I call HorseHockey!

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.

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1 Response to I call HorseHockey!

  1. Pingback: Truthiness: of Rights and Wrongs - Random Scribblings ...

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