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Media Lies and Political Campaigns

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This week’s election results shocked America because most of us didn’t see it coming. One Facebook friend said she was “surprised Hilary lost, but even more surprised by how completely out of touch with my country I am.” She and her friends kept saying, “We live in a bubble.” While her statement is one of such profundity, we need to be asking, how did this happen? Where did this bubble come from? One of the most glaring root causes is a biased media.

The American mainstream media has lied to us, thereby creating a wall between friends and family and a space where Donald Trump is now our President-Elect.

It’s no wonder American voters feel blindsided and angry. The media turned a blind eye to most of Hilary’s alleged pay-to-play bribery scandals; her unprotected Secretary of State email server in her home bathroom to cover it up; after receiving a subpoena, destroying multiple mobile devices with a hammer and BleachBit software and then lying to the FBI about all of it. With Trump, the media replayed each of his cringe-worthy antics and statements against segments of the population until our eyes glazed over, and many of us couldn’t imagine him as our leader. We need to ask ourselves if the election results would have been any different if we, the American people, had received the same news the rest of the world received on a daily basis? At least we would have based our votes on the same information.

In my college journalism classes, we studied the giants of journalism like Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, who reported only the facts. When did our press veer off course and begin to shape the news to their liking? I believe it started with Watergate, an event that forever changed the five tenants of journalism: Who, what, when, why and where.

Before Watergate, the personal viewpoints of newspaper, television and radio station owners were limited to the Editorial page or a 60 second on-air spot once a month. In 1972, two 20-something Washington Post reporters—Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—uncovered a secret fund that paid to gather information on “the other political party” which ultimately unraveled Richard Nixon’s Presidency. From that moment on, journalists were seduced by a power they didn’t know they had.

Power is heady stuff, and when the media discovered the authority they had over the voting public, there was no putting the genie back in the bottle. Lines that distinguished facts from editorial beliefs fell like toy building blocks. The press went from being people we trusted to bring us the facts, to being power mongers infatuated by the influence of their own words.

At the same time, the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll culture of the 60’s and 70’s found a stronger foothold on both coasts, while the rest of the country remained more conservative. Old school ideologies changed while a previously unbiased news media became celebs and personalities who wrote about their newfound reality. What’s more, the press was seduced by the politicians. They were a power couple made in Helvetica heaven. At that point unbiased journalism died, replaced by a select version of the truth… what the media and a segment of the populace “wanted their country to be.” The fundamental issue isn’t that liberals and conservatives are at war with one another. It’s that we’re not receiving the same news, much less the truth about one another.

In the film, Something’s Gotta Give, Jack Nicholson’s character said, “I’ve always told you some version of the truth.” America needs to borrow Diane Keaton’s comeback line: “The truth doesn’t have versions, okay?”

A friend recoiled when I told her I listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in the car. You would have thought I’d admitted to poisoning puppies. I also watch ABC News with David Muir and CNN. My point with my friend was if we can agree the media is biased, then how can we make an educated decision if we don’t listen to “both sides?” Staying cloistered in either mainstream media—or FOX News—isn’t the answer. That’s how we windup living in a bubble. We’re listening only to ideologies we agree with that may be versions of the truth, or in many instances, the truth has been ignored altogether.

Take a breath, people. Become an informed electorate. Pay attention to history, not just American history, but world history. Italian philosopher, George Santayana (1863-1952) wrote, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Let’s not give way to anarchy and another Civil War because we’re too gullible and lazy to do the homework needed to make educated decisions.

Love, Brenda


  • Carol-Ann Dearnaley November 12, 2016 at 7:22 am

    What you have written about Hillary Clinton is patently wrong and ablie of such proportion that I had to read it 3 times to make sure I hadn’t wandered on to a clip from the National Enquirer or Breitbart; but no, you meant it. That is a bridge too far and now we live with donald trump because lies of the magnitude you just chose to repeat. What a horrible disservice to those of who read you. I guess you missed that journalism class where you were told to check your facts against two (2) independent source before putting it out to the public. Pity.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Carol-Ann, I’m not quite sure how to respond other than you missed the point of my blog, but I appreciate your comment. Thank you, Brenda

  • Beckye November 12, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Well said and so true. The media has been biased and veering off-course for decades.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      It’s so frustrating, isn’t it Beckye? Thanks for reading and for your support. xoxo, Brenda

  • Melanie Snyder November 12, 2016 at 7:52 am

    You are so right!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks, Melanie! Brenda

  • Kathy November 12, 2016 at 7:53 am

    They all lie. The disservice is turning people against each other. Obviously both sides have to come together and work for what’s best for our country. Once news became entertainment we were doomed. It’s all rating driven so they either create a crisis or make a big deal out of nothing then fan the flames. Honestly, what qualified person would even want the job?

