July 28, 2009

Once You Hear It, It Is There To Stay

One of the reasons I stopped watching TV was the contradicting misinformation on the news. I would watch a story on the news and then watch a different channel and get a different slant on the same story. It started to aggravate me that I, the television watcher, was being manipulated and sometimes lied to by people that I used to count on to just give me the facts. When I would talk with some friends there would sometimes be different viewpoints of a particular incident, and some of my friends would go to their graves believing that what they heard on Fox News was absolutely true.

A story in Scientific American supports my viewpoint of TV news.

"Why is it that once you learn something incorrectly (say, 7 X 9 = 65), it seems you never can correct your recall? Identifying, correcting and averting our memory errors are part of a cognitive process called memory monitoring. Incorrect associations can be tough to change, but we can use techniques to retrain our brain. Building on the correct information can help you learn new associations to it: add something to change how you retrieve the item from your memory."

So if a news station decides to fabricate or exaggerate a news story and people listen to the story and believe it is fact, then they tell their friends and neighbors the "true story", and on and on until it is believed by thousands of people, we end up with a brainwashed society.

It became more than aggravating to me to listen to fiction being sold as fact. I want to be told the truth, in my personal life, in my work life, in the news being fed to me. I decide what is good enough to chew and what to spit back out.


Ina in Alaska said...

Hi and thanks for visiting my blog - I agree that was a very interesting story in the 50 Factor (and firsthand) I wonder how the news media would skew this tale...

Sunshine said...

I like this post a lot I think its both ways sometimes you learn something new and interesting while watching TV and sometime its so distrubing that you dont want to watch TV at all ... but i like your view a lot i think they should focus on it


Jeni said...

I suppose believing Fox vs the other Media (ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN) depends on one's own stance -liberal vs conservative -but I hate watching FOX because so many of their "reporters" or anchor people or so extreme in their right wing attitudes that I do believe they are the ones who twist the news. Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Mike Savage, et al, are such bigots and so biased, it makes me wonder how anyone can believe some of the stuff they spout out much of the time. Yes, I do tend to be a bit of a liberal but I'm not an etremist in this.
Some of my relatives are pretty right wing and often send me these forwards with all kinds of statements in them that I know for a fact -without the media telling me anything about certain topics -are total untruths and yet they believe this crapola. One currently making the forwards rounds is about how an illegal immigrant can apply for Social Security at age 65 and recieve the Social Security supplemental and through that, get twice as much income -like $2470 a month -plus many other "perks" that is more than double what they say a regular ss applicant would receive and this, I know for a fact is totally false but stuff like that, when read by the extremists in the right wing camp just fires them up to become more hateful, inspiring more and more prejudices and bias along the way towards select groups in society. I'd like to get the people who write these falsifications and have them listed then as spammers or something like that -if that were possible. People do need to be a bit discerning about things they read, check stuff out too for themselves to get to the "real" truth, if there is such a disparity in reporting.

Sarah Laurence said...

I don’t watch TV news either except for hilarious parodies of it on the Daily Show. I get my news from newspapers, BBC online and NPR. I love Tuesdays for the Science Section in the NYT. Fascinating clip from Scientific American. So nice to connect with you!

Berni said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I think the swine flu thing has been blown up by the media until some people are terrified. It has totally ruined Mexico's economy.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Good information here!

A Free Man said...

Amen. I'm working on a post about the 'news' and how it distorts science right now. I don't know where you go to get the truth anymore - but it sure isn't the TV news.

Jason, as himself said...

I have thought this same thing about the news, and this article exerpt was very informing.

So how do you get your news now? Which source is the most reliable to deliver just the facts?

Julie said...

Great post! I know what you mean. I try to read all that I can instead of watching the idiot box. But then, I don't always trust what I read. Newspapers, magazines, and the internet are full of misinformation or downright lies.

When I hear or read a story, I try to look up the facts. I try to keep my own opinions from clouding my search. But facts aren't always easy to find, either. I've read books written by experts that later turn out to be false (or not the entire truth).

I took a journalism course many years ago, and we studied subjective words and how to avoid them in reporting. I doubt anyone is getting taught that now, because I hear and read those words on all the media outlets. As a lover of language, I'm highly in tune to what words mean and how to read "between the lines," but I still wonder if some of the things I think are facts are correct or not.

I guess the best thing is to always question and search for the answers. Thanks for another thought provoking post!

Scarlet-Blue said...

What gets me is that the weather forecast is so different on each channel. How can that be?

Ghost Dansing said...

for fox news....

otin said...

That is the way religion spreads, just like the false facts and rumors!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Lately, i've had to stop watching the news. When Michael Jackson is all that's reported for the first 20 minutes, I feel like it's all just entertainment news, not REAL news worth watching.

I miss Walter Cronkite.

TechnoBabe said...

Hi Ina and thanks for stopping here and commenting. You have revived an old interest of mine of car license plates on your blog!

Sunshine, I am glad you do get some news on the TV. I know lots of people still do. It was my choice to discontinue TV totally.

Yes Jeni, it makes me wonder too.

Sarah, of course The Daily Show is a different story. They have a way of telling it like it really is in a way that seems funny.

Berni, you are my buddy and I appreciate your help with the info you send me.

EG Tour Guide, glad you like it.

Free Man, I am sure I will see and appreciate your post about this subject as I read all your posts.

Jason, I get all news online and from all countries. I suppose it depends what kind of news you want to hear. I want mostly news. I have no interest in entertainment news or in what an actress wears or drinks. I am interested in what happens to children all over the world and since last year in particular I carry homeless people in my heart.

Julie, you are right, it takes research to find truth. If you know how to read between the lines then you know how to take truth from each place and put together the whole story.

Scarlet-Blue, see, that is exactly the point. Even the weather.....

Ghost Dansing, at least I can always count on Johnny Cash. You are so right.

Otin, you should do a post about the spread of religion.

Joanna, Walter was sorry after he retired and could see the trend of the media and no longer news.