The dangers of media-fueled groupthink (1 Viewer)

Heathen Saint

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To preface...I have to apologize.

In the KY. h/s group megathread--I made a harsh, nasty remark toward the kid who was photographed in a sort of a staring contest with the native american man playing the drum that has been garnering all media attention lately. I want to say that whoever was wrong in that situation between the two groups, I know that I was in the wrong for rushing to a judgment. It was nasty, and very much unintelligent--it was the same attitude I have convinced myself that others have that I displayed when making that comment. It turned out that there were many other moving parts in that story, and not to continue a closed thread -- but I think we all need to practice getting all available evidence before rushing to judgment. Some of you are much better than I at this. For that I commend you.

I was just thinking over the weekend about this group-think mentality and how rational discourse can be blocked out rather surprisingly forcefully so quickly.

Another quick example -- and one that hopefully doesn't devolve into an unnecessary tangent -- I had an opinion on the ending of the Saints-Rams matchup that was respectfully albeit confidently voiced, and I was told by many that I should have been banned. In the region, I was shocked by the almost hostile environment that the enthusiasm behind a certain sentiment caused...which seemed to be one that made it very, very difficult for anyone else to voice their opinions for fear of being misaligned, even if they were the biggest fans in the world. It made me think of all of the other groups that, "right" or "wrong" voice their opinions and are never heard, never debated, or are threatened with their very livelihoods.

These are just a few examples, one that I regretfully participated in, that I think necessitates the ability for us as individuals to try to stay away from quick judgments and not fear dissent, even if it involves questioning the credibility of your own group.

As (technically) a liberal, I can see where conservatives would have a bone to pick with many Democrats about how certain issues are handled, how some subjects seem to be "hands off", and how hypersensitivity has dissuaded our ability to speak openly and rationally about issues we disagree on without fear of backlash. If one believes they are right, shouldn't they wish for an environment where all voices are heard? Shouldn't we be glad for a challenge to our views? I'm not saying glad for a country that makes openly racist people feel like they can hurt people openly..But to have their voices heard? I hope to uphold their right to that.

There's also this "death by media exposure" that sickens me. It's happened time and again, is problematic, and maybe up until now I have been largely dismissing it as warranted even if it did happen. But I can't any longer. I don't know the kid who stared down the Native man. But (again, referencing my own aforementioned stupid comments here) I don't wish him or his family any harm and I think that it's absurd that his family, his school etc. have been so adversely effected by media gorge-fest frenzy that has been going on after this image came out.

Let me just say that I don't see the media as the "enemy", largely. However, I do think that if it feeds off an environment in which certain images at certain angles inspire death threats and ruin people's lives, then that should be taken pretty incredibly seriously.

I know this is sort of a jumbled mess of a post, but I wanted to truthfully convey my convictions here. I know a lot of you won't like it, but I'm hoping even many of us who align strongly to one side or another can talk about this in an open and introspective manner.
 

mt15

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Feel free to contribute your own content, rather than simply complaining.
 

Oye

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Wow this was a great thread till FWTex, Bronco and Oye messed it up.
I didn't say my name :shrug:

and the premise is absolutely on topic with the thread's thesis. I don't use fringe media. I don't consult fringe media. I didn't weigh in on the MAGA teens because I happen to have experience in a context comparable to the school the boys attend, and I've seen all sorts of things get distorted and twisted. So while not certain how things would shake out, I knew enough to know better than to jump to teen condemnation.

And if this is going to be a discussion about not jumping to conclusions based on early media reports, especially from the fringe variety, then there's a cautionary tale to be had when a poster's sources are routinely drawn from the fringe.

If you want to be considered credible, imo, you don't use Breitbart, NewsBusters, Newsmax, CNS and the like. And if you don't want it pointed out, then don't use them.

So, props to the OP for taking responsibility. And that, too, is a worthwhile cautionary tale.
 

N.O.Bronco

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Wow this was a great thread till FWTex, Bronco and Oye messed it up.
Honest question, when is the last time you've contributed anything positive to any thread you have jumped into dealing with politics?

You seem to have become a wandering curmudgeon that randomly shows up to take potshots at people you hold long-standing personal or political animosities toward.

I've counted about three or four toward me alone in the last month. Several more toward other posters.

At least when you were in college we got some interesting discussions that were policy rooted, today it seems you are basically here to pop in with drive by posts directed at those you used to be able to maintain civil disagreement with or offer off handed commentary rooted in tribal divisions. Observationally, it's a really sad fall to see from you.
 

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