Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's All A Matter of Perception - We Tend to See What We Expect To See

Here are two web headlines from two different news organizations talking about the same situation. First, on the positive side we have the Associated Press with:
"Bank of America earns $2.4B, ahead of estimates" Good job AP, you've given a lot of people hope for an improving financial picture!

And then we have Reuters News Service with this negative take on the same bank:
"Bank of America credit losses soar, profit falls". What are you trying to do, Reuters?? Are you trying to scare people into a "run" on our already weakened banking system?

Is this simply a case of "the glass is half full" vs. "the glass is half empty" - optimist vs. pessimist? Or, is it a cultural matter... one of American perceptions vs. essentially European perceptions of the same events?

Reporters are no different from the rest of us, in that they tend to see what they expect to see.
The true difference is that reporters can only report an event in the manner which their publisher (owner) sees that event. And most publishers have strong political connections. Why? Simply because they do have the power to control the determination of that which is considered newsworthy, and that which is not. Our job is to then determine which of the reports is lying to us... the least. Chances are that neither of them is giving us an unbiased view of the situation.

I don't think that's what our founding fathers had in mind with the First Amendment's right to "freedom of the press". I'm sure their idea was to insure the press was free to report the truth, as opposed to some modified version of "the truth". But, that's what we get when we address things in a general sense, instead of being specific about our desires.

I could be wrong about this... and Barack Obama could be a "natural born U.S. citizen". What are the odds for either statement being true?

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