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The Cowardice of Scapegoating by AmericanDreaming The Cowardice of Scapegoating by AmericanDreaming
Like nearly every other problem in society, the flaws of the media originate from, and are propagated by the public, by everyday people like you and me. Stop outsourcing the blame for our problems on small groups, whether religious, ethnic, racial, economic, governmental, or institutional. There are factors at play which are beyond our individual control, yes, and these same factors largely drive even those we might scapegoat. In analyzing these forces, let's not abdicate our own responsibility as individuals and as citizens.

The problem isn't the media. The problem is us. People want to hear confirmatory or entertaining content, so those who deliver it get the most views, clicks, ratings, and so forth. They are giving people what they want, rather than performing a service at a financial loss. That is how markets work. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Institutions like the news media are essential for the maintenance and health of an open society. Do not take their existence or function for granted, and do not underestimate their role in holding authority accountable. Do not let disagreement or criticism bleed into scapegoating, demonizing, or dehumanization. This is how institutions can fall, and once gone, they are harder to reclaim.


Maybe Something Else Sucks by AmericanDreaming  The Fourth Estate by AmericanDreaming  The Press-Internet Symbiosis by AmericanDreaming

See more in my Original Content Folder.


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:iconyamalama1986:
YamaLama1986 Featured By Owner Edited 6 days ago   Digital Artist
Today in the Western world there is so much superficiality, hedonism, self-centredness, laziness, and atomization of communities where individuals have no care nor interest in maintaining any functioning community beyond their small inner circle of close family and friends. People can argue what the specific causes of these are, but they do exist and they are degrading the Western world.

I have lost a lot of empathy for many people I hear complaining of the unfairness of others when I doubt they would behave much differently if they were in the others' situation. If someone demonstrates that they have ideas for a constructive solution to a problem rather than just screaming and accusing others, then I will consider their arguments and see if they could work.
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner 5 days ago   Writer
That is true. You can see from some of the commenters how anathema the notion is that perhaps are problems are collective, not caused by a few. Like trying to pry drugs from a junkie's grip.
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:icongraeystone:
Graeystone Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2017
Things I've never done - gave a candidate a preview of the questions of a debate, get caught staging a phony protest, purposely oversample one side of a poll in order to make the 'other side' look like they're losing.

So yeah, when it comes to the press and myself, I can look into the mirror with a clear conscience.
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2017   Writer
The pride with which conservatives proclaim that the problems of society are always the fault of others is your most contemptible shortcoming.
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:iconyamalama1986:
YamaLama1986 Featured By Owner Edited 3 days ago   Digital Artist
To be fair there are many camps in politics that blame everything on another camp. The problem is that they fail to recognize that many of these problems have gone on long before that other camp existed. Some of the problems are rooted in the human condition and its capacities - but blaming others has political utility and rewards from using it.
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner 3 days ago   Writer
True enough.
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:iconwadeallan:
wadeallan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Seems like you're giving press organizations a free pass to act with total impunity and blaming it on the laziness or short attention span of the public. "We have no one to blame but ourselves" sounds a bit like you're trying create a scapegoat in defense of the media. If I don't consume news media for entertainment, if I'm not falling prey to clickbait, if I'm legitimately trying to inform my decisions and I still get the same treatment, how can you tell me I have no one to blame but myself? You admonish us not to abdicate individual responsibility, yet apparently remove that burden from the individuals responsible for pushing news content?

Journalism and news reporting do serve very important functions. The networks and organizations responsible for the content they push can and should be held responsible for their actions. This is not creating a scapegoat, it is demanding a level of competency and honesty that is crucial for those systems to function properly. When you push the narrative that the people are entirely to blame for the dishonesty in their media, one has to wonder how you explain state-run news agencies that peddle propoganda 24/7 in countries around the world. Are the people of China guilty of thoughtlessness because their news is controlled by the state? This is not entirely an issue of free markets. News media is not some pure manifestation of the vox populi, and it is almost always driven by an agenda of some kind.
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017   Writer
I did not say the press shouldn't be criticized or held accountable for mistakes. My point is that ultimately, this is a problem we all created. This is a relatively free and open society, one that is mostly market-driven, which is why the comparison with China breaks down. The areas or aspects of the press which are lacking are so because consumers reward it with patronage of a sort.

If you criticize the lack of journalistic integrity when you see it, avoid consuming or patronizing such frequently offending outlets, and if you're not blaming the media for this that and everything, then this picture isn't directed at you.

