Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669

Walk and Talk Podcast focusing on all the bad coverage of recent events. Late night. Moonlight. The smell of fall in the air. Perfect setting to try and sort all this out. In Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669.

Lies and Fairy Tales

The theme of these podcasts has always been the fact that most of what passes as ‘news’ is opinion. These days though, the fairy tale nature of news coverage has reached a new level of mendacity. This time it’s digital media.

Digital Media Is A Sea Of Disinformation

That’s right. Anyone you talk to can give you a dissertation on the failure of the so called mainstream media to ‘do their job’. Almost no one talks about the failures of digital media. Especially You Tube ‘correspondents’. We’ll talk about it in Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669.

New Sources Require New Diligence

I watch a lot of You Tube stuff these days. Apparently so do many Americans. You Tube is the source of a great deal of what the American Public thinks it ‘knows’. While entertaining, You Tubers pump out a steady stream of false flag attack stories, end of the world proofs, predictions about the future, and ‘inside’ stories that can never be fact checked.

Aliens and False Flags

We’re walking around with a lot of nonsense in our heads when any new thing happens. Las Vegas? North Korea? Some kind of legislative initiative? We think we live in a society with a free exchange of information, but what do we really know about these things? In Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669.

It’s A Ken Burns World

The world does not sluice down into a documentary series with music and pictures. Historians spend years studying events. New information changes conclusions. Building a framework to understand it all requires reading real books about real history. A framework also comes with experience and life.

And every now and then, maybe a quiet walk on a tree lined, leaf covered path on a beautiful fall night.

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Misinformation Disinformation Red Alert-How To Cope-Podcast 669

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

A friend asked me the other day if I was trying to alienate my audience. The reason for the question? I refused to take sides during election 2016 and will not do the bidding of politicians, in Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623.

On The Road

Last year The Bob Davis Podcasts went on the road to cover the primary campaigns. I traveled thousands of miles back and forth across the United States. When you roll on the backroads you see a lot and you learn a lot. Once you do that, you never view politics in the same way.

Manipulation

We’re being manipulated. Constantly. Republican and Democrat. Did a podcast about that. Detailed how we get our news from social media. Explained how to tell if a story lives up to journalistic standards. Asserted the idea that bad information leads to bad decisions. Apparently asserting ideas like this can put people on the defensive.

If You Want To Know The Truth

To know the truth, don’t take a side. It seems like everyone in media these days is taking a side. Defending a position. Making an argument. Demanding they be followed. Most information defends a point of view. This is the essence of our national manipulation. People say, “I don’t have time to sort it all out”. That is why I am doing these podcasts.

Shooting The Messenger

There are many assertions in modern news coverage these days. Most of these assertions are little more than opinion. This doesn’t mean the facts might one day support one view or another. Sadly the first reaction is defensive when facts don’t support conspiracy theory, commentary, personality endorsements, wishful thinking or the need to feel secure about a decision.

My Style of Communication

I am passionate. Direct. Intense. When I direct that passion and intensity toward something important to a specific listener it can be disconcerting. The value is it is researched, honest and authentic. Not filled with small talk and an effort to ingratiate myself with people so I can finesse a politicians message. This style of communication has certainly caused me trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

History and Peeking Ahead

In Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623, I take a look at talk radio and media history, and discuss aging and changing perceptions, personal growth. Also take a look ahead to plans for covering the next election cycles. Hopefully I’ll continue to ruffle some feathers and get some discussion and thinking going.

Refusing To Take A Side Alienates Political Partisans-Podcast 623

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Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show

Behind My Decision Canceling The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show

Big day at The Bob Davis Podcasts. Decided to stop doing my syndicated radio show; The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show. Podcasts only from here on. Pure Play Podcasting. Find out why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Mission Creep

The Bob Davis Podcast Radio Show has been on the air for seventy weeks. I started podcasting in 2009. After so many years I thought bringing content from my podcasts back to radio would be a good idea. Eventually I started posting the radio show as a podcast both to monetize it and because I wanted people to hear the show in the digital quality the Internet enables. In the end though, the show was beginning to take over the podcasts.

