Journalism, Truth and Milk Shakes

I had an anecdote to post as a comment on an article titled Death Of Unbiased Journalism by Scottieluv, but for some reason WB is not taking my comment, so I thought as it is long enough I'd post it as a short article.

The item on the Death Of Unbiased Journalism looked at the one sidedness of mainstream media and the politicisation of higher education courses, particularly those that touch on politics and economic affairs, but as it's the season of jollity and unrestrained copulation (well it is if like me you are a northern English pagan,) I decided to approach the topic's references to media bias and fake news from a different perspective.


Just before Christmas I volunteered to pick my grandson Jamie (8) up from his ju - jitsu as mum and Dad had been delayed. Our route passes MaccieD's and Jamie asked could we stop and get a milk shake.
So we drove through, stopped at the hatch and asked for a chocolate shake.
Sorry, we're out of those, the clerk said.
Apologies to Jamie and we're on our way. We were stopped by the light a few hundred yards down the road and Jamie said:
"Y'know Grandad, sometimes Mcdonald's are a bunch of bastards."
"I know that Jamie," I said, knowing better than to be shocked.
"Do you know who else is a bunch of bastards Grandad?" he said when the lights changed.
I said, "No but I've a feeling you're going to tell me."
"The Government."
Tinking he's a bit youg to be bothered about Brexit or mass immigration I asked, "And why are a government a bunch of bastards?"
"Because they don't let you do stuff you want to do."
"Is that so. Where did you find out about that Jamie?"
"From watching Alvin and The Chipmunks."

So now you know folks, if you want to know about what's happening in the world and who is shafting you, don't bother with mainstream media and all its fake news, watch Alvin and The Chipmunks.



