Media and Philosophy

Media and Philosophy -
'Money is the symbol of exchange in human relationships',

John Lenard Burnett

The most rewarding path is to function legitimately providing a valued service. But for a few, the thrills are the con. Euphoric and perverse sexual rush comes from pulling a fast one over someone, especially the media. As described by Andy Warhol (the 5 minutes of fame), but needing to be continually repeated. This addiction can be so great that these people willingly gamble with their own lives. Relationships have no value; its simply winner takes all.

Media editorials as advertorial, tend to be pre occupied with glorifying those who pursue the symbol $ unashamed as an end in itself. There is neither mention of fair exchange nor healthy relationships. The journalistic practice of separation of the symbol from exchange and relationships is, the primary bias within editorials, reinforcing self-interest as the highest ideal.

The point to be made is that the media (through direct intent or not) gives creditability without discernment as advertorial for all those it writes of. Whether someone has actual wealth or not is not the point. It's the ability for individuals to capitalise upon false perceptions created by media. This story demonstrates how easily all mainstream media can be manipulated, when no due diligence or responsible journalism is implemented.

The first responsible change is to close this loophole.

The second change is to eliminate plagiarizing.

This is the simplest but most difficult change to implement, as there are vested interests of political bias and the advertising dollar. Lying by omission is the most common means by which editorials (advertorial) construct bias. Lying and plagiarizing are opposite faces of the same coin. Media rarely disclose how information is obtained. It should be obvious to all journalists that a story of how information is obtained is of greater interest. People love detective stories as it includes 'themselves'. There is a natural social skepticism of those who have obtained unearned wealth. The community wants mainstream media to reflect this skepticism and for its journalists to possess large white pointer teeth.

The third policy change is to implement discernment within editorial. It is folly to believe that all those written about share similar values as we do. Philosophers throughout history have warned of the connection between unearned power/wealth and the capacity for unlimited cruelty and cowardice.

What happens when this medium is used for social betrayal?

Rape is the only word that congruently expresses the experience. The steps are well known. First is the horror of what has happened, then the psychological disturbance and disruption to daily life, which over time dissipates and comes to rest. The memory remains. Many raped people blame themselves and withdraw from relationships. The psychological effect of financial or physical rape is the same. Many who perpetrate rape are power driven, with the power to manipulate media. Some are presented as symbols of wealth with honors and escalades. The raped person now experiences a compounding effect of being re-raped and sometimes enters a state of shock. A few commit suicide.

Governments, media and big business operate in the delusion of being separate from society. Legal accountability between advertising and editorial is removed. This sent a message to the dishonest element within the business community that the media can be manipulated. Advertorial became the most effective and insidious means by which the public could be financially exploited. Most media manipulation was skillfully crafted but the one that this story refers to was the most laughable in the extreme.

The media has hidden behind the delusion that ignorance alone provides it with legal immunity. The media created the divide between the responsibilities of advertising and editorial from which the insidiousness of advertorial evolved without checking if legislation was in place to protect it. Again it is not a matter of if the judiciary will act against it, but only when. It is time for the media to put its house in order. The warning bells should have rung loud and clear from the tobacco industry's demise that the media industry, is in a similar and vulnerable position.

Quality education is essential for a healthy industry.

'The description is not the described' this should be the first lesson in the school of journalism. It is rare to meet a journalist who is familiar with Marshal Mcluen. This is similar to a psychologist not knowing of Freud, or a physicist not knowing of Einstein. The word 'media' and 'the medium is the message', was invented by Mcluen. The medium of media is fundamentally represented by the printed word. It forms the basis of our education, reading and writing. The word 'author' as authority is imprinted on our psyche. The written word is the ground of our modern civilization. It is not possible for society to protect itself from exploitation in this area. Marshall McLuen also referred to 'proper gander' as the Achilles' heel of the education man.

Journalists in previous generations did traineeships similar to apprenticeships. The difference between the word and the described was clearly understood. Today's journalists do not receive this grounding. Modern tertiary communication training is often superficial. There is a high emphasis on self-obsession and brown-nosing. The description becomes more important than the described and printed absurdities go by unnoticed.


In business and politics it is honorable and virtuous to lie. When media blindly complies it is impossible for the general community to protect itself. A society that is ill informed with misinformation cannot be a democratic one. Societies based on 'isms' capitalism or communism, are reflections of each other, also opposite faces of the same coin. The 'isms' exploit society by manipulation of information. The result of both is the same, collective and self-obsession, which pits us all into competition and conflict, where only the most ruthless can survive.

The original principle of democracy was freedom, which is represented by choice. The freedom to choose can only exist with understanding. The community relies on the media to be informed. The quality of information being accurate and honest is the only strength from which this principle can survive.

If the media believes that democracy is represented by self-interest; it will see that political interest and the advertising dollar as priority. If there is a fundamental change of policy within this matter, then this story will deliver the strongest message about the true principles upon which democracy stands.

Attention: Media - John Lenard Burnett is available for interview.

Contact: Greg Tingle
m: 0424 223 674


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