Podcasting vs. Radio

Pulling back the curtain for podcast subscribers starts with thanks, first of all, to Lee Michaels at Salem Broadcasting in Minneapolis and Saint Paul for believing in and airing the show. In the end, though, I came to realize radio and podcasting are two different mediums. For me the radio format has become too restrictive. I do not like what I sound like when talking about politics in the radio format. Plus podcasters can talk about other things that aren’t political. Like a trip to a motorcycle rally, an air show, or storm chasing.

Digital Marketing

Podcasters think having a radio show is a big deal. People think radio is a big deal. I don’t think it is anymore. Truth is digital marketing works better to build an audience for a podcast than radio. Podcasts have younger audiences more willing to take a chance on unique content. In Pure Play Podcasting we do not have to talk about issues the same old way. Hear about it in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

Political Climate

Another factor is the political climate and mainstream media’s role in it. These days something true on Monday is proven false by Friday. Every media personality seems to be fighting to convince the audience of a certain point of view. Choosing a side and promoting that side has become the norm in modern ‘talk’. I don’t want to do that. I’ll tell you why in Podcast 612-Behind My Decision Canceling Radio Show.

French Revolution

Podcasters who only do podcasting may be the antidote for a discourse in this country that has come to resemble the French Revolution, as far as I am concerned. Thank you to those who helped me with the radio show. Thanks to the few that listened to The Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show on the radio. Welcome to The Bob Davis Podcasts!

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

 

Podcast 594-Civil War-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 63

In Podcast 594-Civil War-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 63, Suddenly people in this country are interested in George Orwell’s 1984. A new movie is being made called ‘Little America‘, a dystopian depiction of what happens after the ‘Trump Administration bankrupts America and the Chinese take over’. Several stories suggest rich people are worried about a Civil War between the haves and the have nots. The Rich are building bunkers and buying reinforced compounds in New Zealand. In fear of a Civil War the Elites are signing up for luxury bunkers in the desert, protected by mercenaries. Academics are getting into the act by lecturing and writing about the Civil War between Athens and Sparta. Of course all of this will be caused by President Trump’s Authoritarian ways.

Tyranny

Of course in order to have tyranny whether it is fascism, communism some kind of junta, or 1984 style mind control, the conditions to support such tyranny have to exist first. Mechanisms like the peaceful transfer of power, countervailing powers, representative state and federal power, and a robust judiciuary governed by a written constitution have to be disabled. The United States differs structurally and significantly from unstable powers that have experienced tyranny like Germany’s Weimar Republic, Italy prior to Mussolini and the Russian Monarchy’s spectacular failure prior to Bolshevism.

In Podcast 594-Civil War-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 63, reaction to the first week of the Trump presidency has been nothing short of hysterical. From Shia Laboufe’s ranting in New York City to the media taking the bait on an almost hourly basis either pointing out that Trump is always wrong or asking what he is doing. Honestly, it seems like Trump is doing exactly what he promised and what the people that voted for him expect him to do. From the controversy with the Mexican government over the wall, to the back and forth about illegals voting and brining back torture, the media is like a moth to a flame. As Trump and the administration tweets and stunts and the media reacts, the new president is signing executive orders and readying legislation. These real actions aren’t getting nearly as much coverage as his tweets and comments. None of it is getting any real substantive or investigative reporting.

Now the American Left is convinced we won’t last through the presidency of Donald Trump. Now the left is posting the crazy memes on social media. Now the left is putting up You Tube videos predicting a massive economic failure and national takeover of one kind or another. How quickly they forget their brethren on the right who were posting videos telling the world us Barack Obama wouldn’t leave the White House and would declare martial law, or that Hillary Clinton and her reptilian cohorts would stage a coup and remove Trump before he could be sworn in.

Civil War?

In Podcast 594-Civil War-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 63, Civil War. Really? Civil Wars are the bloodiest wars of all. Time for a little history lesson regarding the American Civil War, which killed over six hundred thousand people in a country which boasted only 33 million at the time. This is the worst war in American history, worse even than World War II which only claimed somewhere around four hundred five thousand casualties. It almost goes without saying that the fissures that sparked the Civil War in the US were significant. Nothing like the minor political differences we have to today.

