By now you have probably seen outtakes of a bunch of supposedly local news sources all reading from one script sent down to them from their corporate owners.

Their script read:

“We’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control exactly what people think. This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.”

After watching this horror, Dan Rather tweeted, “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

Most Americans weren’t paying attention over the years as unscrupulous politicians slyly removed protections against public sources of information being taken over by monopolies.

Now that there is a authoritarian President in place, decades of hard work begin to pay off as more and more news sources discredit real investigative journalism, as well as scientists who dare reveal the damage being done to the earth, or actual doctors who challenge the misinformation told about abortion, or any intellectual whose critical thinking skills might shed light on what lies behind the corporatist party line.

Sinclair Broadcasting Company now owns or manages something like 170 television stations. Unscrupulous politicians are helping them purchase 42 more stations which will give them a foot in the door of 72% of American households.

As always we must keep a cool head and not rush into the trap of trying to counter rightwing propaganda with leftwing propaganda. The real problem is not conservative verses liberal. The real problem is group think, and a lack critical thinking skills. We need to learn and teach each other to ask certain questions of any news source. Like:

-Are they giving me information I can trace to its source, or are they trying to manipulate my emotions?

-Are they trying to get to the roots of our problems, or are they continually scapegoating vulnerable parts of the population?

-When I tune in to this news program, do I already expect to feel righteously angry.

-Does this news source present unproven accusations and untestable conspiracy theories?

-Does this news source reduce controversial issues to a moral melodrama of villains vs. heroes?

Nothing would make our “corporate overlords” happier than for us to get frustrated and to give up. Instead, let us use this time to learn and teach the thinking, artistic and ethical skills that actually would make America great- because they would make us fully functioning members of the world community.