Bill Maher’s “New Rules” segment always hits the target and when he commented this week on how we in this country get our news in the “information age” he once more scored a bull’s-eye when he pointed out that when your source of news only “reports” stories which support your point of view it is not news, “it’s Fox News.
He asks “do you know what I saw on Yahoo’s front page this morning? No, you don’t because mine isn’t the same as yours.”
This is true because the internet has become very adept at targeting our preferences, it knows what we all like or are likely to click on based on what we have clicked on in the past. Facebook’s news feed, the Yahoo and Google news feeds, they are all designed to show us only the things in which we have demonstrated an interest.
Back in the day, we all read newspapers, we didn’t read every article cover to cover, but as Bill points out we at least saw the headlines and sometimes we would read an article simply because the headline caught our eye, we actually heard conflicting viewpoints. Today we are fed a steady diet of stories which agree with what we want to be true and nothing which says we may be wrong.
This is not true only of internet sources, with the advent of cable and satellite TV we have a smorgasbord of news channels to choose from and while some do make some attempt to present unvarnished news, others, notably Fox News present only one slant and when an opposing view is presented it is talked over, interrupted or ridiculed.
This is the reason we see studies today which show that often the individual who never reads a newspaper or watches any television news program is better informed than the one who spends several hours a day consuming the biased output from Roger Ailes and company.
Watch Maher’s commentary in the video below.