The mass media kneels in supplication to the master of modern dictatorial application. Donald Trump is able to change the venue of any news thread and move that news like a railroad car changing tracks in a yard. Today we all wake up to the big “breaking” news about how the North Koreans are ceremonially shutting down some tiny site in some back-valley of their country that in the past they used to test nuclear bombs in.

Wow. Meaningless? Of course, but there’s the ‘breaking’ news. On the domestic side the public is given ‘spy games’ by Mr. Trump and company. The FBI early on was looking into his campaign for colluding with the Russians. Go figure. This has been declared to be “spying” by the master of total American prevarication. The mass media simply reports what these people in self-serving leadership positions say without much of a counter-argument. In sports, the country has this organization (ah, tax free corporation by the way) called the NFL that is now punishing players for kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner. In other words, the players are being required to violate the very idea of what the song is supposed to stand for. Across the land, guns are almost universally considered not to be the problem in these mass shootings so exclusive to the American culture. It’s not the proliferation of firearms, three hundred million strong.

The problem is almost always viewed as a problem with the people possessing the guns and the latest ridiculous solution is to fortify and make ‘hard’ all school or gathering place (potential) targets. Are we, the people who visit schools and other ‘soft’ targets, ready for the wonderful airport experience all of us look forward to when traveling these days to be applied to every highly dense place we live and visit? Most of these kinds of silly but serious solutions are really a product of a mass media that is in business to do what Trump does…lie; but even more, to bring everyone in to watch the lies while screaming that they are the truth! This harkens all the way back to early carnivals where the carny stood up in front of the tent selling the supposed freak or nudie show inside. The question isn’t about how all this happened. How a nation seemingly on the road to more bliss instead and success got turned inward toward a future of depressive misery and slow rotting ruin. The question is how does this course get reversed so the nation’s head can be lifted to look up and smile. These are, indeed, interesting   times.

What is the responsibility of having a voice? Before having one there had to be the motivation to build an organization to the extent that people actually watched or listened to it. Once that was accomplished then certain integrity factors come into play. Where is the funding going to come from to keep the venture (the voice) going, and how strong of an influence are the money sources going to be allowed to be in shaping the news? Today, the tabloid style of news reporting, so similar in America now to what the Brits went through with the rise of the London tabloid newspapers, is all the rage. It does not seem to matter any longer about what is fact and what is fiction. Science has been deemed to be too flawed to depend upon, and interviews of national and state leaders are seen as superfluous simply because there is no presumption of truth in anything they say. Investigative and objective journalism was to be the most powerful line of defense in order to keep these fake, phony and deliberately lying comments and stories from taking over and causing eventual social chaos. What’s being proven, however, since the news business has proliferated financially in such hugely profitable ways, is that money does matter and operational integrity, for the most part, does not.

The change in the mass media has not been slow in coming. It changed with the advent of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and the resulting new attitude that arose at that time was that news could not only sell well, but could be used to modify the belief structures of the public watching. And here America is today, with so many ripped, torn, and tattered belief systems based upon blatantly made up garbage instead of facts, that saying America is depressed is like saying the sky is blue. The only real evocative help available to regular citizens is in local expression, and thereby control.

Hold your local media to principals that you demand. Make your opinion known. Attend city, town and village meetings and start to pay attention. You are all you have, even though you are being made, by the mass media, to believe that they are what you have.

They sold out. Only you can bring them back. Write letters to the Editor to this and other local newspapers and then demand that they print them. Have a voice.

~ James Strauss

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