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Robert Winner

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HEADLINE: Snow storm cost $15 billion so far (1 day ) in the US South

I just finished a article that said the car sales are down, restaurants sales are down, hotels are down, and so forth due to the weather in the south.

In the same article it said the hotels are packed and the restaurants are full, and that the people who need a car will buy one after the storm in two days or so. Body work will peak ... etc ... The only thing for sure is that insurance costs will go up.

The question as always is how do we know what is true and what is a attention getting headline that will not hold up under scrutiny.

So here is the question: Do you feel that you can put your faith in the media and news releases? Are we being manipulated?

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  • Feb 15 2014: You have to put some faith in what is put forward by the media, just not blind faith. We are being manipulated, however, I would argue in it is not just the media doing the manipulation, they are just a tool. Like all other forms of information, you need to apply the appropriate skeptic weighting factor to what you read and hers, perhaps a bit less to what you actually see.

    Relative to people being classified as victims by a snowstorm, or a state being considered a disaster area, my response is "Really?" Snow is nothing new. With all the advanced science associated with weather prediction, we know better than ever 'when' and 'where' an event will take place. The issue is that people seem to believe that weather should somehow not burden their lives, or they are so close to the edge of what they are capable of doing that any little perturbation can cause their worlds to collapse and render them incapable of helping themselves. The expectation is that someone else will just have to come to their rescue...and quickly...so they are not further inconvenienced.

    We are losing the generation that was focused on becoming more independent from the government and turning into a group of utility dependent, day-to-day living creatures that will gleefully sacrifice preparation and planning to achieve greater social status and lifestyle.

    My favorite symbol of this is the flashing blue light on the cable TV trucks for "emergent" cable TV repairs. Folks are ready to call out the National Guard if cable is out for more than a day. It is only a matter of time before AAA get calls from people that pull over on a straight highway because the batteries in their GPS have died. Does anyone under 30 even know how to read a map?

    This is humorous now, but as the infrastructure crumbles (highways, bridges, electric power lines, utility pipes, etc.) and we start living with some real inconvenience, occasionally amplified by natural events, the victim list will exponentially increase.
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    Feb 14 2014: David quoted Buddha, You can quote me...it's all BS.
    1968, I was sitting with some friends on the veranda of a hotel on the national plaza in Saigon. It was a Sunday in May. It had not been a good year to date. A very inebriated gentleman came over to sit with us. And begin to lament about how his boss was after him for not sending any saleable film back. He said he worked for a major news organization. Since the rocket attack on the Cathedral in April, it had been quiet, and he needed to get where the action was. I laughed and told him we were looking for were there was no action. He wasn't amused. He went onto say he cobbled some stuff together but his boss wasn't impressed. And neither were us.
    The next summer I was home, watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news, somewhat critical about us being in the war, showed pictures of our soldiers firing their weapons in a fire fight.... John Wayne style.
    No soldier would fire his weapon from the hip in a firefight! Now I know what cobbled together means.
    It means "We say/show anything to get ratings".
    I have been cynical ever since
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    Feb 14 2014: I do think that the headlines of articles can be particularly misleading. If you had said two different articles presented these conflicting reports, I would have said that conclusions like these tend to be based on samples and that the two samples might have been quite different and therefore yielded different conclusions.

    Generally speaking, I think news often is reported too early with inadequate fact checking before release.

    I think also that some of this is like the game of "telephone" from our childhood in which a child whispers a message in his neighbor's ear, who then reports to his neighbor, and by the time the message reaches the twenty-fifth kid and is announced to the group, it bears little resemblance to the original message.
  • Feb 16 2014: From the very beginning the news media slanted the stories and decided what they would print. The town criers probably did the same. 8>)).

    I would guess the restaurants and hotels near airports/train station/bus stations were packed but those away from these were empty. I was once stuck in Chicago and the hotels near the airport were full, those downtown were empty.
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    Feb 14 2014: But .... are they just giving us what we want? :)

    If you want conservative news, go to FOX

    If you want liberal ... MSNBC

    you can even choose the news you want to hear in America! Who cares are objective news sources.
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      Feb 15 2014: Perhaps ... But, David, isn't it the job of the media to submit to us all of the facts in order for us to make an informed decision?

      Media that attempts to convert us to the owners / editors opinion has little objectivity.

      But .... as you say are they just giving us what we want ... and unfortunately that is probally true. We, as a general statement, have become a generation of sheeple and a welfare society.