There are however areas of society in which the press is demonized and scapegoated, and these sentiments are spreading. There are people who think the press should be state-run, others who think what they consider unfair coverage should be criminal, people who have no problem with journalists being assaulted, and people who generally consider the press to be comprised of fundamentally nefarious people. These attitudes an toxic, in my view every bit as much as the various failing of the press itself. A populace that is ignorant, apathetic, and media illiterate, one that blames others for our collective problems without ever looking inward, and one that brands anything it doesn't want to hear as propaganda, lies, or fake news, leads nowhere we should want to go. These are the sorts of attitudes I am primarily addressing.
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:iconzeonista:
Zeonista Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017
Oh don't worry, I am gonna blame a lot of people for the problems of society. I will still blame the press for doing their part for not helping fix the problems. Outright Leftist cheer-leading, selective news story choices, picking sides in a situation, letting the Internet fact-check their stories for them, having the same verbiage in news reports across several TV networks, kissing political ass and agreeing to slanted coverage in return for inside information and access.... The list goes on and on. Yes, I will still continue to play the blame game. 
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:icondarkvikingmistress:
DarkVikingMistress Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017  Student Writer
I mean, there's a lot of left wing biased outlets, but there's a lot of right wing biased outlets as well.
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:iconzeonista:
Zeonista Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017
When it comes to the Lamestream Media, I have no interest in promoting equivalence. They are politically skewed to the point of satire and beyond. The news is no longer independent, with the broadcast networks and their news centers gathered under the umbrella of media corporation with close ties to political parties, mostly one Democrat Party. We are not getting news reports, we are getting infomercials. 
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:icongreyman101:
Greyman101 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017
Doesn't apply equally to everyone. Non-conservatives consume a variety of news sources. Conservatives rapaciously gobble up ONE particular news channel that leaves its consumers dumber than people who watch no news whatsoever.
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017   Writer
Granted. I tried to keep this piece non-partisan, but it would be dishonest of me (or anyone) to pretend that this is an evenly distributed problem. 
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:icongreyman101:
Greyman101 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2017
False equivalence is something the righty-tighties get away with far too often.
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:iconwadeallan:
wadeallan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017  Student Digital Artist
What evidence do either of you have to support this claim? You seem very sure of yourself to the point of calling anyone who disagrees a liar, so I'm interested whether you're operating off of actual data or just your firmly held opinions.

Can you really make the case that you've got reliable and accurate data on what news is consumed by any person with any given political persuasion? Or are you just operating off of the 'conventional wisdom' that conservatives watch only Fox News, while enlightened liberals watch CNN, MSNBC, read HuffPo and NYTimes, etc? For all the posturing about being non-partisan, I believe your comments show real prejudice and a distinct lack of neutrality.

And finally, if you consume media from three different sources that have an identical agenda, are you really getting any more diversity of thought than someone who only watches one?
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017   Writer
It's very likely that there's been polling data on this. However I based those remarks on my own observations. I see problems on both sides, but I do not believe it is evenly distributed. I don't think it is overly productive to stress that point, which is why I didn't mention it in the piece nor the description, but it is what I think, and in my view, I have seen enough to get a semi-accurate approximation. Again, not scientific data, but you are free to look into that aspect of it, I would be interested to see it.

If you consume three different news sources with identical levels of bias, then there would be a slight difference in terms of accuracy, veracity, and integrity. I would not recommend turning to one or even a small handful of sources. We should consume news from a multitude of sources.
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:iconwadeallan:
wadeallan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Using phrasing like "what I think, and in my view, semi-accurate approximation, not scientific" is a pretty big step away from directly accusing those who disagree with you of being dishonest. While we obviously have to rely on our experiences as individuals to an extent, treating personal observations as canon and labeling objections or questioning of that canon as lies is a pretty big part of the problem you're describing, I think.
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017   Writer
The initial statement did not have all the caveats in it. I wasn't aware I was being cross-examined.
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:iconwadeallan:
wadeallan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017  Student Digital Artist
Isn't the point of the 'marketplace of ideas' the ability of others to examine your beliefs critically and see their merits and faults?
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:iconamericandreaming:
AmericanDreaming Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2017   Writer
Sure.
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:iconantgeist:
ANTGEIST Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017
Fat acceptance movement lol
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:icontsisqua-ugidali:
Tsisqua-Ugidali Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017  Professional Photographer
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:iconeric-was-here:
Eric-was-here Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2017
I don't blame the press for anything other than the inability to do honest reporting. and since I am not one of those anymore I can proclaim it ( and when i was I did my honest reporting ( ala Dragnet " just the facts ma'am")
As for looking for problems in me.. Those are legion ! however when I notice such I do correct it ( just in time to find more) since perfection in a person is not a goal but a journey and I can only hope to be a better person 5 min from now than I was 5 min ago.
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:iconreclusivechicken:
ReclusiveChicken Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
heard of ed bernays?
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:iconachthenuts:
achthenuts Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Know the darkness inside you by achthenuts

Coincidence?
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