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Tag Archives: talking points

Losing Faith in the Media

Prior to the introduction of cable and the internet, most Americans only had four to six channels available on their television.  If you wanted to keep up with current events, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC provided local news at six, followed by world news at 6:30pm.  Names such as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Bob Schieffer, Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters were the people in the media that my parents trusted.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding, Proverbs 3:5.

If my father left for a business trip, he took the local newspaper delivered to our home daily.  Whenever my dad went away for a conference, national papers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or some other financial magazine were reliable sources for news.  However, when CNN introduced the concept of a twenty four hour cable news network in 1980, the trust factor began to fade as news started to become more and more sensational to attract new viewers.

Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:20-21.

Today, as new competitors have entered the arena of cable news, the quality of reporting has declined.  Channels that share common worldviews use talking points to communicate a unified message.  As you switch networks, it seems like several anchors and reporters are reading from the same teleprompter.  Meanwhile, assumptions are regularly made about mainstream Americans which ignore most of the heartland in this country.  As this trend continues, I am offended weekly by members of the media.  Thus, I have reached a point in my life where the less news I hear, the better I feel about life.  This may explain why a growing number of Americans have lost faith in the media.

by Jay Mankus

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The Heart of this Matter

Troubled souls watch in horror following the third act of terrorism in less than two weeks.  After the shock wears off, people are looking for answers, searching for the heart of this matter.  While the facts of the most recent ambush of police officers in Louisiana is unclear, there elements shine some light upon the darkness behind these evil acts.

1. Opinions have been elevated to truth status.

Whether you watch cable news, follow social media or read secular publications, public opinions go viral weekly.  Cable news uses talking points to define the narrative, filtering out the context by over-emphasizing what they want the low information voter to believe.  Facebook, Snap Chat and Twitter elicit emotions, creating an environment for anger, hatred and negativity to have a voice.  Meanwhile, a few elite members of the media daily spoon feed the American public, repeating ideologies, philosophies and worldviews until their opinions become what is good, right and true.

2. Political Correctness has replaced the Bible as genuine absolutes.

During my last year as a high school Bible teacher, our administration felt it was necessary to bring in a professional for an inservice day on sensitivity training.  As the black student population grew, a series of seminars was designed to equip teachers with a better understanding of the African American community.  Unfortunately, most of the time was spent regurgitating liberal beliefs void of any biblical principles.  When public schools kicked the Bible, prayer and God out of education in the 1960’s, the measuring stick for absolutes were eliminated.  More than fifty years later political correctness has now become the gospel of the twenty first century.

3. You can’t force people to act, believe or change.

One of the things I learned during my months in a youth ministry trade school is that you can’t change someone’s attitude.  However, once an individual takes ownership and responsibility for their actions, they can change themselves.  If God doesn’t force people to believe in Him, creating free will, why is the world trying to convince those who differ from their worldview to become open minded?  According to Jesus in John 16, the Holy Spirit is the only source that provides permanent change.  Discipline, good intentions and hard work are productive, but not eternal.  Therefore, if you want to start making this world a better place, begin with the heart of this matter by looking at the man, woman or child in the mirror.

by Jay Mankus

 

In the Business of Solutions; Not Assigning Blame

If you read the title of professions such as Civil Rights Leader, Community Organizer and Man of the Cloth, common sense would lead you to believe each is in the business of solutions.  In fact, when working together in unison, these positions play a vital role in dictating the environment that exists in their own cities across America.  Unfortunately, when the cameras of the media show up in town, rogue individuals often lose sight of the goal by assigning blame.

Ratings, selfish ambition and talking points do just the opposite as negative words incite relational forest fires, placing classes, races and political ideologies against one another.  Ferguson, Missouri is the latest epicenter, as citizens searching for justice and revenge did not receive the verdict from the Darren Wilson Grand Jury as they had hoped.  Despite the collaborating accounts of eyewitnesses, the media has withheld key facts from this investigation to encourage outrage.  Instead of wanting the truth like Col. Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men, they have chosen to assign blame.

I’m not an expert on the media, but it appears they are suppressing the news rather than presenting it.  What this nation and every country needs are people hungry for developing solutions.  When placed in charge, the United States government has a history of failure.  As the number of individuals on Food Stamps and Unemployment continue to grow, who will get behind visionaries like Glenn Beck to start solving problems one community at a time.  While Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream, unless neighbors put aside their petty differences, this dream will never become a reality.

by Jay Mankus

 

Wars You Can’t Win

Political battles rage daily in congress, making their case of pulling out, not backing another country or recognizing that some wars you can’t win.  Whether its the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or the next tense situation, common sense screams, “certain places in the world aren’t worth fighting for since there is no clear winner if you engage in war!”  When this or that country has been battling it out for centuries or close to a thousand years, why shed innocent blood?  Hopefully, someone in Washington D.C. will learn this lesson soon.

On American soil, there is a different kind of war brewing, the war of public opinion.  In the 1997 film Wag the Dog, Dustin Hoffman plays a Hollywood producer who deceives the American people of a fictional war in Albania.  Using special effects, talking points and a montage of sound bytes, Hoffman convinces the people of a war that doesn’t exist.  Today, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Youtubes are the weapons of choice, steering minds in their direction.  In a world of shrinking absolutes, where opinions have become elevated to fact status, this war is like chasing the wind.

The only thing you can control in this life is your own character.  Sure, your enemies will attempt to assassinate your reputation, yet your actions, attitude, behavior, body language and words serve as a means of defense.  As long as you are consistent, you can’t control what others says on blogs, Facebook or Twitter.  Therefore, fighting back or responding to your critics is futile.  By coming down to their level, you are strengthening their argument.  Despite the mud opponents sling your way, display prudence by recognizing they are some wars you just can’t win.

by Jay Mankus

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