Seeing the Round Corners

July 15, 2019


Readers, please be aware, a commentary columnist is tasked with evoking a thought process and generating the reader’s interest in becoming better informed and skeptical of the headline-grabbing purveyors of information.

That said, if given a choice on what to base a decision, most readers would be quick to opt for having authentic, truthful, accurate information presented by the media in America (on-air and print).

As Americans become more inundated with fake news and how biased the media has become, the distance from the founding documents of freedom of the press and freedom of information take on exponential proportions.

Today’s on-air media such as Chuck Todd (Meet the Press) and Margaret Brennan (Face the Nation) demonstrate a total lack of awareness about what a journalist’s job is – elicit from the person being interviewed information based on their professional expertise and actual knowledge on that subject matter. The aforementioned two journalists interject and interrupt the person being interviewed with their positions and opinions on the issue(s) on a continuous basis, as though their opinions are more important.

The journalist should do their homework to be informed to ask intelligent questions of the person being interviewed, but at the end of the interview, the listener should not be able to determine which side of the issue the journalist is on – period!! Readers should sit back and look at how often this scenario is the case.

It must be asked, have the creators of artificial intelligence considered the unintended consequences of artificial intelligence “as it is fueling the next phase of misinformation?” Verification of information as to accuracy and deep fake detection before publication/presentation are vital to the credibility and challenges posted to news rooms.

Unaware to most readers are the various ways and reasons for governments and private companies to slant the news content that readers receive. Twenty-five years ago, content of the news was distributed on a local basis – in the U. S., “major television and radio networks, newspapers, magazines and book publishers controlled the spread of information.”

Today, what is referred to as “the information revolution,” has disrupted the “content distribution model” described above. As an example, private companies may decide to moderate content by declining to filter or block content that does not amount to obvious illegality (say by shadow banning it, lowering its prominence, and so on).

Private companies may also be pressured by government(s) to block or filter certain information like hate speech or “fake news.” It should also be pointed out that, “content platforms have terms-of-service agreements, which ban certain forms of content based on companies’ values.”

What readers must keep in mind at all times is, “No longer is the public’s attention exclusively in the hands of trusted media companies,” according to Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron, authors of Deep Fakes:  A Looming Challenge for Privacy, Democracy and National Security, who point out, “The capacity to create deep fakes comes at a perilous time.”

The reader's comments or questions are always welcome. E-mail me at