Showing posts with label Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Media. Show all posts

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Fake News

The biggest news today is “fake news”.

What is “fake news”? Nobody seems to know. It could be the panicky blandishments of the liberal media. It could be the paranoid pronouncements of the extreme Right. But it could also be the confused babblings of the moderate centre. Nobody really seems to know. The only thing upon which all sides agree seems to be that there’s a lot of it out there somewhere.

Sunday, September 03, 2023

More Calf Exercises

Is it my imagination, or do those
tags in your ears say, “Liar, liar”?

It was 722 BC, and God had taken Israel off the board.

As a political entity, the northern kingdom would no longer be active in accomplishing the purposes of Heaven. God continued his work, of course, in the lives of individual Israelites and their families dispersed throughout Assyria’s empire.

The writer of 2 Kings gives the nation this eulogy: “They went after false idols and became false.”

But this is how it goes: when you order your world on the basis of a lie, you further the lie and become a liar yourself. And liars are not much use as anything but cautionary tales.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Names Will Never Hurt Me

Lots of quotes today.

First up: Media professionals from CBC, CTV, Global News and other major Canadian media outlets made up the panel at this recent seminar, entitled “Journalists and Online Hate”, put on by Ottawa’s Carleton University School of Journalism and Communication. The video of the event commences with a round of self-abasement from the head of Carleton’s journalism program (white, male, middle-aged), who receives applause for calling himself a “fifth generation settler” and apologizes to the panel on behalf of all white, male Canadians.

An inauspicious beginning, and it’s only downhill from there.

Friday, July 08, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Where Do You Get Your News?

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Millennials are among the most flat-out gullible people I have ever encountered. For the most part, they wouldn’t know truth if it smacked them upside the head. Their manipulators and peers circulate fiction as fact on social media 24/7. They mistrust everyone except those they should.

Older folks still watch the six o’ clock news and have newspaper subscriptions. They grew up with media reputed to be fairly trustworthy in an age when the illusion could be reasonably sustained that there existed such a thing as journalistic ethics. Many of these are our fellow believers, people of goodwill for whom the habit of giving others the benefit of the doubt is well ingrained.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Commentariat Speaks (23)

In a post last week entitled “A Contradiction in the Church”, the Antemodernist observed that when the Christian community at large is clear and succinct in its condemnation, it is always against a sin that is convenient to hate. As he puts it, “Christians deal with the easy and convenient things, and so leave the important and difficult things growing like cancer.”

Publicly condemning masculine sins — foreign invasions, lust, violence — is the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel, he suggests. Nobody minds and everybody cheers. But feminine sins — things like cross dressing or the homosexual mimicry of family life — have become virtually untouchable subjects.

I’ll grant him all that and go a step further.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The Commentariat Speaks (22)

“Have you seen this opinion piece on how the Federal government engaged evangelicals on Covid?”

So inquires a commenter named Ted at Blog & Mablog.

Thanks for passing that on, Ted. But let’s get a couple of preliminary observations out of the way before we parse the article by Megan Basham for

Thursday, November 25, 2021

The Mental Scrapbook

“You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”, as the famous adage goes. Your raw materials define what is possible with them.

The same is true of your mental life: you cannot make a good life out of bad imaginings.

Your mind is a scrapbook. Like any scrapbook, it collects fragmentary images of whatever you decide to put in there. Over time you fill it up. And eventually, what you have put into it defines the kind of life you’re going to have. That happens because the ‘resources’ you put into your mental scrapbook become the raw materials for your present attitudes, your frame of reference for present experiences, and the repository of images for your present imagination.

Garbage in, garbage out. Good stuff in, good stuff out. It’s that simple.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Semi-Random Musings (22)

You really can’t make this stuff up.

As you have probably read or heard elsewhere by now, the 117th Congress got off to a rocky start January 3 with an opening prayer that concluded with the words “amen and awoman”. Naturally the video went viral.

Of course it did. In this emotionally-charged and hyper-politicized environment, how could it not?

Friday, October 23, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: The Numbers Game

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Earlier this month, the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University released its 11th and latest detailed analysis of the results of its January American Worldview Inventory 2020 survey. In a long list of bullet points, CRC Director of Research George Barna noted that, among other disturbing trends, 44% of respondents who self-identify as Christian said they believe the Bible’s teaching about abortion is “ambiguous”, and that 34% said abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship.

Tom: The Christian news website Not The Bee (“your source for headlines that should be satire, but aren’t”) took the survey at face value and pushed back hard with a salvo of scripture, and good for them.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Fake News

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Of Meth Heads and Christ Figures

People are complicated, Christians included. They are not all one thing, either good or bad.

Friends of whom I once thought very highly have later shown the world sides of themselves I never knew existed, betraying and deceiving loved ones, harboring unimagined secrets and bad habits, or getting involved in situations that seem incomprehensible to those who thought they knew them. Equally, people who lived quite openly and despicably in sin have on occasion shown evidence of tenderness, affection or intelligence I never thought possible for them.

