State of the State

The Clarion-Ledger has coverage of Gov. Bryant’s address. I’m happy to report that nobody mentioned HB1523. Gov. Bryant reminded us that the state budget has grown $730 million since he took office five years ago. He also raised the possibility of a lottery–estimates top off at about $80 million per year in income from that, though others estimate hauling in much less. He also prioritized improving the foster care system and support for State Troopers. Democrats, in their response to Gov. Bryant, agreed that the state needs more law enforcement officials–and disagreed about most everything else.

If there was a rhetorical low point, it involved his use of one of my new most detested terms: “fake news.” Why do I hate it? Two reasons. The first is personal shame. As a former member of the fourth estate, I am disgusted by the way my former colleagues in the media blur the lines between news and editorial branches. Second, “fake news” has become shorthand for any politician who wishes to deride others’ opinions (and sometimes even the presentation of facts) because they aren’t convenient.

If only I got a nickel each time some fool–whether to the left or the right–used the phrase.

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15 Responses to State of the State

  1. Darby Meadows says:

    The work and progress Gov. Phil Bryant claims to have done with Mississippi is outstanding! Though I am concerned with “though others estimate hauling in much less”, but there will always be skeptics. I agree with the fact that the state’s foster care system needs improvement and there should be more support for State Troopers and more law enforcement officials. I also agree that the term “fake news” is stupid. it denounces the intelligence of news reporters and journalist and makes the person the news is targeting look like they have something to hide. I know tabloids can make things up, but I don’t think a serious news station should be accused of fabricating news.

  2. Mariat Thankachan says:

    It can be very difficult to distinguish between “fake news” and the real deal, most likely because we were grown up to believe that newspapers and news stations provide the public with true, unbiased information. When it comes to politics especially, it is evident that different news organizations pick sides or are bribed to portray the favorable characteristics of their side and dish out the less attractive elements of the opposing side. This is undoubtedly unfair to the public, who believes what they read or hear, not knowing that the “facts” they perceive have been twisted and manipulated to form opinions and gain popularity. Because it is so difficult to prove what is authentic, news stations get away with this unfairness most of the time. As their audience, all we can do is throw caution to everyone else’s opinions.

  3. L. Terces says:

    If officials took in consideration about the lives of the public rather than the money they will receive than the state would see a lot of progress. In America’s history, almost every political official we have elected turned out to be corrupted and only did what benefited them. It is time for America to pick an official that does not care for themselves but for the people and the nation.

  4. Jackson Sparkman says:

    Wait, is this the same guy that risked billions of dollars and lost billions of daughters signing House Bill 1523?
    Is this the same guy who refused to prioritize the reform of the Mississippi Education system by the support of public school funding, but instead tells people “charter schools are the future”?
    Is this the same guy that promised reform to our state troopers and expansion of the law protection of our state, and seven years after his inauguration nothing has happened at all?
    The media may not like Phil Bryant, but the people of Mississippi don’t like him much more.

  5. Samuel Patterson III says:

    “Fake News” is not a thing. Reading the responses I see people discouraged about American media and you’ve simply let politicians fool you. All media has a bias because humans are biased, but we have to be smart enough to read between the lines. One of the golden nuggets of this thing we call democracy is that news is uncensored and therefore free to render opinions. Whether you agree with that opinion depends on your political leaning. I like the fact that I can indulge in some biased media, but I have my preferred source for “balanced” news. You just have to test the waters and find what’s right for you. Media bias is a good thing because it shows that we are still human. 😉

  6. Liam McDougal says:

    I feel as if the media is one of the main sources for a lot of the problems we face on a day-by-day basis, and the reasoning is simple: media, like everything else, has to sell.

    The media wants to make you believe that around every corner, there’s a West-hating terrorist armed to the teeth with a machete to cut your head off and parade it around.
    They want to make you believe that Kim Jong-un is, at this very moment, pointing hundreds of perfectly-capable nuclear missiles at America, ready to launch them at a moment’s notice. They want to make you believe that those darned Russians are just itching for any excuse to go to war with us.

    Unfortunately for them, none of that is true. In 2014, 32 Americans died as a result of terror. More Americans were killed by deer strikes in 2014 than terrorists. North Korea launched a rocket into space once. It failed. Every missile they have ever fired has landed in the ocean. Russia has no reason to go to war with us. At this moment, we are in the most peaceful period in human history. Ever. Period. The rise of nuclear deterrence, widespread democracy, and accepted sovereignty have put the world in the closest thing to world peace we’ve ever seen.

    The reason the media perpetuates these situations to insane proportions is because these stories sell. They hook in a viewer, much like a clickbait video on Youtube. 24-hour news media is a very, VERY, profitable business, and they create more business by creating stories to hook in the reader, meaning terrorists around every corner and nuke-happy Kim. Stories like those are the closest thing to “fake news” I can think of, and they aren’t even fake, rather just blown out of proportion.

