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Denzel Washington, a legend in Hollywood and wordsmith on the interview mic, gave the perfect review on what has become the current state of misinformation.
In an interview promoting Fences (2016) — a film directed by and starring himself — the actor provided an insightful analysis on the state of America, the corporate news industry, and the damage by prioritizing headline fodder over truth.
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed,” said Washington, after being asked by a reporter about a news story predicting the actor’s pick in the 2016 Clinton vs. Trump presidential race.
The mystified reporter asked, “What do you do?”
“That’s a great question,” prefaced Washington, before breaking down the mainstream media’s playbook as only Coach Boone could.
“What is the long-term effect of too much information? One of the effects is the need to be first, not even to be true anymore. So what responsibility do you all have? To tell the truth. Not just to be first, but to tell the truth. We live in a society now where it’s just be first. Who cares! Get it out there! We don’t care who it hurts, we don’t care who it destroys. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it … sell it.”
Denzel Washington's message to the media: "Anything you practice, you'll get good at…including BS" pic.twitter.com/tXL4tzCtgN— Wayne Dupree Media, LLC (@WayneDupreeShow) August 1, 2021
Washington’s analysis of the mainstream media is spot on. The media has created a culture of reaction over information, making it easy to “cancel” a figure with opposing beliefs. The media, especially networks like CNN and MSNBC, have claimed to be a voice for the people against all bad things — leaving the truth buried beneath disclaimers of “misinformation” and alleged fact checking.
Americans now hope that a Crimson Tide-like change in society will influence news sites to recalibrate themselves and stop getting in the way of data, but Denzel’s concluding line is telling of the media’s likely persistence in the years to come.
“Anything you practice you’ll get good at. Including B.S.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela