September 25, 2023

Who To Believe Anymore!

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Posed as a question I would ask, who are you willing to believe anymore when it comes to what you read in media?

Yesterday, the Russian newspaper Kommersant ran a story stating that the King of Spain, Juan Carlos, shot and killed a tamed, inebriated bear named Mitrofan, while on a hunting trip to Russia.

The story alleges the King Juan Carlos was visiting a remote Russian village to hunt bear and that a tamed bear was given honey mixed with vodka, or vodka mixed with honey, and turned loose in the same area the king was hunting. The report says he shot the bear and killed it.

Two months after the visit, details of the royal hunting have leaked. “An abominable performance accompanied the hunting of King of Spain Juan Carlos,” Starostin tells Vologda Regions’s government in a letter. “The party ‘sacrificed’ a good-humored and jolly bear called Mitrofan who had been kept at a farm in the village of Novlenskoye. The bear was put in a cage and taken to the place of hunting. Afterwards, the party made him drunk with vodka mixed with honey, and pushed him out to the field. Quite naturally, the massive drunken animal became an easy target. His Majesty Juan Carlos killed Mitrofan with one shot.”

This morning, the Boston Globe is running a story that says that officials in Spain, speaking on behave of the King of Spain say the story is “ridiculous”.

“He neither hunted with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin nor killed a bear,” a spokeswoman for the palace said.

And now, I am telling you what they both said! Who to believe? Which account is accurate?

There was once a time when you could feel quite certain that news from media outlets like major newspapers and the big three television news broadcasts was accurate and without a slant. Remember the days when usually once a week, often on a Friday, news anchors would have a couple minutes where they would offer commentary and opinion on an issue facing Americans? Today, everyone’s got an opinion and all too often it is presented as fact.

Our age of instant news is great in many ways but a word of warning to the reader. Don’t believe everything you read or hear, even from the top sources. This also includes photographs. They say a picture paints a thousand words. It does but if you fictionalize the photo in order to paint more sensational words, a real trust gets broken.

But the reason it’s done is it sells copies and afterall, a person is going to believe only what a person wants to believe.

Tom Remington