In a world where we often have a hard time telling the difference between straight news and fake news, we don’t get much help from the mainstream media which never forgets to remind us that they are always at the center of any story they tell. Most of us have seen the hilarious videos of weathermen on the scene of massive flooding sitting in a boat while people walk behind him in the camera shot revealing the ankle-deep water he is actually in.
Here is another pretty good example.
Here are a few seconds of video of a gaggle of news people filing live reports from “the front” in Ukraine, which in this case appears to be an underground parking garage. It was sent to us by a source in the country. There is the death-defying and armored up reporter who would have you believe that he is in grave danger until the camera pans and you see it’s all to add drama for the viewers at home. A whole bunch of unarmored folks are out of the camera view sitting at a table, absently twiddling away on their phones without a care in the world. In the background is another crew set up and waiting for their network hook up without their body armor on. I guess the danger really starts when the cameras start rolling? This garage is probably at their hotel where they earlier reported on the “eerie calm” from their balconies waiting for room service to be delivered.
We’re sure there is a ready and convenient excuse, like minutes before they had been in the middle of a tank battle and just stepped inside to bandage their wounded and dash off a quick report to the news desk, or maybe their network requires them as a condition of employment to wear body armor when they are told to by a producer back at the network. Either way, it’s hard to trust honest reporting when it gets presented in a dishonest way like this. Maybe because we think the facts should lead the story instead of the people telling it.
Amid the backpacks and travel bags of these media crews, you also see a kevlar helmet on the ground at the reporter’s feet. It probably belongs to the cameraman, those helmets make it hard to use the viewfinder, don’t you know? In the first few seconds of the shot, another unarmored guy steps into the shot and is waved away because he is spoiling the illusion that they are bringing you this report from an underground command bunker as Russian artillery thumps and bangs above them. Should we be surprised that none of the other news people present think it unusual for a correspondent just ten feet away to be all kitted up like he’s in real danger while they are eating a sandwich and checking Instagram?
Does he know something that they don’t?
Or do they all know something that we don’t?
That illusion-making like this is a big part of the news?
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