Whiskey River Added Jan 1, 2019 - 1:50pm
The television lame stream media is useless, I don't pay any attention to it anymore. I enjoy going to the internet sites but they too are biased in their own ways. So I read everything I can find posted anywhere I can find it then use my own head, I come to my own conclusions. Of course, when I post something on an article I have read I am posting my own opinion brought on by my own thinking. Which is why I don't understand why so many get upset when someone disagrees with their opinion. We all have opinions, they are usually different, but civil discourse is much better than what we see so many times in places like WB. 
Which brings me to the point, I disagree with your Alvin and the Chipmunks analogy. When I want to learn something I prefer Bugs Bunny or Bullwinkle the Moose. Both are far more intelligent than a lot of people I know. Have a Happy New Year! 
FacePalm Added Jan 1, 2019 - 2:44pm
"a season of jollity and unrestrained copulation"?  And your wife is ok with this?
A few years ago(ok, a LOT of years ago), i might have said "Sign me up!"
From the mouths of babes, eh?  Does your 8-yr.-old grandson know what a bastard is, and/or why children got that epithet applied to them - or is he a typical boy, rejoicing in his newfound ability to shock his elders with is command of profanity?
That said, i do tend to agree with Whiskey River; i've gotten MUCH more out of Rocky and Bullwinkle as an adult than i ever did as a child...same with ALL the WB cartoons of the LooneyTunes variety, at least in their heydey(late 40's to late 50's).
But here's the main problem with MSM today:
"I used to be employed as a field engineer servicing [a major broadcast network's] distribution equipment, specifically their affiliates' satellite dishes.
I've had many talks with TV newsmen. The most telling was one who confessed that he didn't think he could continue his job and live with himself because he daily saw 'the difference between what I am forced to report and what's really happening.' He told me that, at the first meeting with 'corporate's' news director [from the corporate holding company that owned the station, not the network], the ND told them that 'our job as reporters was to shape public opinion.' When someone protested that their job was to discover and report the truth, the ND responded, 'Whatever the public's perception is is the truth and it's your job to make sure that they have the proper perceptions.' That man's statement is always in the back of my mind whenever I see or read anything in the 'news,' that the job of reporters today is not to report hard, verifiable facts but rather to shape public opinion using selected facts presented in carefully arranged fashion."
-- Chris Meissen
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 1, 2019 - 4:39pm
Whiskey River,
Bullwinkle and Rocky are probably the equal of Alvin & Co as political philosophers, I wouldn't know being too old for both (though I remember Alvin and the Chipmunks making pop records when I was about Jamie's age.) What we agree on is they're all more intelligent than a lot of people we know.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 1, 2019 - 4:45pm
Mogg, it's wise to take anything you see in mainstream media with a large spoonful of sceticism. My Dad was a journalist on a popular British paper and he always reminded me, their job is to sell papers.
Modern news outlets are a little different in that they are all guaranteed loss makers on sales alone and so must appease the corporate or government sponsors by pushing the right political line.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 1, 2019 - 4:52pm
Face Palm, well you nailed the difference between news now and in my dad's day perfectly.
And yes, my grandson does know what a bastard is, as his dad said when I related the exchange, "Thing is half his classmates fit the legal definition and quite a few show signs of growing up to fit the colloquial one".
He did get told not to use language like that because grandad might think it's funny but a lot of grown up will not like it and he'll get in trouble.
Jeff Jackson Added Jan 1, 2019 - 7:20pm
Nice article as always Ian. I think distrusting the government is line of thinking all children should have. Thinking of what you would like the government to do and what restrictions it imposes on you is a good mentality for young people, as long as they do not conclude that the government owes them a comfortable living when they do nothing.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 1, 2019 - 8:46pm
Cute story.  Tell Jamie that not only does the government prevent you from doing what you want, but it forces you to do things you don't want to do.  And they don't have chocolate milkshakes, either.  
opher goodwin Added Jan 2, 2019 - 6:06am
Lol Ian - Happy New Year!
Nice story. I didn't realise that the politicians were already working on subliminal indoctrination of the young through the world of cartoons and children's programmes. Thank heavens he wasn't watching Tom and Jerry! Their message is far more violent.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:33am
Where'd Mogg's comment go? I don't think I said anything to cause offence.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:44am
I shouldn't worry over that Ian. From the moths of babes indeed. This boy has not completed his government school indoctrination yet! There is still hope! :)  A good read Ian, as ever.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:44am
mouths, not moths
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:49am
Happy New Year to you Opher and all others on Writer Beat.
Government's have been using children's TV for years. Back in the Thatcher years when self interest was considered a virtue, The Clangers was promoting the nanny state, disguising a system that encouraged dependency as The Soup Dragon which fed the inhabitants of a small blue planet with nourishing soup every day? But who produced the ingredients for the soup? Nobody ever talked about them.
Fortunately my son has educated Jamie in the philosophy of the Star Wars saga, a series of tales extolling Arthurian virtues and the struggle to resist the advance of authoritarianusm.
