The danger of Instagrammed and Auto-tuned realities
By Neal Larson
Recently Vice President Joe Biden stood at a podium and with a face straighter than his row of hair plugs, told his audience that he just happened to be golfing within a quarter mile of the 2006 Amish school shooting the very moment it happened. He heard the shots, saw the helicopters, the whole bit. Turns out, the nearest golf course to the Amish school at the time was six miles away, and nobody at that course remembers then-Senator Joe Biden golfing that day. So we can only surmise that Joe was at a different course and the shots he heard were from President Obama skeet shooting.
Which he does, apparently, “all the time”.
Now, of course we don’t have the pictures to prove the President is an avid clay pigeon killer, even though we’ve documented every round of golf he’s played, every ice cream cone he’s eaten, every baseball pitch he’s thrown wearing mom jeans, and every fly that lands on his face. For an activity he does “all the time” you’d think someone would have snapped a pic or two. The one pic the leftist media was able to hurriedly produce happened to be jokingly photoshopped, replacing a golf club with a rifle. And he may have been wearing mom jeans in it, too.
And let’s talk about Neil Heslin, father of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis. Heslin, a gun control advocate, was testifying at a hearing in Connecticut about gun safety. At one point in his testimony he asked, perhaps rhetorically, “Is there anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question, why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips?” Heslin, after a couple of silent moments, got his answer from a few of the audience members who replied “The Second Amendment!”
Heslin later told CNN he didn’t feel heckled or that the audience members were acting disrespectfully. Yet, what really happened didn’t fit MSNBC’s anti-firearm, crazy-gun-nut narrative, so they did what they always do: they edited the tape to present a false reality. They cut off Heslin’s comments before it was clear he was asking a question, and went straight to the audience response, making it appear the audience rudely and spontaneously interrupted the poor grieving father. Months ago, they edited tape to cast a negative light on Mitt Romney. They did it to George Zimmerman, too, to make him appear racist during a 911 call. Now they’ve done it to people who support the 2nd Amendment.
I’m a firm believer that all politicians and media outlets spin and slant to some degree. Not all blatantly lie and misrepresent as we have seen in recent days in the gun control campaign. But that’s not the greatest area of concern. Lies have been around a long time. The problem is that people don’t care anymore that they are getting lied to. Sometimes they eagerly consume the lies and distortions that support the utopian narrative.
Many on the left have no problem, not for an instant, with the President and Vice President fabricating for a higher cause. They don’t care that MSNBC is deliberately slicing tape to misrepresent. The truth has become a casualty of the agenda, and the latter matters more than the former. The lies are simply a way of expediting an outcome the left believes is inevitable.
Senator Hiram Johnson, in 1918, said the first casualty of war is the truth. While he was referring then to a military war, the same is true for cultural and spiritual warfare. Most don’t see the danger in a culture unchained from a demand for truth. The danger, if it’s not clear to you, is that such a culture can be led to just about anywhere.
We have been conditioned by technology, though not deliberately, to create our own realities. Observe your own world, because there is no “our” world anymore. Your world is created by your Facebook friends, what you search on Google, what you view on Pinterest. Photographs are now made “better” through Instagram and Photoshop. Chat rooms allow participants to be whoever they’d like, and to believe the other side of that chat is really who they say they are. Vocalists and musicians alike now are made perfect through Auto-tune. More and more of our time is taken up by these fabricated realities that keep us from digesting and dealing with the real world. Inside we all know much of our existence is increasingly made up, filtered, and distorted.
So, it probably comes naturally and perfectly acceptable to many that comments from the White House or reports from the media are Photoshopped, Instagrammed, airbrushed, and Autotuned to manipulate the malleable perceptions of the media consumer. A dangerous scenario, indeed.
Neal Larson of Idaho Falls is a conservative talk show host on KID Newsradio 590am and 92.1fm. “The Neal Larson Show” can be heard weekday mornings from 8:00 to 10:00. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.