Monday, 23 February 2015

Alternative media and skepticism

Alternative media is all the craze and the reason usually given for this is that the main stream media is not to be trusted. Interestingly the idea that the main stream media is not to be trusted is usually supported by alt-media source. There are a wide variety of alt-media news sources and actually I do not think necessarily that all alt-media sources/news reports are bad journalism. But, really skepticism does need to be applied often to alt-news media (and main stream media) as they really can range from the bizarre (InfoWars) to the far  left (TYT) to the far right (TheBlaze). Additionally, there are also the simple news aggregation websites (Drudge Report) that pick up news from anywhere and this news then gets considered real, but these are not new sites they simply collect.

I think a lot of the trust in these alt-media websites comes from the discord that they themselves sow in the mainstream media. For example we all know the story of Cenk Uyger that got "kicked out of MSNBC" due to his political views when in fact he  refused a new contract. We also know that many alt-media sources believe the so called main stream media sources cover up for the government. This belief is especially true with respect to the Iraq War and Weapons of Mass Destruction cover up. However, the fact is that these cover ups were actually first reported in the Main Stream Media Sources such as The New York, Times, CNN before the invasion, and then covered extensively after by main stream media.

The Iraq problem is in fact one of the reasons to fear alt-media as they use a form of bait and switch. They like to point out that the main stream media cannot be trusted as they did not report the correct news in one aspect (usually, neither did they) and therefore everything they tell you is true. Things like ISIS is funded by the US government, that women are constantly living under a rape threat, the Charlie Hebdo attack was a false flag operation, Obama is the Antichrist, Bush was the Antichrist, etc etc etc.

Alt-media has a place in society, but apply your skeptic hat if you are going to source it. Like I have shown before on this site there is a lot of trash out there that is sold as real news.