I did my bit by introducing him to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, he loved The Knights That Say 'Ni' and the fight between Arthur and The Black Knight.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2019 - 9:53am
Katherine, with the bansturbators here in UK in full cry against sugar right now, the government will be stopping Jamie from drinking any kind of milkshakes soon.
But the current lot will probably let us do most things we want to, they will just slap a tax on anything that looks like fun.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2019 - 10:07am
Jeff, we can only instil a work ethic (because that is what's ben lost,) if we find a way to resist the usurpation of parenthood by the state. To that end I have Jamie watching Road Runner and Coyote to learn that wit, intelligence and adaptability can beat bigger, stronger opponents.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 2, 2019 - 10:50am
Alvin and the other chipmunks should be lined up and shot.
Spartacus Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:01pm
Ian, you missed giving us the second part to this story and the more interesting question -- why does your son think a cartoon characterizes an oppressive entity like the government?  I do not think a cartoon represents a government in any way.   But it would be interesting to know why a fresh mind would think that.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:07pm
Burghal, you had me worried for a minute, I thought Mothman had moved over here and was breeding.
As long as I can help them my grandkids will resist indoctrination.
When I told my son it was perhaps not a good idea to let Jamie go around saying the government are a bunch of bastards even though its true, he said I was being a tad hypocritical and reminded him that I'd taught him at around the same age that all politicians are wankers.
Actually that is only part true, the line was in a performance poem I used to do and he heard it there when I was practicing.
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:09pm
Doug, that seems a bit harsh to me. Still we don't have chipmunks over here. Now if you'd said squirrels I would ave agreed wholeheartedly.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 2, 2019 - 2:36pm
Ah yes,the common tree rat! Universal menace! Actually not bad to eat, but takes a gross to make a decent meal of it :)
Whiskey River Added Jan 2, 2019 - 4:22pm
Bullwinkle and Bugs were here long before the chipmunks, they were really big in the 1960's but started before then. I was a teen in the late 60's and still enjoyed them. 
Doug Plumb Added Jan 2, 2019 - 5:23pm
Bullwinkle and Bugs had brains. Bullwinkle needed help.
FacePalm Added Jan 3, 2019 - 4:44am
Mogg "cleans up" his posts on a routine basis, roughly every 3 days or so - he deletes everything he posts, as well as everything anyone posts to any of his articles, as well.
i hate this habit of his, but it's his prerogative.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 3, 2019 - 7:57am
There can never be "objective" journalism except when you simply report live about what's happening and don't comment.....of course MSM is bullshit. Why ? Because MSM never rolls up a story right to the beginning and tells you how something came about and for what reason. The simple answer to come close to the "truth" is by asking the question
Who profits (ed) ?
History defines present defines future. MSM has short time spans it covers, while deciders think long-term, especially Asians are good at that....see the Chinese. Calm, organized and quietly they take over while the West tries to calm down the problems it caused itself by not understanding the mentalities it deals with.
Dino Manalis Added Jan 3, 2019 - 8:33am
 Jamie is brilliant!
Leroy Added Jan 3, 2019 - 10:33am
Amusing article, Ian.
I have to admit that much of my earlier education came from Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes.  It was more about history and the classics than politics.  It is where I first learned of Napolean and to appreciate classical music and opera at Corny-gie Hall.  But there was one on the Boston Tea Party and the tea "tacks" imposed by his majesty.
I never knew that the Chipmunks had a politic message.  I probably wouldn't have picked up on it as a child.  
Even A Broken Clock Added Jan 3, 2019 - 4:22pm
Agreed, Ian, you never know what is resonating in the minds of young children. I'm afraid that my own children have been irrevocably affected by watching Ren and Stimpy back in the '90's. I myself attribute some of my love of classical music to all of the offerings found on the Looney Tunes and the Merry Melodies series from Warner Brothers.
My wife once taught a music appreciation class in college. To show the differing styles of 19th century opera, she showed "What's Opera Doc" (Wagner), and The Wabbit of Seville (Rossini). I can appreciate those two.
Dave Volek Added Jan 3, 2019 - 4:50pm
Mad Magazine corrupted me.
I still have many images in my mind from those rags.
Dave Volek Added Jan 3, 2019 - 4:56pm
I should have added: The Mad writers and artists had an uncanny talent for taking adult subjects and making them plateable to 12 year olds.
Here's an example from the satire on Star Trek.
Kirk: Warp 9, Scotty!
Scotty: OK, Captain Kirk. I'll put two hamsters on each treadmill.
Kirk: No! Remember what happened last time we did that. A month later we had hamsters all over the place.
Scotty: This time I'll put males with males, and females with females. That will solve the problem.
Why do I remember crap like this?
Leroy Added Jan 3, 2019 - 5:38pm
"Now if you'd said squirrels I would ave agreed wholeheartedly."
The first day my wife was alone in the States, she calls me up and says, "There's a BEAST outside!  What should I do?!"  My first reflex was to jump in the car and race home.  But seeing there aren't too many beasts downtown, I queried her further.  "It's big and has a long tail and climbs in the trees," she exclaimed.  I'm thinking bobcat.  "It's gray and stands on its back legs."  Then I laughed out loud and nearly rolled on the floor.  It was a squirrel. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 4, 2019 - 2:58am
If a "journalist" gave me a milkshake or was offering to tell me the "truth" I would be more than just skeptical.