In the previous article, I called out Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister for being Dickish. To some, that would be inappropriate, but to a world where most people trust The Comedy Network as their primary source of news, it is simply true. I have no trouble respecting the office while simultaneously disrespecting the man who currently fills it. (And for the record, I wanted an image for “dickish” … but the internet failed me… but click on the Stephen Harper link for a good MacLeans
But I have a related problem I want to talk about today; there are a large number of untruths being passed by the media. To be frank, lies. It’s not that media wants to lie to us, it’s that the scoundrels who use the media need to use the media to lie to us. When Don Cherry is about to drop a whopper, you can see it in Ron MacLean’s face, but when people lie on the news the journalists take it with a straight face and as seriously as they take any other news. Part of the problem is that journalists believe that they should be unbiased — but this “wishful thinking” world of unbiased news does not and has never existed. As soon as a person hears and then relays something as simple as a single fact, it has become biased.
The “news” is already biased when we choose what to report. It is biased when we choose the reporters and the angle and the guests to grill and the talking heads pontificate. People are fundamentally incapable of unbiased work. It is therefore ridiculous that journalists are required to report what newsmakers say without comment.
One primary reason that this is ridiculous is that in most cases, the journalists are in a much better position to spot a lie than the vast majority of their audience. An aside to this is the case where the newsmaker or interviewee answers the question with a complete non-sequitur so as to stay on their own separate message.
We need a word for this. I call HorseHockey. I have felt comfortable with this word for some time. I have often shouted it at the radio while listening to a newscast where I felt someone was outright lying or using the media to lie. According to the internet, the word dates back to at least the TV show M*A*S*H, but possibly further. I realize its use there is likely to make an expletive slightly more palatable for mixed conversation, but I am advocating here it’s appropriation for specifically calling out the act of lying to a journalist and/or of replying to a journalist’s question with a non-sequitur to avoid lying. Or indeed any other act who’s purpose is to use the media to propagate an untruth.
The world really needs this word. For a short amount of time, I am confided it can be used often. It’s job would be to clean the crap off the airwaves and leave a little more sanity for people listening. To differentiate completely, and in the spirit of new found words on the Internet, I propose we use this as a single word both in pronunciation and in prose. And while its etymology seems to at least pass through M*A*S*H, I find it appropriate that we remind the world that Canadians, in particular, are more interested in the truth.