Opinion Not News

The number one podcast in the nation is not about entertainment, comic book heroes, or WWE. It’s about politics, and it’s co-hosted by Senator Ted Cruz and Michael Knowles of The Daily Wire’s The Michael Knowles Show. Verdict with Ted Cruz is a brief, daily recap of the impeachment trial in plain-speak. Senator Cruz shares his perspective and insights, usually after midnight, after the trial is adjourned for the day.

Church lady or sneaky bastard?

National News Literacy Week ads are playing on the Stitcher app, warning listeners about fake news, urging them to check for doctored photos, and repeating the tagline, “Opinions are not news.”

Other advertised podcasts on Stitcher have a Progressive slant, so I became suspicious of this seemingly innocuous, non-partisan organization seeking to educate about biased and inaccurate “news” sources. I’ve listened to podcasts for about ten years, and I’ve never heard of National News Literacy Week before.

I became more dubious when I heard Alan Alda and LeVar Burton voice the News Literacy Week ads. Their voices recall warm, fuzzy memories of childhood and familiar American values like family, friendship, loyalty, and fairness. Why tweak listeners’ hearts using these men?

Why this ad campaign now, with its “Opinions are not news” slogan?

Oh, look! It coincides with the impeachment trials of President Trump in the U.S. Senate and Senator Cruz’s new, chart-topping podcast recapping each day. Could the News Literacy Week campaign seek to undermine the value of Verdict to all of its listeners and others who are considering listening?

Impeachment trial rundown

Senator Ted Cruz co-hosting Verdict with Ted Cruz each night after his regular work and attending the impeachment trial. Screen grab from Trump on Trial, episode 1.

Although the trials bore almost everyone, including the participating politicians, Senator Cruz and Michael Knowles are engrossing the majority of podcast listeners. More people would rather hear what Senator Cruz has to say than listen to a Wolverine story, health and fitness podcasts, liberal topics, or mainstream media podcasts like The Daily by The New York Times.

Podcast fans r us

“Feh,” you may say. “Who listens to podcasts?”

  • Commuters
  • Parents doing chores
  • Truck drivers
  • Office workers
  • Blue-collar folk
  • IT guys
  • People who like to learn and think

Who listens? Nielson reported 144 million people, more than half the U.S. population, listened to podcasts in 2017.

People all over the world, from all walks of life, listen. Podcasters are reviving what used to be AM Talk Radio.

Opinions desired

Listeners of Verdict with Ted Cruz are getting an insider’s perspective on a convoluted abuse of power. We know his podcast isn’t news because it’s not impartial. It is based on his years of experience and perception of events and people—like ALL the popular conservative pundits (Dennis Prager, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Ben Shapiro).

Candace Owens is one of the newer conservative voices with The Candace Owens Show, on the Prager U channel. Straight forward, smart, insightful, and full of opinions!

We know it’s their opinion and that’s why we like them. Listeners enjoy hearing their ideas, discussions, personalities, and manner of speaking. They state up front that they speak for themselves.

Unbiased, not

So, why? Why could News Literacy Project, the organization behind News Literacy Week, want people to disregard opinions? Could it be because its news organization partners are the same mass media “news” organizations spreading incorrect information?

Does it have anything to do with the number one podcast Verdict With Ted Cruz featuring a political insider, a Republican Senator, explaining things well, with humor and warmth?

Bullying on a grand scale

With Verdict, the illegal political gang bang of the President of the United States captures the attention of everyone who wants to know what is really going on. And here, the hideous true nature of the Trump problem reveals itself. Rape is wrong. Is it less wrong if you don’t like the victim? Or is it still rape, wrong, illegal?

Equal treatment under the law

Laws should not be applied differently because of who you are or whether you are unpopular, as in China, Russia, and lately, obviously, the United States. For a legal system to continue functioning, for law and order to be respected and maintained, the public must expect EQUAL TREATMENT under the law, as guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Heritage Foundation states, “The command to treat persons equally extends to all actions by the government.”

You’re not exempt from equal protection because some people don’t like you.

THINK for yourself. Image by Paul Scott on flickr.com, cropped.

Even though it addressed the injustices of Jim Crow laws, Equal Protection applies to minorities, Muslims, women, and orange-haired billionaires. Equal means equal. Not Animal Farm equal–” All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Why follow any laws, why pay taxes, why obey rules and regulations if the creep and the princess cannot expect equal justice?

Opinions do matter. Whose will you consider? Use your judgment. Don’t be an advertising dolt. THINK.

Act

Question. Always question.


References 

“Equal Protection.” The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, The Heritage Foundation. https://www.heritage.org/constitution?essay_id=10000170

 Orwell, George. Animal Farm a Fairy Story. London: Secker and Warburg, 1945. Print. 

“US Podcasts.” ITUNES CHARTS. 1 February 2020. http://www.itunescharts.net/us/charts/podcasts/. 

“Verdict with Ted Cruz.” Apple Podcasts Preview. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/verdict-with-ted-cruz/id1495601614

“Verdict with Ted Cruz” YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdlniljY9Zfz990G8WeOosg?_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9hsq2pIu–OhHLnLRqe_830GtUGfa2geZmcwWCd6vFwO_rs7HY5jM_1-UC4v-UOguFTYbRZMBEOKemYZuJwBZ-O12QmrAaDVxBVKb8zKEsZa2iMPU&_hsmi=82373806.  

Wermund, Benjamin. “Sen. Ted Cruz’s impeachment podcast tops charts, with 500k downloads.” Houston Chronicle, 28 January 2020. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/texas/article/Sen-Ted-Cruz-s-impeachment-podcast-tops-charts-15007817.php

Winn, Ross. “2020 Podcast Stats & Facts (New Research From Jan 2020).” Podcast Insights. 28 January 2020. https://www.podcastinsights.com/podcast-statistics/#Podcast_Listener_Stats_USA.  


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1 thought on “Opinion Not News”

  1. Opinions like these are regular shot down because the people making the points and stating their opinions can back them up with facts and logic. This is as opposed to mainstream media where their points are just repeated ad nausium until people believe it, they hope. And if someone dares to refute them with truth and logic, they are shouted down. Or at least that is the attempt. Do it enough, like in the impeachment hoax and people soon see through it. They only don’t if they fully drank the kool aid.

    Liked by 1 person

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