After the National Park Service and the EPA tweeted and spoke out about the new president’s supposed positions on Climate Change, they were told to stop tweeting. This is viewed as tyranny? Does anyone remember Reagan firing the air traffic controllers? What about Harry Truman firing Douglas MacArthur for doing exactly what the park service in the Badlands did; Going around the president to the media with a position that undermines the boss. What is the difference between a public servant and a civil servant? A public servant has an election certificate and has been chosen by the people to represent their interests. A civil servant works for elected officials.

Then there’s the executive orders. People hated Obama for issuing executive orders because he was blocked by a republican congress, but suddenly Trump’s use of executive orders is just fine? What’s the history of executive orders? How many executive orders have been issued? Which president issued more in recent history? In short the use of executive orders, which have been issued starting with Washington, does not make any president a dictator. It is the content and constitutionality of those orders that is in question.

Finally almost everyone is predicting Trump’s presidency will be a disaster. This podcaster refuses to take sides or defend this president, but will give credit where credit is due. As was suggested at the dawn of the Obama presidency concerning the Stimulus, what if it works? Of course we know the ARRA was a dismal failure in terms of making the economy grow. So let’s afford Trump the same consideration and ask what if his policies work? If the United States starts experiencing 4 to 5 percent economic growth per year for the next few years, things are going to be completely different in this country.

In Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show 63, when Reagan came into office in 1981, some people thought he would be a great president. Others weren’t sure Carter was so bad, despite the economic problems the country faced at the time. 2 years later, we all knew James Earl Carter, for all his sincerity and honesty, had been a terrible administrator. It was hard for some to recognize what a good president Reagan was but eventually many did. Is it possible people will be saying the same about Trump in a couple of years?

Time will tell.

Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Hydrus Performance.

 

Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend

Surreal Weekend

The Inaugural Ceremony in the United States is supposed to symbolize the peaceful transfer of political power. Podcast 593-Surreal Weekend reviews my reactions to the weekend of January 20th, 2016 from the Inauguration speech of the new President Trump, to the protests on Sunday and a bizarre first-time appearance of the President’s new press secretary. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

After the new President’s speech, the arguments started almost immediately over how many people watched and attended. Sunday’s protests can only be described as the ‘anti-inaugural’. From talking vagina signs to the thugs smashing windows in Washington to Madonna fantasizing about ‘blowing up the White House‘, this was a was a Surreal Weekend.

FaceBook and Twitter were ghettos of dueling memes and videos posted by furious adherents to one side or another. An old woman berated a fellow passenger on a plane for being a Trump supporter, ending with her being escorted off the plane by police to the cheers of passengers.

If you did not support either mainline candidate you’re in a difficult position. The media believes its job is to react to whatever stimuli is thrown out by Trump’s team. When so called journalists aren’t taking the bait on Trump’s line they’re busy predicting the future. We’re swimming in a sea of partisanship. Pundits discuss the ‘significance’ of protests in urban centers that would have supported any candidate put up by democrats in 2016. News anchors debate something called ‘alternative facts’.

Did you think the tactic of distracting the media with one stunt after another would be over after the election? Think again. Apparently the media will take the bait every time. Hook, line and sinker. Pundits and talking heads will ‘explain’ whatever stunt was employed or argue the reaction to the stunt. ‘Guests’ will appear on every show arguing the merits of the silly outcome of the latest stunt. Popular songs will be written. Memes will be distributed on social media. Videos will be made. People will scream and yell at each other.

What if you support no one. If you don’t believe any of then are going to remove the boot heel on our necks, then what? Substance? Really? Compare the substance and specificity as well as philosophy of the first Reagan inaugural to the vacuum of Trump’s. Examine the difference between the language and intent of the so called protests this weekend to the language of Martin Luther King’s rally in Washington. America’s discourse today is a sad echo of the past. Yes. It was a surreal weekend.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

We don’t think anymore we attack. Attack the messenger. Or attack the source. Attacking the person is always good too. The method is attack and attack and then move on to the next target. This week’s talking head video says what needs to be said. Tomorrow it’s another meme or video. Ignorant of the facts? Unable to put a sentence together? No problem. Just post this meme or video and boom! It’s bad and its going to get worse.

