Penn Wealth Publishing

2018.07.15 Penn Wealth Report Vol 6 Issue 02

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Penn Wealth Publishing Subscription Information Penn Wealth Publishing 9393 West 110th Street 51 Corporate Woods Suite 500 Overland Park, KS 66210 This magazine is subject to copyright protection. All rights reserved. Penn Wealth Publishing, LLC. 4 Penn Wealth RePoRt volume 6 issue 02 15 Jul 2018 Penn Wealth RePoRt Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved. From the Editor/ There is no better example of mainstream media bias and conformity of thought—groupthink—than the 2016 US national elections. I heard one business news network, on the eve of the election, put the odds of Donald Trump winning the White House at 5%. And if the "unthinkable" did actually happen, we were virtually guaranteed to face a stock market slaughter. This was a business network—a mainstream media outlet relied upon by a multitude of investors for reliable market news. We know what happened next: the "unthinkable" trans- pired and the stock market rocketed to fifteen months of historic new highs. The mainstream media was dead wrong, and investors who bought what they were selling paid the price, literally. More importantly for this case study, many of the individual human cogs which, collectively, make up the entity that is the mainstream media were visibly shaken by the results of the election. When I was growing up, nearly all Americans had three major television networks, a public broadcasting station, and the local daily newspaper(s). What those monolithic entities reported to us was the overwhelming extent of our knowledge of current affairs. If Walter Kronkite and his producers wanted us to see body bags coming back from Vietnam, that is what they would show—and the images would be buttressed by his lofty and flowery commentary. Then, beginning in earnest in the 1980s and burgeoning into a seismic shift, technology began to loosen the grip of this fiefdom. First it was the cable news networks, fol- lowed by the advent and proliferation of social media tools and news websites. Suddenly, nothing could be said in a protected little vacuum. Every comment made by a main- stream journalist could be scrutinized and refuted. The emperors, kings, queens, princes, and princesses of journalism lashed out at this unprecedented occurrence. How dare the bourgeois, the commoners, the peasants who existed merely to pay for the right to absorb such brilliant insight actually have the audacity to question their bene- factors! Now it was personal. When one moves from an analytical state of mind to a more visceral, emotional state, that person tends to begin making stupid mistakes. This condition is exacerbated when we are surrounded by others who share our own beliefs. The internal anger felt by so many in the press after the election began to manifest in the form of hyperbolic articles and bizarre comments. Finally, someone dared to cry, "but the emperor has no clothes!" The jig was up. The "move along, nothing to see here" headlines follow- ing the historic first meeting between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un are the most recent example of media bias. With unconscious rote (which shows how deeply they are mentally entrenched in their belief system), members of the mainstream media continue to push their false narratives with zeal. The great irony of all this lies in the fact that they are hastening their own demise. MSH Michael S. Hazell editor in chief The mainstream media's cause of death: self-inflicted wounds groupthink: (noun) A pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics. (Merriam-Webster)

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