Credibility is something that many seek yet few attain and even more fail to consider to be pertinent in life.
As Americans we collectively tend to ignore credibility in favor of flash and grandeur, we tend to overlook integrity by allowing a credibility gap to determine what we choose to believe. We absolutely choose what to believe when it comes to reality since we gravitate towards the news sources we agree with. If you are a liberal you get your “news” from MSNBC, if you are a conservative you get your “news” from Faux News and if you are a moron you get your “news” from CNN. You shop around for the the slant and viewpoint that you wish to ingest, you are more interested in presentation rather than reality. If you wanted the facts then why don’t we all use the AP (Associated Press) to get our news? The AP is where all of the “news” sources get theirs before they color the facts as they choose. We don’t want undoctored news, that is boring and might fail to forward the agenda we are pressing, we want hyperbole and conjecture tied up with opinion and fervor. That is the way American news is doled out which leads me to ask this, since you know the “news” is not simply the facts as they are, why do you give credibility to those who have shown time and again they have none of their own?
Look at something like Andrew Breitbart and his fantasy “news” website www.breitbart.com? The last 2 years or so before his death, Breitbart made sure to piss away even the shattered illusion of credibility he claimed to have by doctoring video, making up completely false stories, citing sources that do not exist (or citing the same source multiple times even after that ‘source’ has itself been discredited), leaving out facts that did not support the angle he was playing and generally insuring that his legacy was that of a comic book parody of a newsman. Faux News sued for the right to lie and call it news, Andrew Breitbart had even less credibility yet people still use his webpage (now run by a cadre of his lying drunken acolytes) to source wildly unfounded and dangerously inaccurate stories. Why? That source (www.breitbart.com) has no credibility yet it seems to have a large cult of believers. This I do not understand. When Faux News has more credibility in telling the true story just STOP, you have already lost, why bat your wings about the window trying to get in?
Credibility is something that is difficult to achieve and yet easy to lose. One can work for a lifetime building a factual base from which credibility and trust become the standard… and yet one bad, poorly thought out act, can destroy all of that. Ask Dan Rather. Dan Rather spent his entire career building integrity, dependability and reliability for a newsman… and then one dumb act of hubris revoked all of that. Those Bush papers have forever tainted the legacy of Dan Rather and all of CBS News simply because he did not do his job before going on the air he got what he deserved. He got the requite shaming that happens once credibility is lost. You see, credibility is not something you can regain, it’s loss will always haunt you, always dog you as it should. If you are lacking in credibility once, why should we ever believe anything you report? Credibility is like virginity, you have it for the longest time but once it’s gone, it’s gone, never to return. Loss of credibility is also something that can hurt those around you, look at CNN for example, Anderson Cooper gets caught faking “news” and all of CNN is tangentially colored by his actions (and lets face it, they had next to no credibility to start with).
This credibility gap issue leads me to bring up religious teachings in the area of schools since credibility plays an issue here as well. When you are teaching religious doctrine you are doing just that, no problem, the issue comes up when you are attempting to work that doctrine into areas it has no place being… such as schools and factual data. “Intelligent Design” is not an “Alternative Theory”, it is religion masquerading as fact. It is not teaching facts, it is spreading ignorance under the guise of equality. Facts are not equal to anything, they simply are facts and you can not dispute a fact, anything that is not a fact is a supposition which makes it not a fact (could I have made that more obtuse)? “Intelligent Design” is creationism pretending to be science. “Intelligent Design” is nothing more than dogma pretending it has greater standing. There is no credibility to the ideals forwarded by any religion, if you choose to believe those ideals, fine, but they have no credibility outside of your already established members.
Now, sometimes history gets in the way or things change, this is true, and in a way that makes credibility partially transferable. A reporter harps on an on about an issue for years with seemingly no credible way to tell the story, then perhaps newly released documents come to light which back up the (previously unfeasible) claims made and credibility has been achieved long after the fact. Perhaps the opposite is also true in that what was once seemingly true and credible news has new facts emerge which cast questions as to the relative truthfulness of the former claims. Does lying early on make everything you say down the line implausible? Yes it does, yet this is not always the case in reverse. If you had a valued career which you LATER used to espouse inaccurate falderal it rarely taints the previous work. This I can not explain as to be, once you go to that place, you take everything with you. Opinions can change, facts can not.
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