Turn off the News
By Jeff Piersall
The power of television to influence the behavior and emotion in an individual has been clearly documented by many researchers. Television can influence good or evil. As we have watched a rise in mass killings, have you heard one report on the news demonstrate the correlation between the rise of television shows that highlight and exhibit mass killings? Television in the 70s and 80s avoided these types of shows and demonstrations, but as our right to freedom of speech has been increasingly employed with no ethical or social responsibility controls, so has the rise of uncontrolled violence, sex, unethical behavior and plain old anger in our society.
Today a child will spend more unregulated hours in front of a television than in front of a teacher. We had a rule at the Piersall house: our children could not turn on the TV from 6 p.m. on Sunday through Friday afternoon. Amazingly, they had no desire to turn it on over the weekend because of the habit built during the week. We would extend that to smartphones also if we were raising them today. The only allowed use would be for the purposes of homework or transportation needs.
There is no such thing as news media any longer – the news media has become entertainment for ratings to drive up advertising value. The power to gain viewers by providing information through entertainment, no matter how skewed the facts, is more important than accurate and unbiased reporting of the news.
The power of television has corrupted our news media. How can the same event have 180-degree different facts depending upon whether you are watching Fox or MSNBC? The facts of an event are not different, only the opinions, and TV today is all about opinions, not fact.
There is only one way to change this situation – turn the television off. Turn off every news show for 30 days; hit them where it hurts – in their ratings.
Send a message to the companies who advertise on these shows and don’t buy their products, and send a message to the media that either they get out of the entertainment business and report with balance and honesty, or we will put them out of business.
The virtues of honesty, duty and patriotism are now non-existent in the media.
Cooperation is defined as doing what is right, not who is right. Collaboration is the cooperation of competitors to achieve a common goal. We, the general public, need to agree on one thing: the media is not serving any of us and the recent presidential campaign proved it 100 percent. This is not a left or right thing; this is about the public being manipulated by the money paid to media news sources. We are not being provided factual, unbiased information. Where is Walter Cronkite?
If we learned anything during the presidential election, it is that the media is so biased for the purposes of entertainment to drive ratings that none of them can be trusted. We started SCB for almost exactly the same reasons – to tell the good story of business because all of the media outlets would only tell what was bad about business. News media operate under the philosophy of negative sells to the public; it draws attention that then causes their advertising dollars to rise, which creates profit.
Harris Rosen says it best when he describes ethics — “do what is right.” Ethics and television media do not currently exist together.
Profit for the wrong reason is still WRONG.
Today’s news media is so slanted that they create bias without factual support. The result is we have a general public that cannot distinguish real news from fake news, we can’t debate issues because people are being so influenced by an angry media that the public is angry too. Anger never creates a positive result – NEVER! You might think at first you accomplished something by expressing anger, but the end result is terrible.
We need to be more interested in winning the war, not the battle.
Television has the power to manipulate you. Count the number of times the same thing is said in a one-hour show – it will be at least seven times or more. They know that once the same concept has been repeated seven times it will become fact in your mind, no matter how destructive the information.
Also, watch how angry you are after you watch one of these shows. The only way to protect yourself is to eliminate it; it is not factual anyway. They are doing nothing to help you advance in your career or support your family.
For the next 30 days – the entire month of January – TURN OFF every news media source in the country.
Jeff Piersall is president and co-founder of SCB Marketing, which publishes i4 Business and Space Coast Business. He is a successful entrepreneur, business consultant and a popular and gifted trainer and speaker. To contact Jeff, please call (321) 537-4941 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.