Politics have polarized in recent years to the point that there is now an Earth 1 and an Earth 2, and “never the twain shall meet,” a phrase coined by the poet Rudyard Kipling.
Republicans and Democrats have not seen eye to eye on many things – perhaps since their party platforms were first developed? Perhaps each was the anti-thesis of the other? President Nixon wanted to control the narrative of his administration, even though sometimes that meant trying to cover up the truth. It is very possible that presidents before him did the same thing, but Nixon was caught in some pretty serious scandals that were unacceptable to a large swath of the population. Journalists, through their detailed research and multiple sources, revealed the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, as well as the corruption of his first vice president, Spiro Agnew, who had to resign after it was revealed that he was taking bribes in exchange for government funding.
The recent animosity between Democrats and Republicans, however, began in the mid-1990s, when President Bill Clinton was elected and Newt Gringrich was the Republican Speaker of the House. The Republicans and Democrats stopped working together to pass bills. It has only gone downhill from there as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to block all Democratic legislation from the House of Representatives beginning during the Obama administration.
Beyond the actual politics happening on Capitol Hill, the polarization between political parties went on steroids with the advent of right-wing media commentators, especially as Twitter and Facebook began being utilized to spread narratives. We will mention the media commentators here so that you know specifically who we are talking about, starting with radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Fox News Cable Network’s evening and weekend line-up including Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Judge Jeanine, and later Tucker Carlson. The Breitbart News website came on the scene in 2007 and faced scandal a few years ago when Steve Bannon, a former executive and an assistant to President Trump, faced a federal investigation and was forced to resign. Alex Jones has bit the dust at this point, but NewsMax has arrived on the scene now as a counter to Fox News.
Those of us who were raised as Rush Limbaugh Dittoheads somehow believed the dogma that the mainstream media conspire together to push a false narrative, that all journalists other than the ones right-wing media employ, of course, are inherently untrustworthy and have an unspecified ulterior motive to mislead the public, especially when they report anything negative about any Republican politician.
So, who is actually telling the truth? 1UtahProject subscribes to the mainstream media such as the New York Times; the Washington Post; NBC, CBS, and ABC News; and many others, large and small. Why? Because the journalism industry has a long-standing field of study taught in reputable colleges and universities throughout the world. Does that mean that all mainstream journalists are honest? No, of course, not, but are you willing to let a few less educated or money-hungry journalists paint your opinion of all mainstream news? Not all news sources are created equal. Reputable newspapers and cable networks issue corrections when they have made an error or mispresented facts – and that rarely happens as a result of malice. Contrary to what conservative media tell you, journalists feast on the truth and being able to contribute to the greater knowledge base of the world. They want us to have a better perspective on what is really happening, and that is not necessarily the way that politicians want things to be painted.
Why would conservative media want people to believe a lie? Well, they have a profit motive, to start. They want you to watch their programming – exclusively – and they want you to believe their narrative because, like an illegal drug, it’s addicting. Further, they have united with the false narratives of conservative politicians like President Trump, in the belief that doing so is patriotic, even if they have irrefutable evidence that it’s not true. We just think that is wrong.
The poet John Keats said, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” but unfortunately, that is not always the case. Journalists sometimes have to report on very ugly things; however, we would rather know the truth than live in a rose-colored world, as the Parisians say, in reference to their rose-colored street lanterns. Sometimes that means knowing some ugly things.
Some of us prefer to be in the world but not of the world, as the Bible instructs in 1 John 2:15-17. Does that mean that we isolate ourselves from ugly news? Or are we willing to experience godly sorrow when we learn of the troubles of the world? Are we willing to help those who are afflicted or who are victims? Are we willing to work towards finding solutions to difficult problems? And how can we protect ourselves from those who would take advantage of our kindness and our trust?
1UtahProject is committed to promoting truth in journalism and to provide respectable commentary. We encourage you to do additional research and gain an educated opinion on subjects you are concerned about. We also seek to empower you to vote, the most important Constitutional power of our nation’s citizens, and to speak for those who cannot vote.
Visit our “Is It True?” page for answers about specific political narratives.