All the news that’s fit to ignore


Where do you learn things? How do you find out what’s happening?

Television? Newspapers? Internet? Friends and family and watercooler gossip?

And, most importantly, when do you decide to believe the hype?

We’ve arrived in a dangerous place, if we’re being honest. A place where fact and fiction often overlap, pushed on by personal beliefs and desires. Often, simply because we want something to be true, we accept word of something’s existence without an actual reason to support its existence. And we navigate in the direction of reports that deny things we want to believe are false. It’s not fake news, it’s comfort news, taking in material that supports what we want to believe.

Before we wade too deeply into the waters, let’s step off into the realm of Wikipedia.

How often do you visit the Wikipedia site? If you’re like most people, you know it exists, and more likely than not you’ve utilized it on occasion for information. But… and I do believe most people understand this… it is far, far from reliable.

Funny thing about Wikipedia. It is an incredible resource. It can provide details about things quickly, and often accurately. But it’s also a source of all sorts of problems. People intentionally post incorrect material. People access pages and update sections with jokes. You use it at your own risk, and it is far from a credible reference.

But again, you knew that. Right?


Why do you trust a certain television station? A certain newspaper? Do you recognize how their way of delivering information is often a reflection of their influences? Ownership can create company policy about what narratives are presented, particulars shared, and even what is ignored or never spoken. Advertisers and revenue will dictate coverage in quite similar fashion.

Why do you believe the first reports of any story? In the rush to be declared as-first-reported-by status, deep investigations and realities are tossed to the side. Often as the scope widens and available facts increase, the initial reports turn out to be nothing more than a scratch of the surface.

This not the same as Wikipedia. Then again, it is.

Not because it’s wrong, but because this tarnished and incomplete. And yet so many accept it without a second thought or a double-check. If it turns out to be wrong… well, much like the reporter attempting to scoop the accolades… it gets tossed to the side to be forgotten as the next story comes along. Lather… rinse… repeat… without responsibility or accountability.

Comfort news. If I agree with it… true. If I don’t agree with it… la la la, I can’t hear you.

I get mad with others not because of their personal beliefs or opinions. We all have things that we want to develop in a certain way, and those paths at times are in conflict. In general, that’s actually pretty healthy. It should—major stress on should—create scenarios where we do more research, apply more thought, improve our skills and approaches. In essence, finding answers and taking action should come with questions and hurdles, as overcoming those obstacles will assist in building upon a strong foundation.

Trouble is… that’s not quick. Or easy. Or, sad to say, the way we want to believe.

We want right or wrong, and right will only be judged by what we accept as being right.

There’s an old joke in Hollywood about playing villains. The basic concept is that you have to approach the part with the understanding that villains never believe they are the villains. They believe they’re the heroes, and are doing what’s right. For the audience, what appears clearer is the full picture.

I didn’t write this to create some attack on news our sources of information. Instead, I wrote it because I really hope you’ll take some time to think. Because if you’re only using one source… and you don’t recognize the limitations of that source… you will yourself be mistaken far more often than you care to think.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at