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      Great point, Kathy! It won’t be long before no one we’d want to elect–to any office–will want to be put through this humiliating process. Brenda

  • Coco November 12, 2016 at 8:26 am

    You are correct… I listen to every spectrum of thought… I don’t know many who do the same .. most people make up their mind and put blinders on to any other information.
    I admire your courage to say what you think .. these days you take your life in your hands if you express a political view!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks for your support, Coco. I thought twice before writing this. If we only wanted to listen to people who thought like we do, there would be no reason to get out of bed and go out into the world. Brenda

  • holly November 12, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I second the comments from Carol-Ann Dearnaley. The Hillary Clinton lies being spewed by Fox, Hannity, Limbaugh, Breitbart and a wolf pack of bigoted white men that are simply angry that an African American got us out of a financial crises they created, got Bin Laden and created a vehicle for millions of Americans to finally have access to health care. We now live in the Donald world and will need to shower every time he speaks or tweets. I am terrified for our country and the world as these next four year loom in front of us.

    • Janice | MostlyBlogging November 13, 2016 at 10:12 am

      As am I

      • lynn November 13, 2016 at 11:18 am

        So Hillary supports prefer to live in a world of hate and fear while calling Donald a hater…………..ever look in the mirror Hillary Supporter?
        Trillions missing from our treasury and President Obama has no answer where it went. Many brown people from Africa and the middle east killed by drones in record numbers, millions lost their homes and to move out of war zones. Bankers where paid off by the billions and none where convicted. It was enough money to give every person in America a free home.
        Democrat and Republican parties are private organizations, both do not work for people.

        • 1010ParkPlace November 14, 2016 at 8:44 am

          Thanks, Lynn. At this point, the election is over, but our future is uncertain. In addition to becoming educated citizens, we must find a way to work together. If not, I fear a literal Civil War. At best, the media will continue to fester this wound. They don’t want to report the facts or administer an antibiotic. Their only goal is to destroy half of the population by pitting us against one another. Brenda

      • 1010ParkPlace November 14, 2016 at 8:33 am

        Janice, I think every American is terrified for our country and the world we live in. Perhaps every generation has said something like “the world is going to Hell in a hand basket,” but I think we all feel this way. It’s scary beyond belief, especially the division between friends and neighbors and we can’t go to a source we trust to give us the straight scoop. Thanks for weighing in, Brenda

    • 1010ParkPlace November 14, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Holly, While I disagree, I respect your right to say them, and thank you for reading my thoughts as well. Brenda

    • Marsha November 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Millions of Americans finally have access to health care? Then explain this to me. We are self-employed and have to BUY our own health insurance. In the county where we live, there is now ONE insurance company to pick from. The cheapest health insurance we can BUY will cost us $1,576 A MONTH. Explain how I have access to health care, please. If we do BUY ACA compliant health insurance, at least I’ll have maternity coverage. That’s a great thing for a 54 year old woman who had a hysterectomy 14 years ago! Utter nonsense.

      • Brenda Coffee November 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm

        Marsha, you just summed up my health insurance dilemma, hysterectomy and all. Pardon me, but Obama care was a crock of shit, but it struck all the right chords with voters when he was running for President. Brenda

  • Betsy Forbes Brock November 12, 2016 at 8:49 am

    The electorate (or at least those who decided to participate) has spoken; in my mind they rejected the alleged corrupt practices of one for the uncertainty of another. Now the time has come to join together and make the greatest system work. Time to hold our elected officials, from dog catcher to president, accountable by becoming engaged. Remember this is a system with checks & balances; it is not about a single individual. Get engaged if you disagree; don’t be apathetic.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      So wonderfully put, Betsy! Let’s not be apathetic but find a way to be contributors to this great country of ours. xoxox, Brenda

  • Barbara November 12, 2016 at 8:59 am

    You have a valid point, Brenda, about knowing both sides. However, I do agree with others here that much of what you stated about Hillary is untrue. But, I’ll tell you why I think all those gross exaggerations came to be viewed as truth. She is and has always been closed up tight in the political arena. It’s surprising to me she got this far. She has been on public display most of her adult life. Her husband is a philanderer and yet, she stayed. Many of us have dealt with that and forgiven our spouses to move on. Due to her life being on public display while, at the same time, trying to do work she felt compelled to do to create the equality we women truly want, her task was ten times harder than any man. When you look at her approval ratings AFTER she got the jobs she’s had you’ll see they skyrocket. Why? Because getting the job leaves you open and vulnerable which she’s learned to be fearful of but, doing the job once she got it is what makes her a great leader. It is really unfortunate that this was the hardest battle for her and we are now stuck with a lying hateful ignorant man to run the greatest country in the free world.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      I agree with you, Barbara. Hilary’s always been at the center of controversy and being a woman, aiming for the top job in the world has made her a target. It can’t have been easy, and I feel for her at this point in time. She must be devastated. My next statement won’t be anything we haven’t read all week, but it’s so important… that we find a way to work together and help, not hinder, the new President and do what we can for our great country. Thanks for weighing in. That took courage. xoxox, Brenda

