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Comments about ‘Letters: The media isn't representing the majority’

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Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I guess Jeff hasn't noticed Utah is a bit different than the rest of the world.

And in many cases, that is a good thing...

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

I wish I had some context as to what Mr. Porter was referring. Who portrayed something you so vehemently disagreed that you wrote a letter to the editor?

On a very general level, I agree we do need to be more active. Writing out representatives is always a good thing.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

"Use your Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites to express your views."

Can't I just use my Facebook page to share pictures, funny stories, and communicate with my friends and family? Must I use my Facebook page to communicate my political views? My "friends" and family who espouse constant political views on Facebook find themselves being hidden. I don't open Facebook in the evenings to discuss politics.

Oh, and your "majority" doesn't mean everyone else's "majority." It is anecdotal at best.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Jeff,

The unease you feel with "the media" merely reflects your unwillingness to let reality into your life.

Your discomfort with the news says more about you than it does the news.

Cincinnatus
Kearns, UT

So, if I'm not in agreement with Mr. Porter in all my views, I'm just "minority sleaze?"

As CHS 85 said, this is anecdotal at best. Simply because the people you work and associate with share many of your same views, that does not mean everyone, or even a majority, do. Your "opinion" is exactly that Mr. Porter. Your opinion. Your letter has no basis in scientific polling or statistics.

And, FYI, Richard Nixon beat you to the term "silent majority" by decades. He too, was convinced that the silent majority supported him. How did that work out for Nixon?

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Many people don't express themselves because they either don't have the interest, or feel they're not educated enough on the issues to have a compelling argument.

Look at the regular respondents here on the D-News, those who are well educated on the issues and cogent enough to formulate compelling responses. Frequently we'll see somebody voice their opinion here with a fairly simplistic argument that is easily dissected and critiqued.

The regulars are capable of wading through conflicting information, accommodating the complexities of a "grey world", and still can offer a strong opinion. I would venture to guess the number of left-leaning thinkers in this group is relatively high, compared to most people in Utah. Same for most college graduates.

For many, jumping into a debate and getting swatting down is not appealing. It's easier to select a source of media inline with your basic thinking (Beck, Rush, Fox, MSNBC, etc) and stick to repeating what you hear, rather than sift through the material, understand it, reconcile with your worldview, and then offer an original opinion or response.

The result is a type of anti-intellectualism.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

@10cc "Ditto"

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Jeff, you're not exactly the next Marshall McLuhan here. Indeed, I'm not even sure why you're worried about the so called media; you yourself suggest turning to social media to forward your viewpoint rather than rely on the traditional media. It's the way things are these days, no one wants to be challenged but rather expect to see only themselves in their media today. As for writing your lawmaker with your latest gripe; I don't know too many lawmakers but I'd bet they get so much of this stuff that they have to ignore most of it in order to function.

m.g. scott
clearfield, UT

The part of the media that I really believe is not doing their job of being the eyes and ears of America is the national media that is supposedly there to be a check on our government officials. Can you imagine if there were no FOX News, and a few radio hosts. That is about the only outlet that is skepticle of Democrats and especially the Obama administration. If not for the voices heard on FOX, Obama would be reigning as the greatest President in American history. In fact probably called one of the greatest people ever to live in human history. As I write this I laugh that some of you who might read this also believe that Obama is those things. Time for a reality check.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@10CC – “For many, jumping into a debate and getting swatting down is not appealing.”

Those are all excellent points, especially this one.

We should all recognize that making others too uncomfortable can sometimes make them retreat back into their bubbles where too often their own vague and emotionally based worldviews are reinforced in ways that do not lead to growth in knowledge and understanding.

That said, newbies who are tactful I think have little to fear. It’s the ones who, having been nursed on the milk of ignorance & arrogance by some media pundits, make these grand, overly simplistic and easily refuted statements that should expect to get swatted a bit.

Most of those either go away or continue to make a lot of bare assertions without engaging in the debate. Assuming they care, I’ve always wondered how they reconcile the cognitive dissonance.

The moderators do a fair job though in keeping thing from degenerating too far and so good discussions can be found… much more than on many other “flame throwing” sites.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I agree. For far too long we have been silent on a bad joke. For decades we have seen our wages fall flat and decrease while the richies at the top have made a killing! For years and years we have heard about "trickle-down" economics. Nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. A failed economic policy.

It is time for the silent majority to arise and start a new progressive era. We need to protect our jobs, our benefits, and our families. We do not live to serve corporations but they live to serve us. Time to join the fight and turn this completely upside down economic policy back onto the right track. The future of our country depends on it! Lets get back to the economic policy and tax rates of the 50s! They worked fine then, why not now?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I would not expect the media to represent the majority. I wouldn't expect the media to represent me. I would not expect the media to represent ANYBODY. That would make them PART OF the political machine (If they represent the majority, or the current administration, or the party in control).

