In a world where we are all subject to limited time constraints, the mainstream media have jumped in to once again manipulate our opinions and ideas the the fullest degree.
This may not be earth-shattering to all of you out there, but it was a recent discovery for this author. The two examples that come most readily to mind are those of the despised Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the recent publication of a Bush-critical memoir by Scott McClellan.
The idea is simple, yet has far-reaching consequences. Since the media know you have limited time, they step in to tell you what and how to believe and you don't even realize it most of the time. They realize that you have never seen an entire speech by the good Reverend, and will likely not have time to read McClellan's book. Therefore, they take snippets of the information, and mold your mind.
In Wright's case, a few "God damn America" and "They sent our sons and daughters over to Iraq to fight for a lie" soundbytes do the talking. Once you've heard these clips a few dozen times, and the argument that this man is an anti-American radical, the media's job is basically terminated. What are the chances of you reading or listening to one of his sermons in its entirety, and if you do, what are the chances of actually taking something positive from it when you have already determined who the man really is anyway?
Likewise with McClellan, I watched several news shows where pundits openly admitted they had not even read the book, yet they purported to dictate how you should view this new controversy. In fact, none of the first shows had any feedback from the author himself. That came later, seemingly in order to manipulate your brain before you actually heard the man himself explain what he was saying or what his purpose was for writing the book.
Can you honestly believe a disgruntled, angry, money-hungry, cowardly former Bush White House aide? Why spend time with an anti-American, racist, bigot who mixes politics with religious sermons with regularity?
That's right - you don't have to take the time to read the book. You don't have to take time to read or listen to the sermons. You already have an opinion which was in many ways spoon-fed to you from the mainstream, so why waste time trying to make up your own mind?
It's like paying $39/month to have people tell you how you feel on important issues. Thinking in actuality is practically priceless, so that's a bargain by all standards.
However, if it was the other way around, you might feel differently. If you had listened to or met Jeremiah Wright directly and determined who he really was; if you had read or listened to who Scott McClellan is, you might very well sit in front of the tube and wonder if those pundits had any clue what they were talking about at all?
Mind control - another joy of today's "news" entertainment industry.