I have tried not to get political on this blog, and I intend to keep it that way. I do want to make a few comments that are only loosely related to thriller writing and reviewing.
I try to keep relatively informed on current events. I believe a good touch of current events makes a thriller more relevant, and more compelling that way. I noticed a few problems with the news, at least how I seek it.
My issue is with CNN and Fox News. I first noticed this after watching a presidential debate during the run-up to our most recent presidential election. I watched the debate and then looked at the commentary, first on CNN, then on Fox. I wondered if I had watched the same debate. I sensed a complete lack of objectivity on each of the two networks. What was presented as “analysis” was really “spin”. CNN spun it one way, and Fox, the other way. Since then, I looked a little closer to each of these networks, particularly their website. I believe both networks tell the “truth”, but they certainly select what they say with a careful agenda. Maybe I was the last one on the planet to notice.
I believe we have a “free” press, but I don’t believe we have an “objective” press, at least not in some of the sites I follow on a regular basis. If the current administration does something wrong, or incorrect, I know CNN will let us all know about it. If the “left” does something wrong, Fox will let us know. This is, of course, what a free press is all about, and I am very thankful we have that. I have seen situations where the press is not free. I believe the free press is one of the necessary conditions for an effective democracy, or any other form of effective government. I would like to find a site I could trust to present the news without the spin, the selective inclusion, or the not-so-hidden agenda.
As it is now, I believe people who are leaning towards conservatism, will seek out conservative media and harden their positions. On the other hand, people with liberal leanings will look at liberal media and harden their positions. This will stifle discourse and debate and harden everyone’s positions. A bad state of affairs, coupled with the fact that computer search engines will compound this problem by leading a searcher to what the search engine decides they would like to hear. People leaning to the right will be directed to right-leaning media. People leaning to the left will be directed to left-leaning media. Positions will become even more hardened.
Let’s keep the press free, but hope for some objectivity in the mix. It has been a long time since I heard anyone say “I changed my position on that based on reading…”