American society sure can be fickle! Media’s love for sensationalism seems to cross every line. One minute they are spouting forth freedom to do anything you want to do, be whoever you want to be, and say whatever you want to say. But, when someone says something that is not politically correct, they are all over it like you know what. To them, the USA espouses nearly 320 million versions of truth, as many different versions as there are people. However, if a network’s “trusty” investigation team discovers inconsistencies that are news worthy, watch out!!
In my early years the most trusted man in America was not the president, nor the governor of a state. The most trusted man of my memory was Walter Cronkite. Those of us old enough to remember John F. Kennedy’s assassination, will well recall the words from the CBS anchor, “From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time.” And, when men walked upon the moon July 20, 1969, he said, “Well, for thousands of years now, it’s been man’s dream to walk on the moon. Right now after seeing it happen, knowing it happened, and it still seems like a dream, and that is, I guess, a dream come true.”
There is something about the voice you hear or the words you read in a medium purported to reveal events as they happen that appeals to our psyche. When we hear something we want to believe it is true! Sadly, things are not that way this day in time. Have you ever heard the old adage, “How can you tell if a drunk is lying? — When he opens his mouth!” Sadly, the same can be said about today’s media. Today news is marketed. The news is not delivered; it is dramatized. Events are not explained; they are made extraordinary. Things are not said to be true; they are spun to be stupendous.
To borrow from the apostle Paul, “ . . . Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, ‘That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.’” (Romans 3:4 ESV) God’s words are true. Jesus spoke truth. In other words, Jesus related events and circumstances as they were. Have you ever noticed that no place in the Scriptures do you hear Jesus say, “It is my humble opinion . . .” You never hear Him begin a sentence with, “I think . . .” Why? Jesus knew! His think-so was never a consideration, but He knew what the facts were and related them.
What is going on in the news this past week is not the “outing” or “exposing” of a new anchor’s lies. What Brian Williams said happened, and what really happened is of little importance with it comes to media spin. It is an opportunity for media to do its thing. They cannibalize one another in the hopes of making ratings because ratings sell advertisement.
If people want the truth, the real truth about things, they will not look to the evening news, or the cable news networks to find out truth. They may tune in to hear tidbits about what is happening here, and what is happening there, but one thing is for sure, if it is truth you are seeking, do not expect to find it from a news network. As with all things not biblical, be sure to take what you hear with the proverbial grain of salt.
Several years ago, Paul Harvey had a radio series called, “The Rest of The Story.” When it comes to reporting events as they are or were, it will always come down to a “he said” versus “she said,” disclosure. Truth may include parts of what she said and he said, but always remember that there is a third side to the truth coin, and that is what really happened. Sadly, in many circumstances what really happened, what they really meant, or what was really done may never be truly known.
Who is the trusted name in broadcast news? God! After Him and His Word, the Bible, we are left with nothing but questions.