This I Believe

Tyler - Buffalo, New York
Entered on April 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“The media forms your opinion”, is a statement I once said. The more I think about it, the more I believe in it. I didn’t realize how powerful it was, until it was inducted into Mr. Federick’s wall of quotes. Then I knew.

People are truly brainwashed by the media, so overpowered that they’re twisted and turned every which way to form opinions that they’re told to stand by. Yes, I said told to stand by. Someone telling you to believe and think a certain way about someone or something. Someone so in control and you don’t even realize it. The media. A totalitarian of opinion. Supposedly telling you all the facts and the whole story on every issue. But what do you really know? What does anyone really know? Then people form opinions based on what they think they know. How do you know?

You read the newspaper and watch the news, constantly being fed by the media. Telling you facts you may find harmless. In turn, people form opinions based on something that someone told them. Is it truly fair to be opinionated based sources of media? Let me try to clarify this more. It would be like a rumor that spreads in school. At first, the statement may be true when passed down through the first person.

Though, usually as it goes through more and more people, the truth gets twisted. I’m not saying that the media is lying, but maybe they’re not telling you the whole story. Does it make it fair to judge and form opinions based on facts passed down?

It has already been over a year since Anna Nicole Smith’s death. To this day, I remember the bizarre information that surrounded her story. So many different stories were being told that nobody knew what to believe. I’ve heard everything from a planned suicide to a murder. People then took these false accusations and formed opinions about her. I remember a friend of mine trashing Anna Nicole because he thought she has purposely killed herself. Saying things like “She’s such a coward”, and “How could she leave her little girl”. Her said to be “suicide” at the time, left people with a negative impression towards her. It left people thinking that she was nothing more than drug addict who overdosed her life away. It’s funny because it turns out that it was neither suicide nor murder. It happened to be an accidental overdose which wasn’t determined until over a month after her death. In the meantime, people were quick to share their opinions of this so called, “Drug abusing” star. Family and friends of mine, talked about this issue as if they were there. Most of them stuck with what the media was telling them at first, the fact that Anna Nicole Smith had killed herself.

Where did this fictional piece of information come from? It came straight from a source of media. In this case, it happened to be the Internet. In my mind, the Internet is probably the worst source of media for dependability. I know this because I saw it for myself. I was on the web when a pop up came on the screen that said, “The truth behind Anna Nicole’s death”. I clicked on it and it was a paragraph on Smith’s alleged suicide. This upset me because there are people who do believe everything they read. People, who are exposed to fake accusations such as this, believe it and speak their mind. You need real facts to back up an opinion not inaccurate info.

I think the media got too involved in her story to begin with. It was the top story on the news for weeks. They almost had day-to-day coverage on her death. I do feel sorry for her and her family, but doesn’t the media have more important things to cover? Shouldn’t they be updating us about the war in Iraq instead of the latest news of the entertainment business? Shouldn’t the media be involved with more stories that affect our lives? Such as the status of our country. I’m not saying that the media doesn’t tell us anything of importance but there is too much emphasis put on entertainment compared to real issues. The media only tells us the interesting parts of stories that may not be the crucial details. To only draw attention to viewers. Which is sometimes done by biased, one-sided information.

Now it would be different if you got facts straight from the source. As, in person. For example, many people dislike President Bush through what they hear on the radio, T.V., read in the newspaper and on the Internet. Then the people, who actually pay attention to the news, pass down information to the ill-informed about what President Bush has done wrong now. This then leads to people jumping on the bandwagon of anti-Bush. I’m not saying that people don’t have a right to their opinions, but I feel if they had been informed from President Bush himself, their opinion would be more accurate and acceptable. I personally feel that President Bush isn’t this evil person that many people make him out to be. I think that the decisions he makes, is in the right mind-set of what’s best for the country. He trying to go by what’s he feels is best for everyone. There’s never going to be a person who agrees with everyone’s ways of doing things. Though I don’t feel it’s necessary for someone (the media in this case), to portray or exploit our own President as being a horrible person. The media is so powerful that they turned us against our own President.

I know that we’re not all able to get information from an “in person” source, but at least we can be more careful about where it’s coming from. Because when you see a headline of a magazine that says, “Girl frozen in ice, 50 years later she’s alive”, like I have, it raises suspicion. Some sources of media only show you what they want you to see. It’s almost like they take you under hypnosis to believe anything. I think it’s crucial to check your sources. Some may think I’m not being realistic, but this I believe.