the tech barons. Finley Peter Dunn, a humorist from the early twentieth century once pithily noted that a newspaper “comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.” Today, the MSM has become comfortable and chooses not to afflict itself.
We have entered an America where one has to read information coming from the media and academia in the same way Soviets in the 1960s read Pravda and Izvestia. Not by what is written, but by what is not written and what is being carefully avoided being written. We figure out what is actually happening because of what is left out.
People need to hear what others do not want printed. They need to be exposed to foreign ideas, things that make them uncomfortable. Ideas make you uncomfortable for one of two reasons: because they are wrong and you are reacting to that, or because they are right and you believe ideas or are behaving in ways that are contrary to the ideas that make you uncomfortable.
If you understand why ideas that make you uncomfortable are wrong, it provides further grounding to your beliefs. If you recognize why ideas that make you uncomfortable are right, it causes you to question the beliefs or behaviors those ideas challenge and may lead to alteration of those beliefs or behaviors. Either way, you win. You are affirmed or you are improved.
This explains why those on the right seem happier and more grounded than those on the left. They are today’s counterculture, and they are constantly exposed to ideas that make them uncomfortable. They have learned how to defend their beliefs and are secure in those they hold because they have been tested. Those on the left generally have a set of beliefs handed to them, platitudes that are rarely challenged but frequently change. They go along to get along. They never really understand their positions but are afraid to challenge them.
Journalism as defined by Orwell is a blessing. Public relations is a curse.Published in