Posted by: Tony Carson | 28 August, 2007

News as an approximate for truth

A CTV Canada report last night stated that it is ‘the Taliban’ who are growing the vast poppy fields in Afghanistan which are so bumper this year.

Is every Afghani farmer a member of the Taliban? Are most? Probably not, most are probably just farmers looking to plant the crop most in demand, like farmers everywhere.

Language is losing all its precision. Terrorist, insurgents, person of interest, rendition, ‘enduring freedom,’ and on and on, words and phrases are becoming the casual shorthand of convenience, manipulated most often by unethical government agencies and corporate advertising departments.

This new approximate language has worked well in the past in selling us things. Now it is employed in selling us thoughts.

To tie the Taliban to the heroin addict is the same connivance as tying the terrorist to Iraq. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t true; repeat it enough and we think it is true and in this age when image is everything, perception becomes reality.

We have come to expect this deceit from our advertisers, but we shouldn’t expect it from our news departments because when they buy in to this deliberate effort to deceive what is news? An approximate for truth is not nearly good enough.

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