” I never lied to you. I’ve always told you some version of the truth.”
This is the desperate line of Jack Nicholson’s character in Something’s Gotta Give. Not surprisingly, this awkward explanation of his relationship deceptions gets little sympathy from his distraught girlfriend.
No one wants to hear some version of the truth. We want to hear the hand-on-the-Bible Truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, the so-help-me-God, may-the-Devil-snatch-me-to-hell, on-my-mother’s-grave, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die TRUTH. Unfortunately, this kind of ultimate truth is very difficult to find. Many people CLAIM to have found the real, complete truth and they may sincerely believe it and proclaim it. But sincerity is not a guarantee of validity and believing someone just based on their sincerity can be a recipe for disaster. I want to examine several examples of how relative truth is promoted as absolute truth and the possible consequences.
TRUTH & the MEDIA
CBS EVENING NEWS with WALTER CRONKITE
Walter Cronkite ended every newscast with his famous sign-off line: “And that’s the way it is…” . At the time it sounded innocent enough, but now this statement seems presumptuous and preposterous. Only an omnipotent being could truly know and be justified in saying – ” that’s the way it is.” A more accurate sign off for Cronkite would have been: ” that’s the way some things kinda are according to CBS NEWS.” Admittedly, this lacks a lot of the bravado of his original line.
BRIAN WILLIAMS – ENTERTAINER & LIAR: WHAT’S MY OTHER NAME?( (click on Brian Williams name above to learn his other name)
News Services, reporters, journalists, online newspapers, news bloggers would all like to believe that they are providing facts that you need to know, like dutiful short-term historians. But while each story or article may be more or less accurate within it’s limited confines, only certain stories can be selected even in today’s 24/7 news cycle and the selection process is biased in many ways. One example of this is cultural bias.
CULTURAL BIAS IN THE MEDIA
Sociological Images visually affirms the prevalence of this bias by comparison of international and American same-week editions of Time Magazine. The story on Pakistan is not deemed politically appropriate or is considered to be less interesting than What Makes a School Great. Once again, we are given some version of the Truth.