People are complicated, and they will surprise you.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Unhelpful Friends and Uneasy Times

When Job’s three friends came to show him sympathy in his time of distress, they wept, tore their robes and sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him because they saw that his suffering was very great.

The week of silence was a genuine gesture of solidarity and goodwill, but everything Job’s friends did from that point on was a bit of a bust. Why? Because they opened their mouths and started talking — and arguing at great length — about something they weren’t going through and clearly didn’t understand.

We Christians may be at risk of doing much the same thing with respect to the current racial tensions in the U.S.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: No Way to Hide Your Lyin’ Eyes

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: I had never heard the name Jussie Smollett before last week, IC. Had you?

Immanuel Can: No. To be blunt, his activities were of absolutely no interest to me, or to anyone I knew, before a couple of weeks ago. But he’s got my attention now.

Tom: I suppose we should briefly summarize the unraveling Smollett fiasco for anyone who hasn’t been paying attention … do you want to do the honors?

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Fake News

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Mental Scrapbook

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On Tactics and Their Acceptability

A well-known biblical precept begins with the words “Do unto others ...”

Context strongly suggests the Lord intended his followers to engage with his teaching actively rather than passively, by performing positive moral acts toward those in need of them.

That said, the negative implication most commonly drawn from his words (“Refrain from doing things you WOULDN’T like done to you”) is not wrong.

Either way, the social justice crowd would do well to pay attention.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

More Calf Exercises

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Lies Lies Lies, Yeah

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Once in a while everyone, no matter how trusting, comes across a news story that just doesn’t smell right.

Now, thanks to U.S. declassification protocols, we know that Fake News has been a real phenomenon since prior to 1975. President Trump is not huffing and puffing on Twitter over nothing. In fact, we now know the CIA is primarily to blame. The biggest names in media have a lengthy track record of publishing false stories actually written for them by the CIA: The New York Times, LA Times, Fortune, Newsweek and even the venerable Saturday Evening Post. Other news services would then pick up these stories from sources they believed were trustworthy, and the disinformation game was afoot.

Tom: Was it the Boomtown Rats who sang “Don’t Believe What You Read”, Immanuel Can?

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Lies That Sound Like Truth

It’s getting harder and harder to figure out what’s really going on, isn’t it? This week, I’ve tried to navigate my way through two very different propaganda minefields.

The first is a brief speech from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in which he lectures the West on its departure from Christian morality. Pure, ironic gold.

The second is an uncharacteristic opinion piece from the pen of Lefty billionaire and master manipulator George Soros, who usually lurks in the shadows behind paid political operatives when trying to tip the scales of American public opinion. But nobody flushed more money down the drain in November’s election than George Soros, and in this op-ed he purports to tell us why.

Both Putin and Soros assure us they are determined to save Western civilization — by precisely opposite means.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: Where Do You Get Your News?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Violence Inherent in the System

Increasingly, we are being told that it is no longer acceptable to discuss things that are plainly taught in the Bible. To dare to subject the ears of the delicate flowers among our family, friends, neighbours and peers to the word of God — not to mention those who might come across our views on the internet or elsewhere — is to engage in an act of abuse.

The current generation of post-secondary students accepts this as inarguable dogma:
“... if the popular Christian notion of abstinence is wrong, we have been mentally and emotionally abusing quite literally millions of people.”
— Student, to Jerry Walls
Richard Dawkins makes it explicit. You’re not only being repressed, you’re being outright damaged:
“But if your whole upbringing, and everything you have ever been told by parents, teachers and priests, has led you to believe, really believe, utterly and completely, that sinners burn in hell ... it is entirely plausible that words could have a more long-lasting and damaging effect than deeds.”
— Richard Dawkins

Saturday, July 05, 2014

The Mental Scrapbook

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Christians and the Media: Field Day

People who have not spent a great deal of time around serious Christians are often surprised, on the rare occasions when they finally do, to find that we are not always exactly the way we are frequently portrayed in popular culture.

Some Christians, notably Cory Copeland, a writer for Relevant, think any disconnect between the way we are portrayed in the media and the way we actually behave is … kind of our fault, actually.
“The truth is that there are some so-called Christians who quite closely mirror the Christian characters we watch on television and film. They’re loud and proud and angry in God. They stare down their “opponents” with judgmental eyes and damning language. They protest funerals and vomit epithets at people they’ve deemed sinners.                                                                        
And on some level, most of us are guilty of some of this type of behavior. Maybe not to those extremes, but we too judge, condemn and feel “better than,” while refusing to admit our own faults. For the more dogmatic Christians and for us, it doesn’t matter that how we behave, how we treat people, how void we are of love and grace is a direct and vicious contradiction of everything the Bible teaches us of God and His ways.”
Okay, so … Fred Phelps. Bit of a straw man, Cory.