Dear conspiracy theorists: No, news outlets don’t have a secret agenda

By Ashley Bunton - Staff Columnist

If you watched Donald Trump’s TV show in Melbourne, Fla. over the weekend, or if you didn’t and you’re wondering what it was about, you’re not the only one scratching your head in confusion over what happened at the event.

Donald Trump was on stage at a political rally featured on national television Saturday. Once the stage was set, he took the opportunity to talk about how fake he thinks the news media is — while at the same, benefiting from being able to appear on the national news.

He instructed viewers of his rally to unify the divide between conservatives and liberals — while at the same time, blaming the liberals for what has been reported about him.

The president’s style of speech is a form of communication known as “double-speak,” and is used to spread propaganda through programming people with messages that confuse them or cause them to doubt reality.

Propaganda, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s, is information intended to persuade or convince people. We’ll see more of the president’s double-speak of so-called “alternative facts” as his staff works to carry out their agenda.

The indelible truth is that many of Trump’s staff and cabinet members are white-collar billionaires, elitist members of the alt-right: a self-described extreme alternative right group that believes in conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump’s use of double-speak to blame the media for his issues is the equivalent of blaming the cow when the milk in the refrigerator turns sour. It’s like waiting up at night to blame the tooth fairy because your tooth fell out, only to realize the tooth fairy doesn’t exist.

Even conservatives who voted for Trump are now wondering if he can actually hear what comes out of his own mouth when he speaks. His speech over the weekend implied that the news media outlets are working as a single entity to skew public opinion.

“The media” that Trump refers to does not exist. News media outlets should never be referred to as “the media” because news media outlets are not a single entity working as a conglomerate to skew public opinion. News media outlets sometimes use the same sources for information, but each news media outlet operates individually.

Trump may never admit that “the media” he refers to does not exist. To him, this “alternative fact” is true. But the truth is that each writer, reporter, editor and producer is an independent thinker working as an individual. The thousands of people who work at news media outlets are not working to skew public opinion with a secret agenda.

Conspiracy-theorist conservatives are as dangerous as conspiracy-theorist leftists. Before we put on our tin foil hats, let’s remember the premise under which the news outlets do operate: the First Amendment.

The news media that you rely on for information, transparency, truth, reverence, and stories is protected by the First Amendment. The kind of books you read and the things you think about and put onto paper, those are protected by the First Amendment, too. Our ancestors died to give us those rights, and still we defend them today.

I’m sorry to hear the president on national television using double-speak to send confusing messages to the citizens who work so hard to make it in this country. Forgive yourself if you’ve been wearing a tin foil hat since Saturday. I’m here to tell you: Put the tin foil hat away, at least for now.

By Ashley Bunton

Staff Columnist

Reach Ashley at 740-335-3611 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at 740-335-3611 or on Twitter @ashbunton