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Every once in a while, you come across the perfect headline, and Aaron Rodgers delivered just such a one for me today in his description of the media. On his weekly spot on the Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers was asked by McAfee about a snippet last week that was taken wildly out of context. Rodgers answered:
“Is anybody surprised? All the fucking media does is write stories to get clicks. So it didn’t matter. I can give a long answer about something, they can take a blip of it, and write a story about it that has nothing to do with what I was saying. Nobody’s gonna take the time — unless you’re watching this live — to listen to the entire interview. They’re gonna take pieces of it. If I’m not doing this in person, you can’t see facial expressions. Or if you’re not listening to it, you’re just reading a transcript. You can’t hear voice inflection and tone and inference. So, that’s just the way it is. That’s why I love doing this. Because I have a platform with you guys and the boys to say whatever I want, to speak the truth. Shit like that’s gonna happen. It doesn’t matter. I don’t spend any extra time [thinking] about it. I find it comical because then we can bring it up and be like ‘this is what we were talking about. Here it is.'”
AJ Hawk, Rodgers’ former teammate, followed up by asking him how he determines what to believe when reading stories online.
“I don’t know. You just have to be skeptical in general. I think that’s having an open mind, is being skeptical and not just believing everything at face value or believing everything that your Twitter or social media tells you. I think people need to remember there’s a lot of interesting documentaries about this stuff. Cambridge Analytica, if you watched that documentary about the 2016 election, and you understand how many data points there are out there about us. We are being constantly fed things that confirm our own bias already. It’s called confirmation bias. It’s when they feed information to you that hits you in the areas that you like and just continues to further the things you believe. And you think that you’re learning, but you’re actually being fed information that keeps you on one side. And that’s the division that’s created. And I’m not a fan of it. I think you should read both sides of stories, read books, you know, that tackle both sides of issues. You should be very skeptical of the things that you read and do your own research, and not just listen because somebody told you — some blue checkmark on Twitter told you to believe something. You should have an open mind and do your own research. And feel into what you think is the truth.”
Rodgers’ previous media criticism includes blasting debate shows. There are certain people he likes to talk to — McAfee, Dan Le Batard, Dan Patrick, Kenny Mayne — where he feels like he can have fun, but he shies away from most other interviews.
My goals for this blog, in no particular order, are as follows:
1) I hope that a lot of people click it.
2) I hope that I didn’t take Rodgers out of context.
3) I hope that, somehow, against all technological and societal trends, objective truths become clearer and not more distorted going forward.
4) I hope Rodgers continues to play at the torrid pace of the first quarter of this season for the rest of the year and beyond. This goal doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the story, but I’d be remiss as a Packers fan if I did not also say it.
It’s a safe bet that Rodgers will make headlines every week from these McAfee spots.