Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Future of "Truth"

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DirecTV, one of the largest U.S. pay-TV providers, plans to drop "One America News Network" (OAN), dealing a major financial blow to the conservative news channel.

The reason? 

One News Now is being dropped because "it has been spreading misinformation about the last presidential election"--- and probably because it had a loyal viewer in Donald Trump.

During a 2020 court proceeding, a lawyer for Herring Networks, the company that owns OAN, told the court, "If Herring Networks, for instance, was to lose or not be renewed on DirecTV, the company would go out of business tomorrow."

Court testimony showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from being on DirecTV.

There is a massive move by the so-called news media to silence every dissenting voice.

A closer look.

Be informed, not misled.

Bloomberg reports, "The satellite-TV provider has notified OAN's owner, Herring Networks Inc., that it plans to stop carrying the company's two channels when the contract expires."

"We informed  Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires," they explained.

The current contract expires in early April.

The channel will still be carried by Verizon FIOS and other smaller outlets, but the loss of DirecTV will be devastating.

You may recall that President Trump began watching the channel early on---and talking about it publicly.

OAN has seen tremendous growth, particularly as some conservatives have felt that FOX News has moved toward the so-called "center" in too much of their programming.

Reuters is reporting that the "move could cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election."

This move by DirecTV comes only months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN's founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network in the first place.

DirecTV is 70% owned by AT&T.

The Left is cheering the news. NAACP President Derrick Johnson called it a "victory for us and the future of democracy."

John Bergmayer, legal director at the advocacy group "Public Knowledge", recently said that OAN's support for the "Big Lie"---the story that the 2020 election was stolen--- and the fact that OAN is "consistently giving airtime to conspiracy theories and misinformation on COVID-19, moves it from a participant in the market place of ideas to a peddler of toxic lies."

A post-truth era.

A quick glance at this "quote" by Abe Lincoln is true. Except for the fact that Lincoln lived long before the internet. So it's a half-truth. It's true, but he didn't say that. 

In 2017, Pew Research Center published an in-depth paper titled, "The Future of Truth."

They concluded, "Experts are evenly split on whether the coming decade will see a reduction in false and misleading narratives."

Pew suggests that "Misinformation is not like a plumbing problem you fix. It is a social condition, like crime, that you must constantly monitor and adjust to."

In 1994 as the internet was developing, Paul H. Weaver, a former political scientist at Harvard, a journalist at Fortune magazine, and corporate communications executive at Ford Motor Company wrote a book titled, "News and the Culture of Lying: How Journalism Really Works." 

In it he said this:

The U.S. press, like the U.S. government, is a corrupt and troubled institution. Corrupt not so much in the sense that it accepts bribes but in a systemic sense. It fails to do what it claims to do, what it should do, and what society expects it to do.

The news media and the government are entwined in a vicious circle of mutual manipulation, mythmaking, and self-interest. Journalists need crises to dramatize news, and government officials need to appear to be responding to crises. Too often, the crises are not really crises but joint fabrications. The two institutions have become so ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that the news media are unable to tell the public what is true and the government is unable to govern effectively. 

Journalists and politicians have become ensnared in a symbiotic web of lies that misleads the public.

The news media and the government have created a charade that serves their own interests but misleads the public.

Although there is a thread of truth in some---maybe most news stories, the news is always tainted by their agenda and secular progressive worldview. 

Concocted, inaccurate, misrepresented surveys and studies are used to taint our perceptions of what is true, and the media distorts public policy debates. And the thinking of the average American who is not informed.

This weird relationship between the press and the politicians set the stage for fabricating crises and stage-managing their responses, thereby enhancing their own prestige and power.

Yesterday, for example, the New York Times published an article with the headline, "Who Is King of Florida? Tensions Rise Between Trump and a Former Acolyte."

The Times creates a conflict between Trump and DeSantis and their presidential aspirations---then proceeds to undermine both of them.

What is truth? 

In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries selected "post-truth" as the word of the year, defining it as "relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotions and personal beliefs."

What is Truth? Almost two thousand years ago, Truth was put on trial and judged by people who were devoted to lies. In fact, Truth faced six trials in less than one full day, three of which were religious and three that were legal. In the end, few people involved in those events could answer the question, "What is  truth?"

Pilate looked Him in the face and asked, "What is truth?" (John 18:33-38). That question has reverberated down through history. Today our culture is starved for Truth, but too often refuses to embrace it.

Jesus explained that He was born for the trials, "and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth."

The disciples of "post-truth" listen to the drumbeat of Frederick Nietzsche who described truth with this: "What then is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms...truths are illusions...coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins."

Ironically, although he holds coins in his hand that is now mere metal, he affirms at least one absolute truth: The truth that no truth should be affirmed.

Like all the other worldviews, his is self-defeating and will not stand up under its own claim.

Today's culture is floating in a cesspool of deception, while it slowly sinks to the lowest and least.

As Jesus explained to Pilate, "You're looking at the Truth" and in accepting Him, you will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.

Be Informed. Be Engaged. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.