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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Ferguson news bubble

I don't really know what's going on in Ferguson . . . and most likely you don't either.

Without even realizing it most people get their news from outlets that cater to their biases. “Reliable” news sources are those that cater to people's existing political slant. How many Liberals do you know who also tune into Conservative news outlets or the other way around? Darn few, I bet. News caters to many demographic slices: age group, income, education, region, religion -you name it, there's a news outlet with that slant. Impartial news, always fragile, is even rarer these days.

So what's the deal with Ferguson? What can be trusted? Even life video streams of the same event can give different impressions depending on what's in the frame.

I look for certain red flags. A big one is the arrest and harassment of news reporters. That's a sure sign the people in charge want to twist the narrative. I'm always a little freaked when police use military equipment and tactics. That's not the actions of a community safety service but of an invading army. Of course, with the National Guard called out, it's now definitely a military action. Violence across racial/class lines always has the potential for exploding into something larger. All the outsiders flocking to the troubled area with their axes to grind only makes things worse. These events often start out as one thing and grow into something else.

The tensions have been growing for years. I've a good friend of mine with connections to the area. For years I've been hearing about how unsafe the whole St. Louis area is. People are wary of other people, but also don't trust the police. Personal safety always seemed to be a hot topic -not a sign of a good place to be. As a person who travels a lot, I've a mental list of such places.

An astute news consumer can get close to the truth, but it takes work. It also takes pouring through reports from outlets that may make one uncomfortable. To be honest, I'm not doing the work myself. My main concerns are about what this all means. Is it the start of greater National unrest? What are the greater trends? Mainly though, what I'm going to do is give the whole area a wide berth.



  1. I watch Al Jazeera, and they are really making hay out of this. The evil white man is suppressing the poor, struggling blacks. Today they sent their anchor man to Ferguson to interview some agitator from New York who styled himself the leader of "the million hoody march." I'm not making this up.

    I'm old enough to remember the 1960's race riots and I'm wondering if this is going to be a repeat. If so, I wonder how Pimp Daddy Holder and the Golfer in Chief will spin it?

    CNN and MSNBC are continuing the perpetrate the "Gentle Giant" fraud.

    Fox is putting out the otherwise invisible story that the autopsy supports the police officers version of what happened. There is also a You Tube video that contains narrative which makes the "oh he was running away with his hands in the air" story appear to be a complete fabrication.

    If someone was shooting at me and throwing molotov's I'd probably want some military equipment too, but that's just me.

    1. The problem with military equipment is that they are trying to solve political and social problems. Wrong tools. However, for the guy in the street, it looks like the right tool. Solving those other problems takes real effort over time, but it is the only thing that works in the long run. If a place like Northern Ireland can figure it out, there's hope for us.

      You've been following it from a variety of sources, so you've had a sampling of the totally different narratives and attempts to frame the issues.

  2. We are fast becoming a police state.

  3. "Racial hostility is not subsiding. The races are not assimilating. If they were going to, they would have." - Fred Reed

    Another smart fellow I read says "stay away from crowds"

    Good advice!


    1. Avoiding crowds is good advice in troubled times.

  4. n o money is available for an elevator to heaven but there is always extra lanes being added to the highway to hell

    or wait till the mushroom cloud errupts over ferguson...

    war is always pofitable abroad and now in the homeland


  5. Some people theorize, that the government is "testing" various parts of the country to see how martial law will go down. At the same time the standoff is happening in Ferguson, Army helicopters are flying over the Twin Cities, much to the annoyance of the residents. The Army doesn't need to fly over major cities -- they have training areas that they can use. I believe they are trying to acclimate the people to this type of militarization.

    1. I'm guessing that somewhere up the pecking order are some really worried leaders.

  6. Being upset is one thing; looting is another. I've always been in favor of shooting all looters, except during times of extreme catastrophies.

    1. There will always be those who take advantage of any disturbance to loot.