It never fails to amaze me how gullible the public are to the mis information coming from the international news media that is uncritically accepted as verifiable fact and repeated verbatim by our own news outlets. While this phenomenon is not new, it has been a developing trend for years , but we, way down here at the bottom of the planet, can't be expected to recognise the validity of every report emanating from the world's trouble spots - we should be able to rely on our local journalists who get paid to do so, disseminating the credible from the bullshit.
I'm not asking to only include stories that have a particular political bias more to my liking - just that there is a bit more balance to the coverage and inclusion of a wide cross section of opinion from those reporters who are working at the coalface of these flash points. They can't all be Trump haters although you have to wonder.
It is the only way we can make up our own mind about how we as a sovereign nation should respond to these tragic episodes that are designed to influence the future of the free world.
For most journalists, reporting the truth is an art form that leaves no margin for error.
You either get it right the first time or your readers become confused about their own responsibilities when reacting to stories that must be taken at face value.
Sadly, many in this ancient honourable profession have recently thrown in their lot with political forces that share their personal ideological persuasion with a result that truth is the casualty and the instability that is a consequence continues unchecked.
It is all part of a plan to gain control of our minds in the name of something that is foreign to the kiwi way of sharing and caring. We should resist it and not allow ourselves to become pawns in the hands of groups who have no interest in whether we live or die.
To illustrate my point, it is appropriate to spend a little time examining the reporting of the "race" riots that have erupted in the United States following the brutal murder of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer.
Watching and reading the reports of these tragic events on TV and in the print media of this country, you would gain the impression that the human responses are indeed "race" based, reinforcing the impression that they are the result of years of oppression and mistreatment of people of colour in the US and perhaps conveniently using this example to leave no doubt that the problem is perpetuated by a police force that is inherently racist.
No mention of statistics that convincingly show how a black man is many times more likely to be shot and killed by a black civilian than by a white police officer or that black police officers are much more likely to die at the hands of black criminals than at the hands of white offenders. The same narrative that police are inherently racist is used effectively to ferment hatred in this country as well. It is a sad commentary on what we have become.
Backing up these censored versions of the truth are reports from prominent black civil rights activists (one in particular - Bob Woodson, who stood shoulder to shoulder with Martin Luther King at the time when riots were justifiably classified as "race" based) who offers a very different perspective from the main stream media who are the leading opinion makers in the US and around the world.
Bob says that these riots are the personification of a "class" warfare that has been evolving as a result of changes to the social status of many Afro Americans in US society led by the blacks who have moved into upper class positions in the economy that see them overseeing the education and welfare of their own low decile communities.
Mr Woodson says the current riots, particularly the accompanying looting and carnage are the result of frustrations built up amongst poor blacks who have become the victims of ineffective oversight of blacks on blacks. Ironically, the presidents who have overseen this unfortunate development have often been those who were supposed to improve the lot of blacks but instead did more to accelerate the decline of low decile black communities than their more conservative counterparts. eg Barack Obama oversaw a huge increase in the number of blacks on welfare during his term that has been largely overturned by his successor Trump who has dramatically increased the job numbers for this vulnerable group but guess what - the Donald won't be getting any recognition from the media for those improvements.
It would be nice if we could rely on the media - at least in this country, to simply do their job. I live in hope.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.