IMO That's the problem with our media today. They are too much a part of the political machine.

IMO the media should be "independent". They should be able to express any view they want (majority or not).

But it seems that many in the media today are more and more uncomfortable with expressing any views the current administration would frown at. Maybe it's from the early behavior of this administration when they started banning news agancies that didn't report friendly views of them from press conferences. We stopped that... but I think the chilling effect is still out there.

Bottom line... the media should be completely independent. Not afraid of the current administration (that's how you get shoddy news like Provda). Not just representing the majority. They need to be INDEPENDENT of the political machine.

We should have seperation between media and State.

Longfellow
Holladay, UT

Jeff, your comments about getting involved are well taken.

However, the majority of the media are well past redemption. They routinely distort and misrepresent the facts to hype a story. Both the liberal and conservative media do this.

Additionally, the media routinely under report or ignore the news that is incompatible with the newsperson's worldview. The rise of the Internet as an alternate source of information has highlighted this phenomena.

Finally, the media periodically lie about the facts to sell a point of view. The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman incident and resulting trial was an especially egregious example of this. NBC's intentional editing of the 911 call to portray George Zimmerman as a racist is a prime example. The widespread use of the term "white Hispanic" to describe George Zimmerman and the use of pictures of Trayvon Martin that misrepresented his actual appearance at the time of the incident are further examples. The media have become propagandists that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

FreedomFighter41
Orem, UT

I agree, the silent majority is tired of the nonsense obstructionism that has infected our Congress, especially the House. Never should a government have a goal to merely repeal laws/obstruct. We need statesmen who are actually interested in governing. We need to stand up to folks like Mike Lee and show them who really runs this country!

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

@Longfellow

"However, the majority of the media are well past redemption. They routinely distort and misrepresent the facts to hype a story. Both the liberal and conservative media do this.

Additionally, the media routinely under report or ignore the news that is incompatible with the newsperson's worldview. The rise of the Internet as an alternate source of information has highlighted this phenomena. "

=============

That's the free market at work. Nothing more or less. A news organization primary function is not to inform, but earn profit. They will report what will turn into subscriptions, viewers, and clicks. Hence, the circus of the George Zimmerman trial, why? People were watching, clicking and buying. The lack of coverage of is because no one is watching, clicking or buying.

I understand Fox is the most watched, but there is a reason they are the almost he sole provider of a "conservative spin"...it's because the free market has shown the money to be somewhere else. Anything more would simply over saturate the market need of "conservative news"

If the trend of popular stops heading left, and goes to the right, so will the media. It's about $$.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "It is time for the silent majority to arise and start a new progressive era."

Yeah, yeah -- we have nothing to lose but our chains!

Except everything.

The vast, vast majority clearly understands the moral and economic bankruptcy of the "progressive" [newspeak for "socialist/communist"] philosophy. And, we're also quite aware of the fact that liberals' "new progressive era" would look very much like the thoroughly discredited, old, drab, gray, REPRESSIVE, Soviet era.

And, we're not buying it.

George
New York, NY

This type of letter and comments along similar reasoning always make me wonder what it is that makes it necessary for some people to believe that their views are shared by the majority. Do people fear that if their views are not shared by the majority, "the silent majority, the moral majority" that they are somehow invalid?

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@procuradoralfiscal

"The vast, vast majority clearly understands the moral and economic bankruptcy of the "progressive" [newspeak for "socialist/communist"] philosophy."

We'd all love to see the hard data to back this "clear understanding" up. I'll wait.....

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "Never should a government have a goal to merely repeal laws/obstruct."

So, Congress in 1865 was wrong to repeal slavery and obstruct its continuing as an American institution?

And, it's interesting that we hear nothing but liberal praise for Wendy Davis, the Democrat Texas state senator who obstructed changes to Texas abortion law.

Hmmmmmm.

I think what we're all hearing is that standard liberal mantra -- "never should a government have a goal to merely repeal laws/obstruct the agenda I want advanced."

Or, that even more famous liberal philosophy -- "all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."

wendell
provo, UT

Mr. Porter,
Thank you for writing. While I don't agree with much of what you wrote, I am grateful that there are people who are willing to share their beliefs in the public sphere. We need more open and honest political discussion. With that said, I'm sure that a good Christian man such as yourself believes that respecting the beliefs of others is a reflection of someone with "great values, morals and ethics".

You may feel frustrated that your voice is not being heard, and you have every right to speak your mind, but I was sorely disappointed that you would resort to name calling by referring to people like me as "minority sleaze". I suggest that you remember that name-calling is childish, immature, and unnecessary in political discussions. I realize it happens on both sides of politics, but that does not make it appropriate.

I am a good, honest, and upstanding person, and I don't think referring to someone as "minority sleaze" is appropriate in any way. Perhaps we don't agree on what constitutes morality, but that does not mean that either one of us is a bad person.

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