The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Does Europe Hate Us?

I just got done watching the best piece of journalism that I think I've ever seen. Too often in the media all we get is an inundation of the headlines that have no meaning behind them. Michael Jackson, the price of gasoline, the latest health news, what the weather going to be like, what the latest diet fad is, a new study says this, a new study says that... The list just goes on and on, but the list is pointless (reminds me of Ecclesiastes).

The reason the headlines are pointless is because they are completely void of WHY anything happens. When was the last time a news channel really attempted to not just tell you what happened, but WHY it happened? Let's take gasoline as an example. I've heard a ton of headlines this week stating, "Gas is at a new all-time high!" Big deal, cause first of all, it's not. When you look at anything concerning money it should ALWAYS account for inflation. If you don't, then you're just lying to yourself. Once you figure that in, then you see that gas IS expensive, but in reality it's still almost a dollar cheaper than it was in 1981. But that doesn't fully explain WHY gas is more expensive. Why won't the news look at the WHYs. Just in case you are wondering, there is a large set of WHYs and here are a few.

  • Increased unity among OPEC nations allows them to set prices at will.
  • The US dollar has literally tanked because we cannot control our spending as a nation, as such people are less willing to loan us money. If the dollar was stable, then gas would cost (guess-timate) about 30% less, so say it's $2.10 now, if the dollar were stronger then it would be $1.47.
  • Environmental groups have prevented any new refineries from being built for decades. Even if we could get more fuel in, it would still have a bottleneck; therefore, prices would continue to remain high.

  • These are but a few of the WHYs, but why don't you hear about them? Because despite the increase in 'journalism' over the past two decades there is just superficial journalistic duplicity. Just think of how many idiot reporters are camped out in front of Michael Jackson's court building? All that's really needed is a small handful of reporters, but instead people are wasting energy and effort on something that's already being done better by somebody else. WHY is it that I still don’t know what ever really happened in Darfur or have any more information about how people in Indonesia are recovering after the tsunami?

    All of this comes back to my yearning for journalists to tell me WHY things are happening. And today I was shocked at what I saw. Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas L. Friedman took an honest look at WHY Europeans seem to hate America. Some of his conclusions were pretty interesting.

  • The large Muslim population of Europe gets its news from worse sources than we do.
  • Europe hopes that the US doesn't win in Iraq so that they can prove they were right.
  • The EU has basically declared economic war on the US by establishing bans on US goods because they are not 'eco-friendly', even though such studies show no real conclusive proof of such claims.
  • That the EU has saved tons of money by not paying for defence because the US has provided security and allowed them to spend that money on social programs instead
  • How European values are much more family oriented than the US's views and how they view social welfare as a more positive thing than we do.

  • All of this comes down to the EU has extremely different views of what's important. He didn't really offer any answers, and frankly, there aren't any. But what was nice is Friedman really asked WHY. WHY people feel the way they do. WHY our economies are on a collision course with eachother. WHY Europeans fear our religious tendencies. WHY

    It's sad that the viewing audiences typically don't even care about the principle reasons behind what is going on in the world around them. It's like saying you're a Christian and not knowing WHY Jesus had to die. Or looking at your life and not thinking about WHY you are getting up, WHY you are working, WHY you want to earn money for certain things, and WHY you consider other things to be of utmost importance to who you are.

    Now my only question is, WHY is this the first program like this I've seen?

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    why is not a scientific question, and we are a "scientific" society... oh wait. that's not it.

    it's just easier to back up opinions than facts. that's why.