  • Leslye Hernandez November 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

    That was exactly what has happened. You didn’t mention the the screaming pundits the media invited and paid to create chaos and rage on their panels which further divided us. It is naive to think many people even watch the national news – many form opinions based on parents and families closed minded historic views and never seek information. But you are right if they do, they are confronted with the reality of Facebook fake news and reality show television news – thus Trump now reigns supreme. I, like you, have said for decades that we lost journalism for the masses following Watergate when networks discovered a cash cow.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Leslye, It didn’t help that DNC chair, Donna Brazile, shared the CNN debate questions with the Clinton campaign or that prominent members of the media, like Katie Couric, told Hilary she could edit their interview. That’s not journalism! That’s a fluff piece for Lady’s Home Journal. Brenda

  • KeriMae November 12, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Seems like some of your commenters underscored your very well-said points. As I get older, I find myself more sad about how family, friends, and neighbors will split over politics (and/or religion) rather than have civil discussion and disagreement. I do blame the media on both sides for whipping people into a crazed frenzy that leads to abject hopelessness when their party loses. AND for keeping the American people angry at each other rather than helping one another to live better lives, no matter what goes on in the political realm. Good on you (and courageous too!!) for bringing out the importance of hearing and reading all sides. I, too, truly mourn journalism’s demise.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 7:49 pm

      Good for you, Kerimae, for having the courage to post a comment. The plot thickens when you realize the media is going to fan the anti-Trump flames in every way they can. I fear the people won’t give him an opportunity to see what he can do, and/or they won’t hear it over the media’s bias. Thanks, again. I appreciate you. Brenda

  • Barb November 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

    WOW! DEAD ON! Best thing I have seen in a LONG TIME! This country has been “controlled” by media FAR TO LONG. I have come to the conclusion as I watch what has CONTINUED in the last few days, that we need to send them a message. They are there for ratings and money. TURN THEM OFF. We have come to a place where we can not see the TRUTH. We only want what make us feel good. When did take our eyes off of that very same flag that has flown over us all all the years and want what THE BEST FOR THE UNITED STATES! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    • 1010ParkPlace.com November 13, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you for your support, Barb. Being a civil servant and being “we the people” is difficult enough without not being able to trust the middle men who keep us informed. As a former journalist. I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility with everything I write, to tell the truth, to the best of my ability whether I like, agree or disagree with it. It’s not even like the game we played as kids where you tell the person next to you what you were told, and they pass it on, until the last person in the chain gets it all wrong. They haven’t accidentally gotten it wrong. The press no longer reports the news. They relay organized statements the politicians want us to hear. I wish I could even say, “Shame on them,” but it’s beyond that. Brenda

  • Chris November 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Well said! I, like you, am a news channel flipper to try and understand as many views (and spins) as possible. What I find sad and ironic is that after such a thoughtful article about the media and the history of how it has changed, some of your commenters could only jump to disagree and dispute your opinion about a candidate with no mention of the article’s essence. I find it hard to listen to people who call half the voting population bigots without fully understanding the full meaning of the word. I do wish something could be done about the media. Thank you for your articles, I look forward to more!

    • 1010ParkPlace.com November 13, 2016 at 8:10 pm

      The first comment took my breath away, saddened and amused me at the same time because she missed the point of my post. The genie will never go back in the bottle, so it’s up to us, “we the people,” to be vigilant about our news sources and double check their “reporting” as best we can. If you think about it, mainstream media is not that different than Pravda… Thank you for your support, Chris. It means a lot to me. Brenda

  • Paula November 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Bravo Brenda! You are spot on. The media decided they wanted to control the election by influencing the vote. Unfortunately, many fell into the trap. Just because something is said thousands of times doesn’t always make it right.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      So right, Paula. Unfortunately the problem goes orders of magnitude deeper. The press will continue to influence the rest of the existence of the United States of America or until the end of time, which ever comes first. Be on guard. Thank you so much for commenting, Brenda

  • Brenda Yates November 12, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for your refreshingly honest words about the media’s mishandling of the news. I try to get at the truth about people and events by watching and listening to both sides, but they stretch and yell about things so much that it’s really impossible for me to ever feel like I can believe what I hear on the “news”.. It’s like we are trying to walk on quicksand! It would be wonderful to listen to the news reports and believe that we were actually hearing the truth..

    • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, Brenda. How is our press any different than the communist run news media, Pravda? Thanks so much for your support, Brenda

  • Diane November 13, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I definitely agree we need to listen to two sides of a debate.
    Be informed. Be very informed.

    • 1010ParkPlace.com November 13, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      …and I agree with you, Diane. We lose what power we have if we don’t. Thanks for your response, Brenda

  • Susan Tolles November 13, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    BRAVO! Thanks for being bold and courageous enough to say what so many are thinking. The media was drunk with power during this election, proving that journalism is dead. I think the American people had finally reached the tipping point and said “watch this!” as they voted. There was very little balanced information, and it was up to us to seek both sides. Unfortunately, most everything was one-sided. I won’t get in to the fray here, but I do hope and pray that we can all find common ground and move forward to return our nation to its greatness. The hatred, assault, vandalism and burning of the American flag will get us nowhere.

  • 1010ParkPlace November 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you, Susan. I fear so many of us are already so closed off, that we won’t be receptive to anything good our new President does, and we won’t work together. If that happens, then we self-destruct from within. We don’t have to worry about foreign factions. Brenda

  • CC November 13, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    So well put, Brenda. I watch C-span. They have 2 channels and another one with a larger cable package. But their content is free online. They have speeches, hearings going back to Reagan. They just have the cameras rolling, so there is no “spin” (although they do have Politico on occasionally and they do lean left these days). I too was dismayed at some of the comments. Power and money fuels both sides and we need to keep vigilant about knowing as much as we can. I to, thought it came down to corruption and crass for the choice. Since we are a country that is great because of the rule of law (the Bill of Rights and the Constitution being the foundational laws), I went with the unknown buffoon. I just heard on TV that Trump will not be taking any salary, we are off to a good start. I need to copy and share. Is that alright? If not, that’s okay.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 14, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Hi CC, Share away! I love your analysis of “it came down to corruption and crass for the choice.” You’ve got that right. He can be a buffoon, for sure, but his fingerprints aren’t on the current mess our healthcare, economy or our sad foreign policy apology tour. He will be the first President who’s a businessman–wildly successful–and the United States is the largest corporation in the world and needs someone other than a community organizer at the helm. Thanks for your comment, CC. Brenda

  • Felechia November 13, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    In this era of fake news, I like to check the facts before repeating anything. If you’re not sure the source is credible and impeccable, you can check the story on Snopes and find out what’s true and what’s fake. Usually even the fake stories have some wisp of reality to them:

  • 1010ParkPlace November 14, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Felicia, Did you read all of the link you gave me? If so, the last paragraph says, “This fake news story about the first presidential debate was a complete fabrication and is unrelated to later claims that Donna Brazile might have provided the Clinton campaign previews of questions to be asked at a much earlier Democratic primary event.” If you click on that link, it’s a Washington Post article and the headline suggests ‘Trump was right after all: Clinton got previews of some debate questions.” FOX News interviewed Donna Brazile and asked if she gave Hilary’s campaign debate questions in advance. Clearly caught off-guard, Brazile’s only reaction was to say she–Donna–knows what it’s like to be persecuted. Her answer is not remotely related to the question. It’s significant that she didn’t answer the same question, asked seconds later by other multiple news outlets… “Deflection” is unfortunately a technique politicians use when they don’t want to answer a question. BTW, Google “Donna Brazile gave Hilary debate questions” and the liberal sites ran this story and Donna’s “deflection.” The NYTimes even reports that “CNN Parts Ways with Donna Brazile.” Thanks for reading, Felicia. I appreciate your input and your link. Brenda

  • Lori Wight November 17, 2016 at 1:21 am

    From Australia.Like you Brenda I like to hear all sides of any story,I always think there are three sides to every story,side one,side two and the real one.
    From what I can gather through our media most Australians were suprized that Donald Trump came out the winner however most journalists and our Prime Minister believe that America will be ok and that the rest of the world including Australia will continue to work together with America for the good of all people.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 17, 2016 at 7:56 am

      Hi Lori, It’s interesting to hear what other world leaders are saying about our election so thank you for sharing that. I hope the Prime Minister’s right, but we have so much healing that needs to be done, and the media is making this very difficult. For instance, one of the big stories yesterday was that Donald Trump and his family went to dinner and didn’t alert the media. The media is furious, which goes to show you how important some of them think they are. The media continue to fan the bonfires of divisiveness, which is creating more fear and anger in those who don’t listen to both sides of any story. Our citizens are further apart from one another than I can ever remember. Frankly, I don’t see our coming together as “One nation, Under God, With Liberty and Justice for All,” words from our Pledge of Allegiance, which was drawn up after the Civil War in an attempt to unify our war torn country. I believe the Australian Citizenship Affirmation is a similar statement. I am very afraid for our country. The roots of divisiveness are so very deep. Thank you, Lori…. Brenda

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