Nietzsche’s parable of the madman is much more complex than what many realize. Nietzsche’s point was that when society reaches a place where it no longer believes in God’s existence, individuals will not likewise slough off the human existential desire to believe in something greater than themselves.
They, therefore, will descend into madness without an anchor of belief. We are designed to live by rules. Hence, the society that kills God, in effect, will replace Him with the very tenets of moral secularism they derive from their own interpretations of reality. They will merely replace the object of their faith with something else, likely, far more dangerous–moral relativism.
Today, there is a laundry list of items this culture and society have substituted for God: climate change, green energy, woke Hollywood icons, anti-hate speech (canceling of language to subvert reality), transgenderism, “diversity,” etc. These are the new religions. Speak objectively about any of them, and you are a blasphemer. But there is yet another, still more sinister, idol: mainstream media. Doubt them, and you risk becoming a conspiracy theorist and pariah.
I have an extended family member who has somehow managed to ignore the embarrassment of sending NYT articles to “educate” and edify his more conservative members. That’s right, the “newspaper of record” that just keeps on getting it wrong still has a loyal readership that remains steadfastly oblivious to the New York Times‘ penchant for printing fabricated, unvetted, or flat out inaccurate news stories.
The most recent of record is the Brian Sicknick story. The NYT committed another major journalistic faux pas of disseminating information that, yet again, ramps up the anti-Trump narrative. More than a month after reporting that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned by a Trumper with a fire extinguisher, the stellar news organization walked back its story, which was not properly vetted in the first place.
Even now, the Times continues to fudge on what has become a complete and utter failure of their editing staff to correct the record. They admit now that “medical experts have said he did not die of blunt force trauma…” but they still will not retract their original report, which came, obviously, from bad sources with bad information. How hard would it be to just state the truth of the matter: Sicknick did not die from someone–implicitly a Trump supporter–hitting him over the head with a fire extinguisher during the January 6th incident? Apparently, regardless of how important it is, as according to Nietzsche, the truth is difficult.
One would think that following the fiasco of 2003, the NYT would, at some point, decide that journalistic integrity should be of utmost importance if they are to live up to their reputation as the “newspaper of record.” Yet, the Jason Blair incident didn’t seem to faze the self-aggrandizing activists who refer to themselves as “journalists” one bit.
Remember when newsrooms and reporters were championed as protectors of freedom and the watchdogs for the people against corporate and government tyranny? Movies like The Insiders, All the President’s Men, The Killing Fields, Spotlight, and so on used to inspire us to trust and believe journalists and what they told us. Now, they are, sadly, the secret arm of either the democratic party or the bureaucracy of government state departments that assist in perpetuating propaganda in return for invites to the best formals, for monetary kickbacks, or for some reporter “rising star’s” moment in the sun.
In fact, journalism and news media today have, in reality, descended into the oblivion fictionalized in the Network. William Holden, Peter Finch, and Faye Dunaway make up an ensemble cast in a film that centers on the news media’s preoccupation with profit and its apathy for the people they are charged with informing.
Finch plays TV news personality Howard Beale, who’s stirring the pot with his ravings about the network. Reaching a breaking point, Beale goes off script during a live television taping and exclaims to the viewers that he’s “mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it anymore.”
His rantings about the network become eerily prophetic:
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
That’s right, “as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.” That’s what the news media, their puppet masters, the Washington establishment and elite, would have you believe: the election was a mathematically implausible Biden landslide and any who question it should be labeled a conspiracy theorist, Trump supporters are presumed white supremacists, the Capitol riots were a result of “implied” hate speech, the Portland and Atlanta rioters have every right to loot and burn to blow off steam, fossil fuels are bad because, well, “climate change,” and on and on, along with an even longer list of current absurdities which have become, somehow, the “norm” in today’s news media’s representation of our country and the world.
Until we begin to check our loyalties to these news outlets and to do our own research and due diligence in vetting news stories that come over the airwaves, the network will continue to feed its audience what it craves the most–food for outrage.
The puppet masters and propaganda artists know that we don’t watch the super bowl to root for both sides; rather, we pick a side and we love to hate the other team and their followers while we eat our chips and salsa. The NYT and similar media outlets know this as well. They love to see us at each others’ throats, and they’ll print anything that helps us get to that point.
As long as we’re “mad as hell” at each other, we’ll keep our eye off the ball, and we won’t be “mad as hell” at them. We’ll stay angrily glued to the TV, internet, and social media platforms so they can run their clickbait headlines and ads, tell us what to think and say, while they become all the more richer for it.