We should certainly give the new president and his team the benefit of the doubt but I do not intend to defend him. He is capable of defending himself. When the new administration does something I think is right, I’ll say so. However, I do think people who supported President Trump all through the campaign have a responsibility to defend him. Trump supporters will have to develop the arguments to defend him and they’ll have to organize against what is already formidable opposition. If you’re a Trump supporter and you’re not our organizing your neighborhoods, good luck in the next election cycles.

I get this feeling there is something evil out there. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Maybe it’s the result of a surreal weekend, but something doesn’t feel right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m not talking about the man in the oval office. I’m not talking about the left’s protests. It is a feeling that I can’t shake.

We’ll see.

(Editor’s Note: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton collapsed during the State of the State message at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday, adding to the surreal quality of the current time frame. While I find little to agree with the Governor on politically, I have interviewed him and he is a gracious and nice man. The latest reports in the current time frame are that the Governor is doing well.)

Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End.

 

 

Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market

 

Giving 2017 context

Live from the Midtown Global Exchange in Minneapolis. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately throughout this live podcast I refer to the Midtown Global Market as ‘International Market Square‘, which is somewhere else in the Twin Cities.)

In 2006 the Midtown Global Market opened to much fanfare after 192 Million dollars was spent to redevelop the old Sears Building on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Tens of millions of dollars in grants, aid and bonding helped pay for the project which was sold as the key to redeveloping a decaying neighborhood.

Just inside the entrance are several large photos of the neighborhood back in the 1920’s before the Sears Building was constructed, with no subsidies, at a cost of five million dollars. Looking at those old pictures, knowing the neighborhood, I think of change, and context.

Like any New Year, we’re always optimistic about the future. We need 2017 context. How was your year? How do you compare it to other years? Did you have a good 2016? Will next year be better? Life doesn’t follow neatly defined month and year delineations. Life cycles operate on other timelines.

We make decisions individually and collectively. Those decisions provoke change and reaction. It takes awhile for results to appear. Just like this place. The marketplace has struggled since it opened in 2006 and continues to require subsidies to survive. The neighborhood has struggled despite redevelopment at enormous cost to the taxpayers. Is it better?

We live in a time of intense chronicling. Like a teenager’s journal every slight, every insult and every joy is recorded and exaggerated. A person looks back on their journals twenty or thirty years after and does not remember every detail. On the other hand, the Internet records every insult and slight and magnifies reaction. In this environment perspective and context, so important in human decision making, is distorted as well.

As I begin 2017 I find myself unhappy with what I see on social media, in broadcast and so called traditional media. Now a primary source of ‘news’, social media sets the tone for all other media. These sources are mostly devoid of perspective and context. In this podcast some 2017 Context.

We’re told celebrities are dying like flies and this is terrible. Is a celebrity more important than anyone else? How many people die every year famous or not? What is the context? How many babies are born every year? The famous do not retain their earthly status when they crossover. We all know this. So, why all the hand wringing about celebrity deaths?

In Podcast 586-Midtown Global Market, some thought starters for your 2017, live from the Midtown Global Market. Why is history so important? Where does change come from. How is our time different from other eras? Why do things we don’t want to change, often change? How do we manage change? What do we need to know to manage change?

So many people post and tweet these days because they want to be thought of as beautiful, a hero or a friend. Many go on social media so they can stand on top of a hill and be recognized for the contributions they feel they’ve made. Why? Aren’t we special just because we’re alive and in the world right now?

2016’s events effected many of us deeply. Government’s power is pernicious and often malicious; Starting a war. Pouring tens of millions of dollars into dubious development project. To the degree people people engage in gossip and back fence judgement via social media, they have less influence over those they have selected to ‘run things’. Here’s to providing context and perspective in 2017. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016

Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show Number 59.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016 Guest Andrew Davis and I have a father and son discussion of some of the big takeaways from 2016 and a look ahead to 2017. This isn’t one of those big stories of the year countdowns that populate the media at the end of every year. Just some thoughts about the year from both of us. What we have seen and what we thought was significant.

Of course in the United States, the big story of the year was Election 2016. Father and son talk about the winners and losers this year and how to stay informed going into 2017. The biggest loser of 2016 was traditional broadcast and cable television news and what is generally referred to as the mainstream media. This year though, you could add broadcast talk radio to the list. The biggest offense for these outlets was the penchant for predicting the future, picking a winner and endorsing a candidate.

