The Unfortunate Habit of Mocking “Being Objective” as “Enlightened Centrism” in Modern Mass Media
I would like to propose a hypothetical scenario as a sort of platform to drive my point.
Three estranged childhood friends happen upon falling in touch with each other over social media after many years and decided to meet up at this brand new fast food cafe. Ronald, Wendy and Sanders exchange pleasantries and order their food and sit down at a corner table for an extended chatting session. The conversations went from nostalgic recollections of their childhood to their peeves and ongoing frustrations, gradually the conversation turned political. Sanders, the oldest among the three and who also served in the army started talking about his dissatisfaction with the liberal media and how his fellow countrymen were demonized in these media for simply wanting to preserve their way of life and culture; This was quickly followed by an objection from Wendy, who worked in public relations in a digital marketing company and was a low-key celebrity on twitter, infamous for her snarky remarks and witty take-downs of her political opponents. She followed her objection with pointing out of certain cases of social injustices that had happened recently. Sanders rebutted back, a tad more aggressively this time, he argued that certain events were taken out of context or they were intentionally covered by the biased media a certain way to drive a certain agenda. He ended his argument exclaiming that, “these are commie propaganda to break our country apart! can’t you see the obvious?”. Wendy found herself visibly upset after listening to this remark, she further put her arguments forward and claimed that Sander’s side was intolerant and denying those events because they didn’t want to accept the absolute truth. She then added “ that’s because the biased media is taken over by fascist trolls to turn the country in to a genocidal Nazi state! can’t YOU see the obvious?”.
As the headbutting continued, both their attention turned towards Ronald, who used to be the class clown but has now got his act together and now works as an assistant manager in a food processing plant. Ronald had kept quiet since the whole conversation had turned political. When the spotlight was finally upon him he became visibly nervous. He concluded that he both agreed and disagreed to some of the points each had made, he added that the country did have its fair share of problems and it’s dishonest to deny them, but that doesn’t mean that the country is some kind of dystopian fascist state. It is very important to accept certain progressive ideas but it is also equally important to conserve certain parts of the culture as well, yes the media should report on social injustices but also should not skew and misreport to drive an agenda…
“Really!?” exclaimed both Sanders and Wendy concomitantly! “What is this?! Enlightened centrism?!” smirked Wendy, to which Sanders nodded in agreement. “What do you mean by that?” Ronald questioned, “Even if it is some kind of centrism, what is inherently wrong in that? I’m just being objective here, and not blindly follow a single version of events dictated by one particular side. How is that something bad?” . “It’s called being undecided.” Sanders noted while Wendy nodded in agreement. “And that’s bad how? most people are like me , undecided, that’s why democracy exists!”. At which both Sanders and Wendy burst in to laughter, “Sure!” said Wendy. “Oh, I gotta go” Wendy got up, Sanders following her, “May be we’ll talk when you take this seriously and not clowning around, haha!” both of them laughed again. “But I do take it seriously, I just…” Both Wendy and Sanders had left the establishment, “… want to hear both perspectives before forming my opinion…. aah who am I kidding!” Ronald remarked to himself as he saw the door close itself before dinging the little bell hung from the transom.
Most of the world is made up of Ronalds and yet it’s Wendys, followed by Sanders that are the most vocal groups in any mass media, this creates a paradoxical situation for the media to cater for these categories which creates more Wendys and Sanders,
thus the objective truth about any issue is being neglected in exchange for being loyal to their respective political ideologies.
But, being an optimist, I do hypothesize and to an extent proven in real life, that this form of paradoxical interdependence is ultimately unsustainable. An oxymoronic effect is being produced where people are being disillusioned out of hard lined narratives resulting in Ronalds’ World as such is the natural entropy of these subjects.