My two roommates and I sat glued to the screen.
Clarence Thomas was being raked over the coals, on national TV, for apparently saying that a hair on a soda can looked like a pubic hair. We were all young men, still pretty naive about a lot of things and not all that political. But we couldn’t then – and I still cannot, now – understand what in the wide world of sports was happening to that man.
I guess we weren’t woke enough. Maybe I’m still not. But, over the years, I have listened and tried to learn – really tried to learn. And when I hear about someone doing horrible things to women, I perk up. I listen to everyone involved. I want to know. And I want to help, if I can.
But what I notice the most, these days, is what gets reported and what doesn’t. I pay as much attention to how something is characterized as I do to what is actually being alleged.
Brett Kavanagh may be the worst human who ever lived. I don’t know him. I don’t ever think about him. I don’t care about him in any way, shape or form. But show after show allowed a (now) convicted felon to come on their air and claim to the world that he had evidence of the frat boy/judge running rape trains in college. Wow – that sounds horrible. I listened to that. It really bothered me…until we all discovered it was absolute BS and the guy making the claim was a pathological liar.
But it got treated real. It got chin rubbers rubbing their chins. It was clearly information someone thought the American people needed to hear. And hey, even if it was patently false and completely unprovable, just the fact that it was alleged by someone should be enough. Right? And as Patricia Ireland (of the National Organization for Women) once said about the Clarence Thomas thing, “it’s the seriousness of the charges that counts.” For the record, I really hope THAT never becomes a legal standard for anything. But I digress …
Now, Joe Biden is in the crosshairs…sorta, for allegedly assaulting a woman. I don’t care about Joe. I don’t ever think about Joe. I really hope that lady wasn’t assaulted by him or anybody else. And to be honest, I’m not sure how much “care” I can muster for something that happened in 1992, that didn’t result in death or permanent bodily harm. And this all may be some political hit piece to take Joe out of the presidential race.
But, for me, NONE of that is the point. The point is that I haven’t yet seen Robin Roberts (who I really like) interview this woman and sit there with that ultra concerned look on her face. You know…the one she had on her face while interviewing Jusse Smollette. I haven’t seen George Stephanopoulos give her a forum on his air and tell her sordid story. I haven’t seen Gloria Alred knock over pedestrians to get them both in front of a camera somewhere. I haven’t seen CNN bring her lawyer on 200 times and bat their eyes at him and ask him to please run for president. Why?
Is it because Joe is on a certain political side? Surely that can’t be the case, can it?
I hear you saying out there, “But what about Trump? Look at all the bad stuff he has done!” And that is missing the point. It’s not about the stuff. See, his stuff has been reported on…again and again and again and again…and then, again. Has there ever been a more investigated human being in the history of the world?
The point is, when it comes to news and information, someone, somewhere other that you gets to decide what’s real and what’s not; who gets to be destroyed and who doesn’t. Their opinions are what matters – not yours. They will tell you who is worthy of crucifixion and who is worthy of praise.
We now know that ABC knew about Jeffrey Epstein for years and didn’t report on him. We know that NBC knew about Harvey Weinstein and didn’t report on him. And the sad part is, while all this posturing and shadow boxing is being done, a woman who has actually been harmed or a man who has been falsely accused, is hurting somewhere.
Quite frankly, it’s starting to be so blatant and so obvious to someone like me, who doesn’t normally believe in “conspiracies,” that it’s not even worth this blog. But hey, since I’m here …
Someone texted me a Youtube video this past week, that had some information in it regarding the current virus. I get lots of videos sent to me and to be honest, I rarely watch them. I never know if something is a virus or just some stupid waste of my time. But this guy was adamant I at least watch a few minutes of it. So, I tried to open it as a courtesy. But it was removed from Youtube because of “community standards.”
Wow – interesting. Then I saw dozens of other people post about how they’d tried to open it and share it and how it had been removed…again and again. Clearly, this was full of nonsensical medical misinformation that would get people killed. But then, one of my friends who is an ER nurse posted it and said it was at least worth watching and pondering. That seems fair.
So, I posted something about Youtube removing it and how it looked and felt fishy to me. And the battle commenced. And all the usual suspects were on all the usual sides.
I was inundated with links and facts and figures and numbers and admonitions and reasons why I should see it and reasons why I shouldn’t. And in all of the sides being taken, this was completely lost: I did not get the chance to watch and decide for myself.
As it turns out, I’m not going to watch the video. I honestly don’t care. It’s not going to change my life in any way. But it’s not about the video or what’s in it. It’s about this: Someone else was curating the information for me. Someone else was deciding what was important and what wasn’t. Someone else was telling me which way to look; how to interpret; what to believe.
And that’s why people start questioning everything. That’s why we have people who believe the Earth is flat and Neil Armstrong didn’t walk on the moon.
When you don’t grill Joe Biden as hard as you grilled Brett Kavanagh or as hard as Joe Biden himself grilled Clarence Thomas, you make guys like me question what else is being covered up or just conveniently being left out.
If you are the press and/or a media platform, you cannot systematically shine a light on some information, while hiding other information, and expect the public to believe you anymore. You cannot clearly pick a political side, then bludgeon people who aren’t sure they are hearing the whole story. You can’t gaslight the whole damn country, then accuse them of being idiotic and irrational when they flat out don’t trust you.
They say you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. That’s actually not true. You absolutely can yell “fire” in a crowded theater…if you believe the theater is actually on fire.
But when society’s self-appointed hall monitors tell us to pipe down because THEY will tell us when the theater is on fire, all you can do is just sit there and try to enjoy the popcorn, until you can’t see the screen anymore for all the smoke.
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