From the media perspective the biggest winner was social media and You Tube. According to a recent study by Pew, more people got their news from social media and You Tube than ever before. This is a tectonic shift away from broadcast radio news and news delivered over traditional sources like broadcast television and cable television. This shift has provoked efforts to control what news and links people see and hear on social media sources.

In Podcast 585-Goodbye 2016, the biggest surprise in 2016, for traditional media and politics in 2016 was Trump’s Electoral Victory. For political elites inside the beltway and those who believed what old line traditional media told them, the emergence of Donald J. Trump in the primaries, his nomination as the Republican presidential candidate and his electoral victory was a shock. The biggest factor in politics in 2016 were the misconceptions fostered by terrible reporting and analysis.

Late in the election season the Clinton campaign and the White House introduced the idea that the Russians somehow ‘hacked’ the US election. While a convenient explanation for bereft democrats, even at this late date proof of a Russian Interference is lacking. Moreover, proof the alleged Russian intervention resulted in actually effecting the outcome of the election is even more elusive. Father and son disagree on this topic. This disagreement that carried over from the radio show to intense discussions with friends well into the evening.

With change back on the front burner in 2017 our discussion turns to how to get good information. There will be a need to evaluate the performance of the Trump administration and arguments against its initiatives. With so called fake news, opinion journalism rather than good investigative journalism, having good sources is more important that ever.

Once you have goos sources, you also need context. Good sources include source materials such as reports, think tank studies, documents, and live video. Context comes from reading history, source documents, non fiction books on various topics and your interests. Both of us caution against pop culture books which are nothing more than the same type of rehashing and alarmist coverage you see in social media, cable news and talk radio. They are designed to persuade, rather than inform. Certainly one can say think tanks have biases, which are usually fairly obvious, but reliance on source material from different parts of the spectrum and academic interests gives you the background and context to understand the biases without being manipulated.

Finally, the big issues in 2017 to watch will be the Trump Team’s transition, foreign policy issues including the South China Sea, ISIS, Europe, Russia and China, foreign trade, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Israel’s role in US foreign policy, United States Economic policy. Politically what the 115th congress does and how it does what it does will be significant stories in 2017. Supporters of the new President will be hard pressed almost from day one to defend his actions, and the opposition is treading through brand new territory. Both sides will need objective facts.

Finally, we have a little fun with the millennial obsession with smart phones and the hand wringing over ‘so many’ celebrity deaths in 2016 and thank the sponsored, supporters and listeners to the Bob Davis Podcasts throughout 2016. Happy New Year. See you in 2017.

 

Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results

Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results. Comprehensive analysis and minute by minute vote totals for Election 2016. How do podcasters cover presidential elections in real time without being live on the air, and without streaming? Podcast 570-Election 2016 Results shows you how. Follow along as I experience the election in real time on November 8th, 2016. The world seems surprised at news that Donald J. Trump has won the presidential election in The United States. Podcast 570 and Podcast 569 are meant to be listened to as companion podcasts. Since I did not endorse either candidate, I was able to provide objective analysis and experience the race objectively. Podcast 569 broke down the final poll data for the state by state races, avoiding any analysis of the national presidential preference polls. This minimized the surprise for anyone subscribing to the Bob Davis Podcasts, because you already knew no one could comfortably call this race. That did not stop the charlatans in talk radio, cable news and on line from attaching probabilities, or calling the race for one or the other. Not only was this race surprising overall, it was surprising on the state by state level. For the most part though, the state by state polls were either close to the totals in some cases, or within the margin of error. The US election is a state by state election, with the electoral college actually choosing the president on or about the 15th of December. In this hour plus long podcast I’m joined by friends, and family on the phone as well as a late night visit from local Minnesota Politico and web developer Mitch Rossow. At the close of this podcast we’re still waiting for Michigan and Minnesota returns to come in. I’ll have to update those on the next podcast. With Republicans retaining the Senate and the House majorities, and now winning the Presidency, now it is a question of the way forward. We’ll be talking about these issues and more on future podcasts. Pundits like to say the country is divided. What they might say is we can now agree on one thing. The worst election in recent memory is now, mercifully, over. And, tomorrow is another day, after all. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and X Government Cars.

