” I Form My Own Opinion. “

Heard recently during a mild political debate. A sensible enough statement – verbs and nouns and a dot at the end and all, but it begged another question – one that had been asked already; ” From whence comes the basis of your opinion? ” .

In this particular case the basis of opinion – the formwork of the judgement – was not personal experience on the part of the opinionated. Nor was it primary research, published books by the subject of the opinion, or an other traceable, quantifiable entity. It was very likely the day-to-day media reports on screens.

These may have been entirely accurate and presented in a fair and unbiased way. Or not. The recipients of screen information are frequently targeted for either emotional appeal or revulsion – just as it might serve the people who publish the news or sound bites. The viewers may well be taken from one end of the deck to the other to elicit the desired response. And then the bit of propaganda may be made to instantly disappear – once the yip has been heard.

Has a genuine opinion been created? That’s an philosophical debate – when is an idea born, or when is it merely transmitted? The law courts of Britain, Australia, and similar Westminster-ed jurisdictions make sure that hear-say is not diffused through their channels. Would that the lore courts of CNN, Fox, and the ABC did as well.

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