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Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Sekai Report is a news and analysis program presented by Beijing Diary and nosted by Eric.

Newscasting has changed so much since I was a kid. But even since the 90s, there has been a major shift. When I moved to Beijing from Arizona in 2004, there was no Twitter, which was probably a good thing, because I ended up spending a lot of time reading Chinese media—mainly the China Daily, and also watching the news on CCTV. I used to ask media types what they taught in journalism school, because I noticed that government media outlets tended to mix editorializing with reporting. Never could I have imagined that the American media would become as bad or worse in their complete abandonment of even a pretense of objectivity.

I think I know when it started. It was Rush Limbaugh. He was able to get on the radio for three hours a day and express his opinion about anything and everything. The opposite end of the political spectrum had nothing to counteract his friendly, humorous, hugely popular presentation.

I heard Rush Limbaugh a lot, because I was a truck driver in those days. When you’ve got a load from Chicago to L.A. with nothing but miles and miles of road in front of you and nothing to do but listen to the radio, or to books on tape, a show like his is pretty welcome.

Fox News started just as I was leaving the road at the end of 1996. News as entertainment, with an emphasis on ratings. It one sense it was a refreshing relief from and balance to the well institutionalized lack of objectivity in the traditional media. But it sparked a backlash that was not good, because it just seemed like everybody threw news to the wind and focused on stroking the prejudices of their respective audiences.

When I talk about issues, I am not a disinterested party. I try to be fair, but not neutral. Why not? Well, because an issue is, by definition, a conflict of values. If everybody had exactly the same values, there would be no issues.

But we don’t. We have differences. Pretending those differences don’t exist is not the answer. We need to face them squarely and try to understand how they came about—how I came to believe this and you came to believe that. I have values—I can’t pretend to believe that I do not. And I try to be patient with those who have different values, and I try to understand how they could feel that way.

But there is one thing of which we must be ruthlessly intolerant: That is deliberate attempts to perpetrate falsehood. I can try to understand a journalist who says something I do not believe. But I have nothing but contempt for a member of the media who says something that he or she clearly does not believe to be true, just to push an agenda.

But unless you are persuaded that the person with whom you are arguing is not sincere, you must try to see things from where they are standing. You must stop talking, walk around to where your counterparts are, and try to see things from their point of view, because you’re never going to see what they see from where you are standing.

IssueDateTitleDescription
05
28 May 202205 Sekai Report: Guns DO kill people / Twitter back and forth between Beth Moore and Allie Beth StuckeyMore and more we are coming to realize that something must be done about the ease with which young people can access semi-automatic weapons. It is pure insanity to allow 17 and 18 year old young people to carry around a semi-automatic weapon without any supervision. Americans are being forced into the realization that guns DO kill people.
04
20 May 202204 Sekai Report: Bezos on Biden, Inflation, Ukraine, Baby FormulaWhat is the cause of inflation? Why can't the government just print more money if they want to spend more? What can Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 teach us about the consequences of an ill-fated conflict? The way I have heard it expressed in China is, "History has never been kind to an emperor who wages war without an honest justification."
03
13 May 202203 Sekai Report: 2000 Mules, AP’s Fake Fact Check, Victory Day in Russia, Steve Bannon, Mark LevinOur discussion today centered around Victory Day in Russia, where long range nuclear weapons were displayed in Red Square, and the new film "2000 Mules," documenting organized crime in the 2020 election."
02
8 May 202202 Sekai Report:Russia’s territorial expansion, ”Denazification”, Supreme Court leak, 14th AmendmentWhat is the history of Russia's territorial expansion? I talk about this and about Russia's determination to celebrate some sort of victory on Monday--the anniversary of victory over the Nazis. Also, the legal foundation for Roe v. Wade, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dislike of it.
01
06 May 202201 Sekai Report: Mariupol Steelworks, Lack of moral focus, Crybully, and Sinn FéinThe war in Ukraine. In this episode I discuss the lack of moral focus on the part of the Americans. And the problem seems to be more profound in the right than on the left. Also, why does Taylor Lorenz attack someone for telling the simple truth? The Bible says, "to punish the just is not good (Proverbs 17:26)."

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