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up

Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up. Where the state polls stand for presidential candidates right before election day 2016. This podcast does not endorse a candidate. I will not make you feel good or bad about your vote, or non vote. I will not attach ‘indexes’ and ‘percentage probabilities’ to potential wins or losses for the candidates. In Podcast 569-Final State by State Round Up, how candidates fare in each of the states according to existing polls. Partisan and advocacy journalists don’t provide insight on survey research. I do. What you’re getting from the cable news channels and advocacy news ‘websites’ are charlatans pushing their point of view. Fact is, no one knows how the election will play out in any of the so called battleground states. That’s because despite all the best effort, even the best political researchers are challenged to determine who is actually going to show up to vote especially when the polls show a close vote, within the margins of error. Elections are made on who votes. Not the number of signs. Not the number of people who show up at rallies. Not who ran the best TV spots. It’s all about getting the vote out. Once the vote is in, it’s all about counting. Is the election rigged? In a sense, yes. The United States is a representative republic which elects its executive not by the popular vote but through an institution known as the Electoral College. Some states’ electoral slates are proportionally chosen. Some states select electoral slates by party. The electors themselves have already been chosen. They will actually select the President of the United States on December 15th, 2016. In some states the popular vote determines how the electors are ‘supposed’ to vote. In some states it depends on which party’s candidate wins the overall vote. No so called ‘rogue elector‘ has ever been prosecuted for voting outside the state statute guidelines. In the event of an electoral tie, the election will be decided by the US House of Representatives. One thing is true, the republicans are the ones talking about ‘rigged’ elections right now, but if Donald Trump wins the presidency they’ll stop talking about that immediately and the democrats will start talking about things being ‘rigged’. The only thing coverage of these kinds of conspiracies do is reduce the faith Americans and the rest of the world has in the electoral process. In reality, ‘rigging’ a national election is a difficult task, despite what movies and conspiracy theorists say. If you are concerned about your candidate winning the election, the best thing you can do is turn off the TV and get out and help them win by driving people to the polls or making last minute calls, poll watching, or if you’re qualified, volunteering as an election judge. Thankfully we’ll be looking at election night results in the next podcast. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance and Brush Studio, in the West End, Saint Louis Park.

Podcast 557-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show #47

Podcast 557-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show #47. Kitty Genovese was murdered on a street in Kew Gardens, Queens New York in 1964. She is famous because the New York Times ran a story that scores of witnesses saw Kitty stabbed by an assailant, and did nothing. Fifty years later her younger brother Bill Genovese did the legwork the New York Times did not do and guess what? It turns out the idea that decent people would ignore a woman being attacked and killed on the street in a major city turns out to be a myth. New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal thought it would help people to tell the story the way his paper told it. In fact as the new documentary ‘The Witness‘ shows, the idea that people would stand by and do nothing ended up having devastating consequences for Kitty’s brother Bill. No spoilers here, but a great piece of work from a citizen journalist who decided to get to the bottom of the story; something apparently the New York Times couldn’t do for fifty years. Or 60 minutes. Or dramas like Perry Mason and Law and Order, all perpetuated the myth no one did anything while Ms. Genovese, 28 was being murdered. It’s a great illustration of the fact that while we live in a supposedly modern society, we’re constantly told lies disguised as myths because an editor or producer or reporter somewhere decided it would ‘help people’, or because they’re lazy, or because it’s clickbait. If you want to know why Election 2016 is based on lies, fairy tales and myth, why the issues are fake, the candidates and the political parties are fake, ‘The Witness’ is a good place to start. Realizing the media is complicit in creating myths no less powerful than the old oral histories passed down by shaman and story tellers around the campfire, through family, clan and tribe, one wonders what it takes to get to the facts in a case. Fact is, most of the time all it takes is some time and shoe leather to check the source material and talk to people on the front lines. Does our media do that? No, it’s much cheaper and easier to sit in an air condition studio in Times Square, with a roundtable of other people who know nothing, telling everyone else what they should be thinking and doing. What implications does this modern myth making (called story-lines) have? How can you make good decisions with bad data? Welcome to 1984. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.