Sunday, January 13, 2013

People who Think Reporters Are Part of Grand Conspiracies Really Miss The Mark

I was reading a Gawker article on yet another grand conspiracy theory floating around out there. (The Sandy Hook massacre was one big fake plot, with actors playing the victims, aided and abetted by the media to help Obama take away all of our guns, supposedly)

In the comments section below the article, somebody calling themselves "Seanibus" had the best explanation EVER of why the media, and journalists, can't possibly be complicit in all these conspiracies. Wrote Seanibus:

"Christ, a "Media Conspiracy"? I've been a reporter for 23 years and I have never seen the faintest evidence that we can conspire long enough to decide whether to use the "serial comma" or where to go for a beer afterward, let alone maintain a solid wall of silence in pursuit of some grand policy objective. I guess it's flattering that outsiders think we have such discipline and drive, but really we're just a bunch of misfits, weirdos, and loners who like to write and have no idea how to make more money than we do."  

As a journalist myself,  I can attest that Seanibus is totally accurate. Plus, reporters are hopeless at keeping secrets. Our job is to tell you what happened. It becomes hardwired in us. So we all overshare.

And we're competitive. We journalists have the same amount of hubris as everybody else. We want to be first with the news, drop the bombshell, win the Pulitzer. So if just about every journalist, whether they lean left, right or try to stay even, got wind of some big plot to fake a crisis to take everybody's guns away and establish a dictatorship, most of them would spill the beans.

Yes, in countries with poor human rights, the press is quiescent. I'm sure there are journalists here in the Good Old US of A who don't want to rock the boat, don't want to get in trouble for blowing the "conspiracy" and would look the other way.

But expecting everyone in the media hordes to cooperate with some goofy conspiracy?

That's like expecting all the cats at the Humane Society to get in a nice even line and not move until told. Good luck with that!

There's plenty of room for debate on what to do, if anything, about guns,  and violence and the Second Amendment, and mental health and all those issues swirling around out there.  There are a lot of good ideas on all sides of the discussion.  But there are a few far fetched notions floating around,  too.

So, the next time you hear the latest conspiracy theory, don't buy the line about the media being full participants. We're just too chaotic for that.

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