How to Outsmart the Media
By Michael Emero /


Those who are aware of the now ubiquitous agenda-based and corporate-influenced misinformation that permeates our society tend to critique various sources (TV, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, "news" channels, blogs, etc) but then miss the overall point by ending rants with easy media-blame scapegoating. But the problem isn't just the messenger, it's also the recipients - you and I.

Even when news organizations had journalistic integrity, there was still misreporting and gaps in coverage. It's inevitable that every source has flaws. Granted, now it's become more planned / sponsored than simple oversights, but either way, it's the responsibility of those who receive information to do their due diligence and verify it before believing and repeating. We may not be used to doing so, but in today's hyper-connected internet world, there's simply no reason to keep being gullible dupes, other than misplaced trust, laziness or willful ignorance.

Assumptions make us look the fool even when we're challenged on concrete facts, if we don't have the evidentiary knowledge or citation to explain why we believe something other than "I heard it". When pressed in these cases, people on both sides tend to get emotional and defensive, because it's become a battle of opinion. Then discussion / debate often turns into a personal grudge match of abuse and ego, a pointless battle of wills that further discourages truth-seeking intellectualism. Paid trolls are excellent at purposely engaging in this approach.

This is all easy to solve. Listen, read, watch, and absorb everything, from everywhere, but believe and speak as fact only that which you can responsibly verify with a preponderance of evidence. Learn to gracefully accept truths outside your existing world view, because being accurate is much more important than simply accepting anything that conveniently validates your personal bias. The former leaves us informed, prepared, and educated - the latter just limits us to accepting 'knowledge' based on what we want to hear, and counter-productively surrenders our beliefs, critical thinking skills, and values to mere baseless hearsay.

Knowledge is the one resource we can never run out of; we'd be fools not to utilize it fully. While public false narratives are indeed a problem, personal accountability and self-empowerment are always a more feasible solution than continuous external blame. And perhaps the pervasive widespread use of the misinformation we rightfully complain about might yet be curbed- if we just all stopped being so susceptible to it.

3.5 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 12,400 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 8,342 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,523 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,872 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 1,726 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 1,308 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Mark Corske's Engines of Domination (2014)
60 min · 1,073 views today · Political power -- armed central authority, with states and war -- is it part of human nature? Is it necessary for human communities? Or is it a tool that ruling elites use to...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 858 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 799 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 741 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 658 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 578 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 502 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 399 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 397 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 320 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 294 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Are You Lost in the World Like Me?
3 min · 280 views today · Animated film by Steve Cutts for 'Are You Lost In The World Like Me?', taken from These Systems Are Failing- the debut album from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. 
World's Low-Cost Economy Built on the Backs of 46 Million Modern Day Slaves
Deirdre Fulton · 270 views today · 'Business leaders who refuse to look into the realities of their own supply chains are misguided and irresponsible.'
Life in Occupied Palestine (2009)
59 min · 229 views today · Anna Baltzer, a Jewish American, gives her eyewitness perspectives on average citizens living in occupied Palestine. Baltzer spent 5 months in the West Bank working with the...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
How to Outsmart the Media