Perspectives: Will you parrot media or own your own opinions?

OPINION – When high profile events are dominating the news cycle, that’s the time to use extra caution in formulating the opinions we hold. Unless, of course, we’re content to simply say what others are saying.

From the president on down to our discussions around the water cooler, the downing of a Malaysian airliner last week has been a huge topic of interest. It’s also a perfect example of how a story can move forward with lots of official bluster and posturing and very little actual light being shed on the subject.

In the age of instantaneous round-the-clock news coverage, how are we to separate what’s worth knowing from the speculation and spin intended to lead us to someone else’s conclusions? It starts with asking the right questions.

Andre Malraux explained why this matters:

A civilization can be defined at once by the basic questions it asks and by those it does not ask.

Any time a horrific event takes place, one of the most important questions that must be asked is “cui bono?” or “who stands to gain the most from this act?” Pay close attention to the media coverage and official pronouncements from government leaders.

Are they asking the right questions or speculating in a manner that favors their particular agenda?

The official narrative at this moment is that pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine are responsible for shooting down a civilian airliner with 298 people aboard. The accusations are flying with a clear intent to use the incident to its full diplomatic advantage.

But how exactly would such an egregious act benefit either Russia or the Russian nationalists seeking to secede from Ukraine? The obvious answer is that it would provide no benefit for them while creating a perception of guilt that could be used to turn world opinion against Putin.

If this comes down to an international case of “he said, she said,” we would be wise to remember that officials in every government have a tendency to say only what is most advantageous to them at the moment. Put more bluntly, politicians lie; as do their lapdogs in the media.

Calls to create a coalition of international officials to investigate the downing of the airliner should invite the same kind of healthy skepticism that would be exhibited if the Mexican drug cartels were asked to prepare a report about the nature of organized crime.

The accusations being made have yet to be reconciled with the actual evidence of the disaster which, at this point, is still extremely sketchy. Remember, none of us have handled or had access to any real evidence at this point. All we know is being spoon-fed to us by the same people who 12 years ago insisted that Saddam Hussein planned to attack us with WMD.

They’re counting on us to be as gullible now as many Americans were then. Now, as then, we have politicians at the highest levels declaring as factual, things which are not yet known. The global media are playing the role of regime stenographers rather than independent journalists by refusing to ask the pertinent questions.

To trust that our own leaders are morally above misleading us to advance their own agendas is suicidally naive.

Remember this when you hear politicians or media talking heads stating with certainty that “we know” what happened to this Malaysian airliner. If the press cannot be counted on to ask the right questions, we must be willing to ask them ourselves.

Truth-seekers who do this will often notice things they’re not supposed to notice.

People who point out the inconsistencies in what Butler Shaffer calls the “politically-directed, media-communicated, ‘consensus-based’ definitions of reality” are almost certain to be labeled as conspiracy theorists. But Shaffer cautions:

Do not be intimidated by such attacks on your mind. There have been, and continue to be, conspiracies engaged in by people who desire to control your life, and want to keep that fact from you.

The list of individuals who have blown the lid off some of the facts – not theories – that implicate the power-seekers trying to consolidate their control over us has been growing for some time. It includes whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and William Binney.

Each of these individuals paid a personal price for being willing to speak power to truth in a time when comfortable lies are the coin of the realm. They weren’t content to simply parrot official narratives that others had written for them.

If truth has intrinsic value to us, we will never be content with opinions that were formulated by those seeking power over us.

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Bryan Hyde is a morning commentator on Talk Radio 590 KSUB and an opinion writer in Southern Utah. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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5 Comments

  • Mark July 21, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Well stated.

  • Linda July 22, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Excellent!

  • Karen July 22, 2014 at 9:40 am

    If “asking the right questions ourselves” means latching onto every conspiracy theory and adding the fear factor of “those seeking power over us” then I just shake my head in amazement. I read all points of view and I feel time will help answer some questions about events of the day without making up theories. In essence, President Obama is not out to destroy America. Sorry, guys.

  • Roy J July 22, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Simply amazing. Once again, one is left to wonder just what a worse than useless quote from a socialist humanist like Andre Malraux is doing here. I am very tempted to conclude that Bryan Hyde is simply ignorant of the history of the men he chooses to support his opinions. He probably has not read even the popular history of the Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas, which is preeminently modern, he almost certainly hasn’t read Warren Carroll’s account of the same, and therefore the ‘Historia de la persecucion religiosa en Espana 1936-1937′ of Archbishop Antonio Montero Moreno is probably completely unknown to him. If the author had read something about the history of socialist humanism and its’ avowedly atheistical communist history, its’ relentless and wholesale massacre of unarmed and nonviolent Spanish Catholic monks, nuns, and priests, its’ insane and suicidal hatred of humanity which was finally thwarted at a great cost to Spain, he might think differently about drawing support from a member of the Popular Front who volunteered to fight for the Spanish Republicans. For all his political invective against Stalinist Communism, Bryan Hyde is apparently abysmally ignorant of the real world history of the ideas he is so quick to claim knowledge of for himself. If the point of this opinion is to learn to ask the right questions, the author obviously isn’t doing any better than the people he runs down.

    • bob July 22, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Hyde aspires to become a pseudo intellectual.

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