Saturday, January 16, 2016

Too Many Liars for my Comfort

My Dad used to say that some people would sooner walk across the street to tell a lie rather than stand here and tell the true.

Since Christmas I have been at home a lot and have time to read and listen to news and commentary about guns and violence, isis and immigrants, and even bogus Alaskans.  In the middle of it all I see a common theme.  The liars have the upper hand.  We are truly surrounded by them.   Oh, you can talk about taking a different "view", or claim hyperbole, but we are exposed to so much falsehood that the the words are even getting twisted.  Words like reality, which used to be a synonym for truth, but now with "reality TV" it means "presented as the truth when it isn't really".

This truth bending has been nagging me and, as happens sometimes, all these other little flags popup that relate to it.   The State of the Union address was filled with exaggeration and some flaky numbers, which the President Obama haters immediately shined a light on and then followed with their own lies and half-truths during the GOP debate.  People were caught lying on permanent fund
applications.  Other people are accused of lying for the liars.   I notice Craig Medred calling out the lies on Running Wild with Bear Grylls (Craig Medred News) they filmed here in my home town while, down the road in Homer, another show tries to make the Kilchers look like they are living hand to mouth out in the middle of nowhere when they really live right outside a little tourist town like I do.   At the same time, the gun battle over the second amendment has both sides loading their clips with erroneous ammunition, and the Bundy gang out in Oregon is trying to convince us that they are a well-regulated militia.

People write fake news stories, usually to drive a political agenda, and then innocent people believe them and share them on Facebook and the lies spread like ebola.  In this age when we all have access to the public audience, places like Facebook and Twitter are bill-boards for people to post lies about politicians and policies and beliefs that they don't like.  Basically we have access to more information, but less truth.  Isn't anyone obligated to to at least attempt to base their public statements on facts and support their assertions with evidence.

 My mom used to say, "Just because you heard it it doesn't make it true, and you certainly don't need to repeat."  

I am tired of having to fact check everything I hear or read to see if some one is pulling my leg or picking my pocket, and I have plan to fix this problem.  A set of rules for anyone sharing information with the public.

Rule  One:   Reality TV has to be about real people doing real things without scripts, props or lying.  If you make up stuff or have fake people like Alaska Bush People's Browns, you have to have a scrolling message across the bottom of the screen that says, "We made this shit up; it's not true."

Rule Two:  Related to reality TV, If you claim to be educational like National geographic or Discovery Channel, and you show us things like two guys from Homer hunting deer on Admiralty Island and call it SUBSISTENCE hunting you have to have a big flashing sign that lights up and says "THIS IS BULLSHIT".

Rule Three:  Any reporter, journalist or interviewer who asked a questions or receives a statement that they know is false,  they are required to label that state as such, or challenge the source of that lied to prove it.

Rule Four: Political debates and speeches:  Any entity, like CNN or FOX, that hosts and broadcasts such debates and speeches has to also follow that show with another show that fact checks everything the politicians say.

Rule Five:  Facebook, Twitter and their ilk all have "LIKE" buttons that we use to show others that we like what we see.   Now they shall have "BULLSHIT" buttons as well.

Rule Six:  If your favorite blogger, news site, Instagram or Twitter makes a statement, and you want to share that with other people, you have check other sources to see if it us true.  If you post some lie without doing that you have to make your Facebook status, "LIAR".

If this doesn't work I guess I'll just lie about it and give up!