September 22nd, 2014 -- Totally Disconnected
In modern day America, there has always been a question about the difference between whether or not the media is telling us the truth, or telling us what they want us to believe. That conundrum was furthered by the onset of conservative talk radio in the early 90’s and, more recently, Fox News. Talk radio has never pretended to be unbiased, and for a long time Fox did (for the most part they now basically admit to being a conservative network and why shouldn’t they? Their weekend and overnight reruns literally get more viewers than CNN, MSNBC, HLN and CNBC combined. Wear it proudly if it works).
But never before has the total disconnect between reality and reporting, facts and fiction, interest and boredom been more apparent than the recent reporting on the NFL.
It is now painfully obvious, at a level never before seen, that the media, en masse, will tell you that you’re wrong for not caring about what they believe you must and should care about. And if you don’t in fact care, they will blatantly and overtly call you names and continue, despite their own best interests, to shove a story you care nothing about down your throat in the hopes that you’ll either submit to their causes and beliefs or that the vocal super-minority will win the day by dominating the airwaves.
Multiple polls and surveys were released Friday showing that the American public does not care, at all, about the recent domestic abuse and child rearing scandals within the NFL. No matter how you read any of the polls, the results are irrefutable and overwhelming. It goes beyond just the obvious, which is that we love football in this country, we live vicariously through our sports teams, and we just want to be entertained. All of that, to me, is a given. But these polls reveal so much more. To summarize:
- The American people overwhelmingly have a positive view of the NFL as a whole. This of course is impossible to believe if you watch any coverage of the past two weeks, whether it be on news or sports channels. We’re told that the NFL is in crisis and faces its greatest challenge yet and may even be at a tipping point. Nope, sorry, America still loves the league.
- Americans are split, both football fans and non-fans, down the middle as to how the NFL has handled the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, et al scandals. This is stunning because it means that half of the country, therefore, APPROVES of what the NFL has done. That’s odd since absolutely no one has offered any sort of point of view that that may even be possible. Cue the “well fine, then America, if that’s how you feel then you’re just stupid,” reporting set to begin any second now.
- By a 66% margin the American people have a favorable opinion of Commissioner Roger Goodell and believe he should keep his job. WHAT? That can’t be right…I thought Condoleeza Rice was already being fitted for her crown as next NFL boss? Additionally, we’ve been told endlessly that the ONLY reason Goodell still has a job is because the big, fat cat owners are protecting him since he makes them a lot of money. Actually, look at that, it appears that the fans are just fine with him as well. Huh. Owners support him, fans support him. Sounds like only the media and advocacy groups don’t. That’s odd.
- 60% of Americans, speaking specifically about the Adrian Peterson case, say it’s wrong to use a switch or belt on your child. First things first, of course, that means 40% are willing to say out loud that it’s perfectly ok, a staggeringly high number if you were to base your opinion solely on what you’re being told by ESPN, NBC and everyone in between. How in the world can 40% of Americans say it’s ok to whip your child in a nation that is totally outraged, offended and horrified by the details of the Adrian Peterson story? And before you stupidly hide behind the geographical argument, that’s covered; while it is true that a larger number of Americans, 51%, in the south say belts, switches and paddles are fine, the 40% number is still accurate for the rest of the nation. Yes, even in refined, brilliant, better than everyone California, 4 out of 10 adults say parents can use belts, etc if they want.
- Of the 60% who say it’s wrong to use a switch or belt, 90% of them say this isn’t an NFL issue and they basically don’t care at all, it’s a private matter between parents and the law. In other words, don’t misread the previous paragraph. 40% of people are not saying that they use belts on their kids, they’re saying that if a parent wants to do that, it’s their choice. Put another way, mind your own damn business. Also, stop chewing up our pregame shows and Sportcenter with these stories and go back to reporting on the sport.
By every single measure and matrix, we have reached critical mass when it comes to an activist media insisting on reporting things and stories that are not true or of any interest to a large swath of the majority of the population. Remember what the greatest propagandist of all time, Joseph Goebbels said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Uh-oh. I just did it. I committed the greatest felony of public debate; I made a Nazi comparison, thus ruining my credibility by making an outlandish comparison.
And, I must admit it’s true. I’m completely out of line. Imagine how silly I must look.
What I just accused the national media of is clearly unfair. The idea that they, as a group, would form an echo chamber of repeating how “horrified” a public was about something that it was not at all horrified about is clearly not something that is occurring in America today. Just imagine, for instance, if there was a team in the NFL that had a name, which was offensive to only 10% of people in the country. Let’s just pretend for the sake of argument that there was a team called, I don’t know, the Redskins. And let’s pretend that the overwhelming majority of both Americans and Native Americans had no problem with the name. To the point where hundreds of Indian Reservations across the country actually had sports teams named the “Redskins,” thus proving it’s clearly not offensive to the very people it’s supposedly offensive to. Imagine that after a year of claiming America was horrified by the name that a whole new batch of polls showed that absolutely nothing has changed in public opinion with both Americans and Native Americans, and it is a non-issue. In such a case, the media would, of course, report that apparently they had gotten it wrong and overreacted by allowing a very, very, very small minority group to have more of a public forum than they deserved. Obviously, the media would immediately say “we gave the group a voice, and it turns out that by all measures there is absolutely no story here so we’re going to stop talking about it.”
There is no way they would double down on their narrative and continue to report that the citizens of the country were horrified by the name and that it must be changed. And there’s no chance that they would just start to lie and say that plenty of polls exist showing how upset the country is, even though they would, of course never produce said polls.
I’m ridiculous, clearly. We are not a nation run by 10%. Silly me. I is stupid.