| Home | Press Release | Declaration | Progressive Agenda |

                Media and Its Impacts

                                                                                                                              Earth Manifesto Insights

                                                                                                              Dr. Tiffany B. Twain  

                                                                                                             September 2005

Television, radio, newspaper, and magazine advertising indoctrinate us with false values, enshrining the gods of materialism on the highest pedestal of our imaginations.  Above all, they persuade us to want things, to feel that we need more, and to be concerned with more material goods.  The message of advertising is that happiness is found in possessing things, that you should get all you can for yourself, that you should get it all as quickly as you can, that you should seek pleasure and avoid boredom, and that buying and owning things can make you feel special and more worthy.

Rather than creating more wholesome values, advertising and regular programming by the broadcast media are having the sinister effects of eroding individuality and creativity, encouraging winning at any cost, justifying unethical actions, glamorizing youth and sex appeal, and diverting people's attention from vitally important things in favor of sports spectacles, sensationalism, and violence.  They are contributing to people's loss of awareness of the values associated with healthy connectedness, good communication, peaceful coexistence, mental clarity, integrity of character, honesty, sustainability, thrift, undisturbed parks and wild areas, the ecological sanity of conservation and environmental protections, and the appreciation of Nature's beauty and balance.

The media manipulates people's needs by pandering to inner-directed motivations that are oriented around security, belonging, acceptance, consumerism, conformity, and being concerned about appearances.  Far greater social values arguably reside in people's higher selves and outer-directed needs, which recognize the importance of community, helping others, fostering creativity, conserving resources, improving society, appreciating aesthetics, and caring about the health and well-being of future generations.

The effects of this bombardment of materialistic propaganda is to weaken natural concerns for the education and health of children, and wholesome societies, and better relationships.  They can even serve to help erode individual rights to privacy, and a healthy independent public broadcasting system, and truthful understandings, and deeper spiritual concerns.

In cooperation with economic materialism, Big Government increasingly sides with Big Business to exploit workers and resources.  They allow toxins and pollutants to be dumped in our environment, harming people's health and forcing the public to pay mitigation or clean-up costs.  They cultivate lobbyists whose goal is to maximize profits at the expense of the public, primarily to benefit the wealthy and the powerful.

Recent Republican strategies have been more and more dishonest and corrupt.  They let lobbyists write their own partisan legislation, and allow campaign finance shenanigans and voting scandals to influence elections.  They are ruthless and unscrupulous in smear campaigns such as those directed by Karl Rove.  They conceal and deny scientific understandings. I believe that it is unethical to use such tactics together with deceptive political spin to accomplish doctrinal and authoritarian ends.  The means used to accomplish ends should NOT include undemocratic, unfair, illegal, or unethical activities.

Natural spiritual drives have been hypocritically manipulated by religion establishments and their friends in high political offices to forsake compassion, mercy, charity and peace in favor of orthodoxy, dogma, special privilege, self-righteous intolerance, and the maintenance of the hierarchy of power.  Instead of concern for fairness and true justice and enlightened policy-making and the fight against poverty, those who hew to religious orthodoxy use their dogmas like an opiate for the people.  They justify an undemocratic hierarchy of power and unethical attacks on individual human rights.  They contribute to nationalistic conflicts and sexism and racism and anti-gay initiatives and aggressive militarism and anti-environmentalism.

The curious human "will to believe" has historically been channeled into astonishingly dubious myths and dogmas, often with inegalitarian, discriminatory, unfair, repressive, unwise, and harmful results.  We must do better.  We must demand that our business and political leaders pay more authentic attention to the greater good in our societies, and not simply to their own selfish good and money, power, profits and control.

We simply must find ways to ensure a more free press.  We cannot accept a press that is so beholden to the powers-that-be that they prostitute themselves to provide support to war enthusiasms and other ideological initiatives.  Journalism must adhere to higher standards of objectivism and rationality!

The so-called Yellow Press was created more than 100 years ago to boost ratings by hyping war. Yellow journalism consists of widespread practices within media organizations that are detrimental to journalistic integrity, particularly including exaggeration, fear-mongering, propaganda, sensationalism and jingoism.

To be continued!


     Tiffany Twain