      The Lady and the Tiger has a specific answer and the Death of a Salesman has a definite meaning and that is death ... rebirth is not a option.

      Affordable Care was tunted as "free" ... and a few lone voices warned that you should read it and be careful what you wish for .... yet the media ignored all warnings and led the lemmings to the sea.

      However, those of us that refuse to give up the option to think can see the problems that being sheeple can invoke.

      Fun to discuss .... thanks friend ... be well. Bob.
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        Feb 15 2014: There are no truly unbiased media sources, and as humans we all have our biases as well. The way we see the same news story becomes biased as we think about it in respect to our past experiences and our viewpoints.

        Just reporting what happened without the why (which is usually speculation) would be boring. But the why is the media's job to report fairly. And our job to look at critically. Not an easy job for either!
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        Feb 15 2014: You ask Robert....
        "So here is the question: Do you feel that you can put your faith in the media and news releases? Are we being manipulated?"

        I know that the media provides information, and as a thinking, feeling, intelligent human, I know that I can sift through information to get a bigger picture of the information, so I do not feel manipulated.

        Robert, haven't you said something like....we cannot be manipulated, unless we allow that to happen?
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      Feb 15 2014: I agree with you David, that there are many news sources, and depending on what we are looking for, we can get different information. I sometimes watch local news, which is provided on 3 different channels, and it often has a different slant on each channel. I also watch world news on various public TV channels. Then there is the computer, where we can get even more information.
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    Feb 14 2014: to some degree I ask myself if what is being reported seems plausible, for example if they say 10 whales were found dead on a beach, I ask myself, is that possible, based on what I know about nature, could that have happened? Then you sort of look at the qualifications of whoever they quote. Look where the story was filed from. It's hard to be sure without seeing it for yourself, but you can make somewhat educated guess. Look at the photos, too.
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    Feb 14 2014: "Do you feel that you can put your faith in the media and news releases?"- answer NO
    They often contradict them selves even within the same article. They tell their story over and over again bending the facts around their own point of view. It should not be a surprise as we do the same thing, we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear and are mostly unaware of the difference. We are our own masters and any manipulation has to be accepted by us.
  • Feb 14 2014: Robert, you sure know how to ask the right questions.

    The Media and News releases parrot the current government.
    That is why the White House has a "Press Room" and the
    President a "Press Secretary", aka: "Mouthpiece".

    When both major political parties raise campaign funds, you can
    bet your booties that the Media and News will look forward to
    their share as paid to them as advertising dollars.

    Making those pre-selected candidates look great to start is Media's Job.
    After that, those birds have to learn to fly on their own. And the News
    takes over watching their every step. Or you might think NOT....

    And that is why the Media reported that Obama used Airfarce-1 these
    last few months to raise $40 million for Democrat's November mid-terms.
    Lots of Lunches, Dinners, and speeches. Lots of checks collected.
    And only one more stop to make, in Philly, before he was done.

    And that's why Nancy Peglosi was asked on the Daley Show, if it
    were true that she had just raised $30 million for her own Campaign.
    She responded that she needed all of it for her re-election.

    That show was on Jan 30th or 31st. You will need to watch both parts
    to see the other things she was asked and replied about. Watch
    the last frames of the first part. She was asked about corruption
    in congress and she suggested it was more likely to have been in the
    administration. When asked about a certain staff member leaving her
    to become a Boeing lobbyist, she wanted the name. They neglected
    to continue that conversation after the commercial break. I had to get
    a pirate copy just to find both parts. Wow, someone was upset.

    Chihuahua comes to mind. I remember her when she attacked
    George Bush. She was spitting out of both sides of her mouth.

    Heck, I'm splitting a gut just writing this... hahahaha
    I apologize to the Democrats if I've hurt your feelings.
    I'm still laughing. Sorry. I still see her on the Capital steps.
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    Feb 14 2014: Even the "top" news sources like the NYT (and I am a subscriber) often have interest stories that are not more than superficially correct. For this reason I don't usually read their health section because it omits so much of the story.

    I think these news sources have to put out stories quickly, and usually without talking to the experts in that area. They can't employ thousands of experts - actually news media staff seems to be decreasing. They also need to get attention and have sensational titles. It's our job to think carefully and think for ourselves to not be mislead.

    I think this quote sums it up

    “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
    ― Gautama Buddha
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      Feb 14 2014: "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see"- Benjamin Franklin

      “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”- Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.