I have a really valid question here. Is ‘the media’ really the enemy? Donald Trump has said this time and time again and he sounds nuts, and I am no fan of his, but seeing the way ‘the media’ has treated Elon Musk has me wondering about it’s power in our every day life.
The media often influences many of our decisions. Where we go to eat, who we admire, etc. And then there’s the articles that are tailored to meet your preferences. For example, a Trump supporter will see a headline about “The Dems Want To Take Your Guns Away!” linked to an article about gun violence. A March For Your Rights Activist will see the same article but the headline will be “President Trump and the NRA Want To Kill Your Kids”
Just recently, Elon Musk was asked to help with the Thailand Cave rescue. He was mocked by media outlets all around the world. It got to the point where the Thai PM asked them media to back off of Elon. Of course, Elon is no media darling. He calls them out when there are biased reports.
I honestly don’t blame him at all because not only is he being bullied, but he has every right to defend himself. Seeing the way he has been treated and stalked by journalists and even my own interaction with one has made me question just how ‘good’ or ‘righteous’ the media is.
Media is a business. Whoever has the highest ratings gets the most money. How do we get those ratings? Drama. This is why reality shows featuring women screaming and beating each other up are popular. Or why The Flash, Arrow, Game of Thrones, and other shows are popular. It’s entertainment.
And people find Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and others entertaining on some level. It may be subconscious, but all the same they tune in. And when they tune in, the ratings go up. Advertisers pay for those high ratings.
The screenshot below is a snippet of a conversation I had with a journalist. I told her that the media needs to focus on good things as well as the bad. I understand that focusing on the bad will bring awareness, but when you focus on every aspect of the situation (someone’s tie was crooked, or a woman had resting bitch face and looked like she disagreed with a statement for example) then it becomes too much.
I was trying to explain to her that we need to focus on the good things–the things that matter to us. She told me to go buy a greeting card.
I remember my middle school English teacher (not the one from high school I mentioned in another post) told me that whenever you write a news article, it’s supposed to be unbiased and you use language that does not lead the reader into thinking the same as you. In other words, keep your opinion to yourself. He said that there was a separate column called Opinion for that.
Today, I saw something disturbing. I saw an article that claimed Elon Musk was offering his Tesla employees free Red Bull while making them work in raw sewage. Their sources were another article link to another CNBC article, but there were no video or photos of this so called raw sewage.
Also, if this were true, OSHA would most likely be involved.
@saracsalinas wrote this article about @Tesla claiming @elonmusk makes his employees work in raw sewage while drinking redbull. Like, where is the video and photo evidence and if this were actually true @OSHA_DOL would be involved, right? https://t.co/Krzi7cyqV0
— Johnna💎 (@JohnnaSabri) July 12, 2018
I have seen several journalists go after Elon thinking they were defending themselves against him especially when he said the media needed to be checked. AKA verified. I agree with this wholeheartedly because the media does have influential power over the masses. I’ve had people freak out when I told them I followed Elon on Twitter. “He is a billionaire who doesn’t care about you,” or “He is against the media” or “He’s crazy. Those cars are catching on fire”
But he made a valid point: CNN doesn’t report every car accident. Only Teslas. Or in the rare instance a diesel truck or an accident with a multiple car pile up. Yet, when he made that point, they condemned him. Several articles have been published with either out right lies like that sewage article or articles worded to make Elon seem like this evil comic book character who wants to kill off everyone. And Elon isn’t the only one. Remember this?
A video of a woman being arrested at gunpoint went viral. People were demanding justice and it turned out, she was a part of a kidnapping ring that kidnapped two actors. The point I am trying to make here is before you publish something, ask yourself if it’s true. And if it is, then what do you have to gain from it? Will it harm the person you are writing about? But more importantly, if you are making a claim, do you have solid evidence that would hold up in a court of law?
This really bugged me. If I were a reporter in a professional setting, I wouldn’t start out with “Yo” and I wouldn’t ask for heresy just for dirt. Someone could email her and say, “I’m Bob and I hate Tesla because 123” and she would publish that. This just shows you the lack of professionalism. She also mentioned that Elon was obsessed with her and going through her Facebook for stuff.
Is The Media Really The Enemy?
Are guns out to kill you? What about knives or swords? And microwaves. All of these have something in common with the media. They each perform a function that meets a goal. Yes, they are tools. In the right hands, they can save lives. In the wrong hands, they can destroy lives. The media is a tool. A very complex tool.
The media is an entity made of entities. These entities are made up of people. Each person has an opinion, a belief system and a moral code (or lacks one). So no, it’s not the enemy, but rather a tool. A tool that can influence the masses to think, act and dress a certain way.
When you have every news outlet preaching that Elon Musk is bad because he is a billionaire, naturally people will mock him for wanting to help people in need. Instead they should be thanking him. Gratitude is something many people lack unless it’s November. Saying thanks for being kind doesn’t make you weak as many people would think–but the attitude of gratitude actually helps you to realize just how lucky you are.
And, Elon stopped everything he was doing, and with his team, built a submarine in pretty much a day. How this is not even talked about just goes to show you the power of the media as a whole.
How To Break Out Of The Media Matrix
So how do you know if it’s a real article or that you are being played? There are several media personalities I love. Randy Rainbow, Shaun King, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, just to name a few. There are some I do not care for such as Anne Coulter and Tomi Lahren.
When you are reading an article, before you get so angry and send off that tweet, ask yourself how true it is? Research the topic. When the news broke about the immigrant kids being taken from their parents and put in cages, it seemed so unbelievable. My friend and I researched it and it turned out to be true.
Many times, the media gets it right. It’s great at raising awareness about injustice, but we have become so triggered that if a women isn’t smiling then she’s automatically labeled as being in a bad mood. Or a white man will go and tell a Muslim American citizen wearing a hijab to go back to her country and that she’s a terrorist.
Remember the media is a tool and it’s being used for more than just raising awareness about events going on around the nation and world. Another clue is the language used in the article. This one, I will tell you up front that I support Elon Musk. However, if he said, “Johnna, go jump off of a cliff” I would tell him he’s nuts. Or probably hit him back with a snippy comment.
One thing I want you to gain from reading this is that your mind is programmable. We are taught from children how to be, act, do etc. Go to church, dress like this, don’t say that word, etc. Ask yourself, what is the media trying to program into your mind
About the Author
Johnna Sabri is a mineral, gem and crystal collector and wire artist. She loves experimenting with different styles of wrapping and collecting gems and minerals. Her work has been modeled by GA State University students in one of their annual fashion shows.
Johnna has also served customers all around the world including Dubai, Finland, The Philippines, Australia, Canada, the UK, China, and Hong Kong as well as people in every US state.
She learned her craft from Grammy winning guitarist, Daryl Adonis Thompson, son of Eli “Lucky” Thompson, the saxophonist who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Isaac Hayes. Daryl was well known in the Little 5 Points Atlanta community as a master at his craft. Read more on Johnna here.