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Balloon Boy: Is Mainstream Media Purposely Distracting Us?

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 09:20 AM
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Balloon Boy: Is Mainstream Media Purposely Distracting Us?

For OpEdNews: Janet Loughrey - Writer

When the death of Michael Jackson dominated the national airwaves a few months ago, for what felt like days and weeks on end, it seemed that journalism standards for what passes for news couldn't sink any lower.

Then, on Thursday, October 15, the mainstream media managed to outdo themselves. With record home foreclosures, the announcement that seniors would receive no cost-of-living increase in Social Security (the first time since 1975), and an Arctic ice cap now forecast to be completely melted in ten to twenty years, there was plenty to talk about.

Instead, the lead story on most of the network and cable news shows was about a "balloon boy." There was nonstop coverage about a runaway helium balloon in Colorado which was thought to be carrying a little boy, a claim which later proved to be false. The most up-to-date reports suggest the whole incident was nothing more than a badly staged publicity stunt. With the continuous reporting devoted to this complete non-story, viewers would never know our country was in the midst of two wars and a series of economic and environmental catastrophes.

What should have been one of the day's lead stories, the record number of home foreclosures, was instead relegated to a ten-second spot in the last segment of one of the major network's national newscasts.

Watching the mainstream news has become like viewing a poor rendition of Alice in Wonderland. Up is down; black is white. No news to report; nothing to see here. If it's not on the national news, it didn't happen.

Meanwhile, real people in America are hurting, and their situation grows worse each day. Americans would benefit from in-depth news reporting covering real issues so that they could better understand what is happening to themselves and in the world. Instead, stories are cherry-picked and covered at the convenience of the corporations who control the media puppet strings. The only time the Afghanistan war is trotted out, for example, is when the government wants to drum up support for escalation. Wall Street's record rally is paraded across the airwaves, touted as a sign that the economy is rebounding, while continued job losses are lucky to receive as much as a footnote. Those discouraged workers who have given up looking and are no longer counted? They simply don't exist.

Forget about reporting on the spiraling deflation of the dollar, or reports that Saudi Arabia is calling for the dollar to cease being the world's currency. Don't expect to see any stories on network television about countries that are weathering the economy far better than the United States because they have policies in place that protect their citizens. The list of stories that go unreported goes on and on.

The purpose of today's mainstream media is not to inform, but to filter and control content in order to keep Americans distracted from the real issues. Whether corporations or government or both are complicit, real journalism and real news reporting has been all but discarded.

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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. It works well, even here at DU where the boards were full of threads about the balloon boy.
We complain about MSM distractions and then follow right along like good sheeple.
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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. Bum wars, Jackass, American Idol, WWE, all bread and circusses.
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joeycola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
3. Did anyone notice the stars and strips shirt that the sheriff was
wearing yesterday when he said that charges would be fired. Just wondering.
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dhpgetsit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
4. They are just doing what all corporations do - making sure they get their share of profit$
A "news" corporation can't sit idly by while their competitor is covering the big sensational story of the day. And when all the "news" corporations jump on the sensational story of the day it just adds to the hysteria.

I don't see a conspiracy. Just a short-sighted, profit-driven media that has to treat news as entertainment to appease the voyeuristic and sensationally deprived viewers.
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Salviati Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. Purposefully or accidentially, it's shameful either way.
Edited on Sun Oct-18-09 10:15 AM by Salviati
If they had stopped hyperventelating for 5 seconds, long enough to ask someone who knows anything, they would have found out that there is no way in hell it is possible that the kid was up in the balloon. I mean look at it:

1) it's way to small to carry a payload the size of a 10 year old kid. A standard weather balloon that's about 2 meters in diameter can just barely lift 3 kg, (about 6.5 pounds), to lift a 10 year old kid, you'd need a balloon a hell of a lot bigger than the one all over the news.

2) even if there was a heavy payload in the balloon, it's flying all wrong, A payload at the bottom would make it obviously bottom heavy, wobbling around the bottom, and the rest of the baloon would stretch out vertically, not flatten out horzontally as shown on video.

Anyone with half a brain could have determined that the kid wasn't in the balloon after 10 seconds of video, but any tv news reporter with half a brain is too smart by half to be working in that industry.
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
6. yep..and people actually allow it..turn the tv off!! eom
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Sherman A1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. No they are not distracting us....
That would require
A Plan and some work, which is something that they are not interested in doing.
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vssmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
8. They always do what is easiest.
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