Posted by: Martin Fox | April 21, 2009

Ethics and the media

What is happening to journalistic integrity – reporting the facts and telling the unbiased truth?

Over the years, I have watched and listened to the political pundits with great amusement, observing most of them as stand-up comics and shock-jocks.  They are the entertainers who play on emotions, with scant data to back up their outrageousness. You roll your eyes and laugh because – “who really believes these people anyway?”

The problem is that people are listening and believing. I’ve stopped rolling my eyes and laughing at their outrageousness. For example… last week, I listened to a Fox News host say, “The economy was great before President Obama took office.” What?

What about the facts like record national debt? What about the financial market melt-down last Summer and Fall, as evidenced by the Dow and Nasdaq plummets and the loss of our 401k retirement investments? What about the housing collapse last year? What about AIG, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearn, etc…? You know little things, like what about the global recession?  

With one simple sentence, history was revised, factual data wiped clean, and people believed the economy was great before President Obama took office.

I’m a centrist who believes in listening to all sides, but lying is wrong. Reinforcing lies, when you know the actual facts, is intellectually, ethically, and morally lazy. And yes, I preach the same story to my friends (liberal and conservative) when they come up with wild mis-truths that have no backing data.

We are in an economic crisis (quantitative and qualitative fact.) The strength of our nation lies in our demonstrated ability to pull together during times of crisis. We are not new at this, our citizens have been coming together during periods of crisis for hundreds of years. Wouldn’t it be nice if the media and politicians were speaking words of unity and joint action, instead of spreading polarity and division? Just a thought.

Peace out – Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership.

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