Spinning Wheel

Four years ago Super Bowl XLV was played in nearby Arlington, Texas.

In order to maximize the attendance Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones had some temporary seats installed in Cowboy’s Stadium.

Unfortunately the Arlington Fire Marshall was not able approve these temporary seats prior to the game.

As result 1,250 ticket holders were displaced. Of those about 400 had to go without seats.

For days after the game, this story was consistently in the news.

I saw a posting on Facebook saying that the media should focus on the 100,000 fans who were able to enjoy the game rather than these few who could not.

At the time it made me think of something I learned in High School Journalism class. We were told that when a dog bites a man it’s not news but when a man bites a dog that is news.

I also said that the post was something like saying that the news should report on the millions of people in the metroplex where were not murdered rather than the few that were.

The point of the above discussion is that people will pay (one way or the other) to read or listen to some stories but not others.

Even when a topic is news, there is more than one way to report that news.

I’ve recently seen several people on Facebook a story about Seattle’s new minimum wage law is causing a loss of jobs and profits.

In another story the headline read, “Proof that $15 Minimum Wage Hurts Those It’s Claimed to Help.”

I have to admit that at first glance I thought these stories were reporting on actual events.

This confused me because I remembered reading something to the contrary.

In the previous story a local hotelier, Scott Ostrander, had told the city council that if the city adopted a $15 minimum wage he would be forced to lay people off.

After the new law took affect, Ostrander not only did not lay off anyone but he went ahead with plans for a $16 million expansion.

When I dug deeper I found that there were actually two minimum wage laws in the Seattle area.

First of all the small community of SeaTac’s law went into effect on January 1st.

SeaTac is the community around the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the city where Mr. Ostrander’s hotel is located.

The larger City of Seattle has passed a phased-in $15 minimum wage bill earlier this year.

So as it turns out the earlier article I had read was a soft of “actual versus predictions” story of the community of SeaTac.

The more recent article are predictions of the affect of the new Seattle law.

My point is that one story (the $15 minimum wage laws) can be reported from various angles.

In this case I mistook the two articles predicting the law’s possible future affect as articles about actual affect of the law.

I would also go so far as to say that no news story is completely objective.

It is well known that Fox News has a conservative slant.

Conservatives will claim that it is factual while liberals call it the Faux News.

I’ve also heard conservatives call CNN the Communist News Network while liberals complain about CNN’s bias towards big business and the “establishment.”

Now that I’ve “made a short story long,” what is my overall point?

No matter what your believes you can find “news” stories that reinforce your believes and other stories which you believe twist the actual facts or even lie.

I know it’s hard to believe but just because it’s on the Internet does not mean it’s true or even objective.


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