The young Communist didn’t know he was making a joke. But we all laughed. So he laughed along with us.
We could tell he had no idea what he was laughing at. He was just being polite.
But we laughed because we thought it was an actual joke. It was not. He was serious.
It got awkward for a minute.
The joke? Well, as this young man (our tour guide through Beijing) was explaining how the news worked in China, and gave us a brief history of the press there, he finally landed on how it’s done, now. And how it’s so much better now that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) runs all news. His exact words were, “now that the government controls the news, all the news is good!”
In America, that’s called sarcasm. In China, he was being serious.
Later, at dinner, he went on a tirade about former President Bill Clinton and how enraged he was when the Chinese embassy was targeted and destroyed by him.
All the Americans at the table just sort of looked at each other.
One of us spoke up, “Well, that was an accident and our president apologized for it on national TV.”
The young Communist (I keep calling him that because he was very proud of that distinction), got visibly upset, with a look of something between rage and confusion.
“No, he didn’t! We never saw any apology, here!”
I chimed in, “Yeah, he actually did. We all saw it on TV. Then he called your prime minister and apologized personally, over the phone. It was literally ALL over the news, in America.”
The young man was indignant, “No! He did not!”
We all sort of bowed our heads, went silent then tried to change the subject. We all realized what was happening. Then, I think the young man, himself, started to understand but didn’t want to admit it. I think he knew we were telling the truth. And I think he knew why.
An international incident, with huge implications, completely blocked from an entire people group directly affected by it. That’s what had happened. And our young Communist friend was face-to-face with a new reality; something he didn’t want to know. Because if it were true, it would shake the foundations of everything he believed; everything he’d based his life on.
And here we were, a bunch of adoptive parents from America, casually tearing down all his preconceived ideas, simply because we lived in a world where the press was free and he lived in a world where the press was controlled.
How much control do you have over the people when you control the information they receive?
What could you talk them into? What could you talk them out of?
One of the most used phrases of the last few years is, “fake news.” It has been used by all sides of every issue, regarding any and all people in said news.
Most Americans, now, don’t trust the news anymore. At all. We’ve come a long way from that restaurant table in Beijing, where we actually trusted what we’d seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.
These days, we are more like that young Communist, confused and angry at the fact that someone, somewhere, might actually be deceiving us.
The Hunter Biden laptop story should send chills down every spine in America, no matter which side of the aisle you’re on.
Yes, it was an eye-rolling October surprise. Yes, it was released to the press to damage Joe Biden in the election. But the story was run by a reputable news source. And there was corroboration.
And yet this story was completely squelched in the media – ALL media; social and otherwise – until after the election…when we learned that the story is actually true…confirmed by the FBI…yes, the American FBI.
Did the suppressing of that story sway the election? Who knows? But it made me wonder what else we’re not hearing about, and how much closer are we to that young Communist than we think?
If journalists want to debunk a story, there’s a way to do it. It’s called “investigative journalism,” and it’s not illegal in this country. Well, not yet anyway.
What that means is this: if you don’t like where a story is going and you believe it to be false in some way, go out – YOURSELF – and get the facts about it.
Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions. Then report what you find. In the case of Hunter Biden’s laptop, nobody ever asked Joe Biden himself about it. Nobody tried to find the computer store owner who allegedly found the laptop in the first place. As far as I know, only Tucker Carlson actually tracked down someone from the documents found on the laptop, and interviewed them.
Do I believe what the guy said in that interview? I don’t know. But at least I got the chance to decide for myself.
Whenever I hear a news reporter say, “baseless claim,” or “falsely accused,” I perk up to the adjective or adverb being used. And I ask myself if they are using that word because it’s common knowledge that a claim is “baseless” or are they assuming it is “baseless” for the rest of us?
If you are in the press and you call something “baseless” then you need to tell us how your investigation proved it was baseless.
Consider journalism common core math: Don’t just show the answer, show us how you arrived at your answer. All the kids are doing it, now.
These subtleties are how the news is parsed out these days. And it’s maddening.
But the press drew a line in the sand during the Trump era and I’m not sure they will ever get their credibility back. They chose a side – something they always took such pride in not doing during things like the cold war and the war on terror (insert extreme eye roll here).
Apparently, Donald Trump ignited their George Washington-like patriotism and made their hearts swell with pride for their country. And so, they have been in league with one side of the argument. We all know it. They know we know it. We know they know we know it.
It has become silly.
Today, the silliness reached a new level when someone at CNN actually editorialized the chyron at the bottom of the screen. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. But I’m glad they’re at least being honest, now.
A friend of mine said to me yesterday, regarding a different subject, “Once someone admits it openly, it’s not a conspiracy anymore.”
That actually applies to the press and their bias. They can’t claim objectivity when they’re literally typing in their own thought and feelings on the crawl.
Maybe it’s time for CNN to be pulled from airports, now. We know we’re not getting balls and strikes. And that has international implications for international flyers.
The good news in all of this, is that you’re going to hear a lot of good news regarding the new president. You’ll feel better about things, now, not having to absorb all the tweets and insults and stories about Russia.
You won’t hear damning stories about the Bidens. You won’t see 60 Minutes pieces on Hunter or Jim (Joe’s brother). You will only see those on the “alternative” media. And there you won’t hear bad news about Trump. Your news will be tailored for you if you want it to be.
It won’t be unlike China.
But a word to the wise …
You may one day find yourself at dinner with someone who knows something about an international incident, you have no knowledge of. And it may make you angry at first, then confused.
And that’s when you will have to ask yourself if you really know what you think you know. And then you will have to trace all your knowledge back to where you got it.
Only when you start questioning that, are you truly free.
And we’d all better start questioning soon, before all the news is always good.
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