    The Trump Camp claiming that every story that says anything bad about Donnie is “fake news” is just wrong. Just because it disagrees with him, or points out his wrongdoings, does not mean it’s incorrect. I hate to see this attack and softcore censorship of the media, because it is undemocratic. The media is an essential part of democracy, and without it, we lose one of our American ideals, and begin to lose the identity of the country as a whole.

  7. Yousef Abu-Salah says:

    Our media is one of the most dangerous things that exist within our current society. By utilizing clear bias and unproven claims, media can cause an entire country’s opinion to sway, and this can ultimately lead to millions of mis-informed citizens. When I look upon the news, I always have to be cautious about what I believe due to the sheer scale of bias that is prevalent wherever I look. I truly yearn for the day when we can all just tell the truth, but that idealistic place will never come. Journalists now aim to earn clicks, and clicks don’t come to those who tell the truth but rather those who stir up controversy. This is the biggest problem with today’s media. “Fake news” has also become one of my most hated terms, because it allows many politicians to disregard many valid criticisms by just stating that it isn’t true. This is both childish and idiotic, because it is not backed by any evidence whatsoever. Politicians have always aimed for re-election, and this will almost always cause them to undergo these types of actions. This is the way it is, and I believe that it will never truly change.

  8. Kendall Wells says:

    I hate sifting through articles just as much as everyone else trying to find one that that is not biased, but that’s the business. The media is supposed to inform but there has always been people that write for informative/entertainment purposes. Much of the public will read articles just because they know the author is a democrat/republican, and it spikes their interest. They also might not read real news because they don’t want to read the depressing stories, but that’s reality.

  9. Kayla says:

    Most elected officers and more worried about being reelected than keeping their promises. They just do enough to keep the people happy instead of really listening to them and try to solve their issues.

  10. Landry Filce says:

    I believe that many news sources have become more concerned with making a political statement than reporting actual news, and I agree with you that editorial pieces should be clearly defined and separated from the sections put across as factual. In addition, I believe that many politicians have taken advantage of this situation to dismiss out of hand actual facts that they do not wish to deal with, without actually presenting a coherent argument against them. I believe that by reseparating the editorial and news sections of newspapers and desensationalizing our news, this cop-out will be used less by politicians and people will be less divided along party lines.

  11. Stephanie Dauber says:

    I wish we could all just tell the truth. I hate having to sift through news and determining its legitimacy because they’re either too left or too right. I know it’s naive of me to think that journalists are able to, but I just want to know what’s going on without having to poke through the film of bias on top.
    On the topic of denouncing all negative news as “fake news” as Donny Tramp put it, it just hurts my soul. It’s the easy way out and does nothing to support or prove their point.

  12. Vera L. Taire says:

    If political figures worried less about reelection and more about their people, this wouldn’t even be a talking point.

    On a tangent, are more law enforcement officials really necessary? What is the purpose of adding more of them? What are our current officials lacking, and would it not be more cost-effective to equip and educate them further?

  13. Kamal Bhalla says:

    The only reason why people even still pay attention to such publications like “The Clarion Ledger”, is only because it amuses them. This “fake news” is very entertaining to most people reading them. Instead of having news that’s real, they want the juicy stuff that they can laugh about and comment on. The reality of news these days is that, people just live for the fake-ness. Most don’t want the truth, because they are not only afraid of the truth, but find it boring.

  14. Devon Matheny says:

    I heard from someone a while back that instead of calling it “The Clarion Ledger,” they called it “The Clarion Liar.” This amused me. Of course, everyone in America falsifies some of their personal stories in some ways to make it more interesting. But the news and media does it a whole lot more than the average Joe. The so called “fake news” is distracting to people simply because, most of the time, we are trying to find the pit of the news and not just the fake and amusing stories implemented inside newspapers and magazines.

  15. Harlynn Robinson says:

    Yellow Journalism has been causing political issues since its inception. We all remember the Maine. Then it was mainly the media falsifying things and causing headache for politicians. Now politicians themselves are accusing all media whether yellow or not to be false so as to trip up their opponent’s creed. This causes headaches for the people because it is nearly impossible to know what reporting is facts. The easiest example of this is the global warming debate. Its 70 degrees as I write this in January. The physical evidence is indisputable. But there is a dispute. People who believe that climate change is not happening believe all research and news reports about the matter are false. This common use of accusing journalism of being false has made people think that even blatant facts are false simply because they can no longer trust the media. I cannot recount the amount of dirty media going on in the last election. All to make the other candidate less trustworthy. Without yellow journalism it would be much easier to weed through the truth in government and make informed decisions from there.

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