Friday, August 27, 2010

Devastating Lies From the Divisive Conservative Media

Reposted from The Loop
by Jasmine Lowe

The recent controversy with the building of the mosque near Ground Zero has me concerned with the country’s future relationship with the media. News stories at one point in time were supposed to inform the public of current issues and bring them up-to-date with what was happening in the world. But lately when I turn on my television I completely see one-sided and partially accurate information on overblown political stories.

Take for example the current mosque controversy. Individuals on the overwhelmingly right-wing opinionated Fox News channel, like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, have single-handedly confused the public by tugging at the heart strings of the victims’ families of 9-11. They spin tales telling their listeners that the mosque is some sort of terrorist backed attempt to disgrace those who have died at Ground Zero when its really not.

First of all the project isn’t even a mosque, it’s an Islamic community center. The structure, completely opened to the public, even has a basketball court. Second of all, the “mosque” isn’t even going to be located at Ground Zero. The so called “abomination” will be located at an abandoned and private building several blocks away in a building once used as a Burlington Coat Factory store. But because the extremely opinionated, Glenn Beck, mentioned the words: mosque, 9-11 victims and terrorists, everyone who hears his rant full of lies gets the wrong story and runs with it all the way to their protest site.

These types of stories never help anyone but the popularity of the people who make them up. And in actuality, they just hurt more people than they might think.

An entire organization was destroyed when the ever-present Fox News brought the nation’s attention to a videotape of ACORN workers seemingly dressed as a “pimp and ho” showing people how to avoid paying federal taxes. But instead of doing any research and running with anything that they come in contact with, they failed to realize that the tape was a forgery made by a crazed conservative activist who was later arrested for breaking into Mary Landrieu’s office.

ACORN was eventually vindicated of all wrongdoing, but the damage was already done. Their funding was terminated and 50 years of helping the poor and minorities were diminished all because the conservative media just loves to lead people to believe in completely inaccurate nonsense.

But it didn’t end there. When Shirley Sherrod was branded as a racist by a blogger who posted part of a speech she gave last month at a banquet, she was forced to resign from her position as the director of the United States Department of Agriculture. She was publicly embarrassed and her reputation was damaged because of a story that never even happened.

The Republican Party has continually bashed the Democrats for some how “brainwashing” everyone with their “liberal agenda.” But while the conservative media is destroying careers, obliterating communities, and destroying organizations tended to helping the poor and less fortunate, they are slowly loosing credibility as responsible journalists and are engulfing their audience into the very act that they pin on their more credible counterparts—brainwashing.

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