We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Deca-dance: media muddling.

Romans during the Decadence, by Thomas Couture | Wikipedia

People of goodwill have given members of the mainstream media (MM) every opportunity to behave like responsible citizens who should, by virtue of their office in a free and responsible democracy, serve the common good. Sadly, the MM routinely manage the news, that is, shape the news, in order to further agendas which any rational person possessing an ounce of common sense would and does find unacceptable in a free democracy that depends on the accurate transmission of the facts. The fair dissemination of ideas permits those ideas to be properly evaluated. Those ideas deemed to be of benefit to man and which respect the fundamental dignity of human beings can then be implemented in a prudent and timely manner. Unfortunately, so called progressives and their media allies have created an uneven playing field. Ideas formerly considered morally repugnant—abortion, adultery, eugenics, etc.—are denied criticism by those who own the media in order to enable a license to do whatever they deem pleasurable and thus permissible. Disordered inclinations drive the modern media and too few citizen consumers of information lack the intellectual fortitude to pursue truth and thereby overcome the propaganda offered them.

All the news that is fit to... sell.

A leftist for-profit media routinely uses fear mongering, a selective reading of data, cropping stories for effect, and burying facts that contradict liberal/progressive agendas among insignificant or distracting details to assuage damage.

Buyer beware.

The for-profit media, which include the public media, are very much in the habit of selling the news. The public media, however, cannot admit that they sell the news as much as their commercial competitors do lest they surrender their supposed moral authority in the media marketplace.

Other than those rare moments when journalists do something useful such as exposing malfeasance or corruption or drawing attention to some verified medical breakthrough, the media do precious little to temper the common perception, now confirmed by several robust longitudinal studies, that the so-called mainstream media actually serve first and foremost their own and elitist interests that fall squarely under the "progressive" or liberal banner.
NPR (National Pretense Radio)

NPR backtracked its claims last week that it never cancelled interviews on the Iran Deal with Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo after staffers for the Kansas congressman produced emails proving that it had happened.

An Associated Press story Friday reported that NPR accepted $100,000 from a a White House-allied pro-Iran deal organization called the Ploughshares Fund in order to fund “national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and budgets [and] Iran’s nuclear program…” Ostensibly, NPR policy did not allow that grant to slant coverage, but the arrangement received renewed scrutiny after Obama national security advisor Ben Rhodes named the organization as one of the tools the administration used to echo their talking points.—SOURCE/LINK
Self righteous media.
Manipulative Editing Reflects Poorly On Katie Couric, Gun Documentary
Katie Couric and the creator of a documentary on guns are apologizing — to a point — for switching around footage to make it falsely appear that members of a Virginia gun rights organization could not summon an answer to a key question on background checks.
An audiotaped recording taken by one of the participants shows otherwise — they spoke extemporaneously for several minutes. (Smart! Those interviewed knew well enough not to trust their interviewers.)
Asked how Couric reacted when she saw that portion of the film before its release, a spokesman for the project said, "Katie questioned the pause, but the director made the decision to use it to lead into the discussion of the hole in background checks."
http://www.npr.org/2016/05/26/479655743/manipulative-editing-reflects-poorly-on-couric-and-her-gun-documentary
Then there's this curious interjection in the NPR report:
This manipulation — and that's what it was — would not pass muster at NPR under its principles for fairness in handling interviews.
See also: http://www.thewrap.com/katie-couric-under-the-gun-documentary/
The media is predictably swift when it comes to self absolution and avoiding culpability for serious errors in judgement.

News or narrative?

Western societies have strayed into an age of propagandism, a detestable slip into an era of public indifference to the actions of individuals and organizations who routinely handle journalists and reporters in order to shift the sociological and political narratives toward the worst imaginable agendas. That is, agendas that attempt to rob people of their dignity and rob people of the opportunity to discuss like rational human beings ideas that contradict the irrational agendas being introduced into the public square.

On the way to ruin.

Those who promote the idea of a naked public square, i.e., a public square free of morality, are leading us into societies that are ruled by instinctual forces which ultimately target and harm the most vulnerable members of society. As government, social and financial institutions are controlled more and more by people who feel themselves free to act in their own (most hedonistic, self-serving, etc.) interests above the common good, we can expect our societies to become more tribal, more decadent, more barbaric.

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