You’ve probably have already seen the UC Davis Pepper Spray Video. You probably already have an opinion and its likely you have strong feelings about it. The problem is what you saw was severely edited to give one perspective of a series of events that are not as simple and straight-forward as that short clip would have you believe.
Watch this long version. Yep, it’s all of 15-minutes long, about the length of 30 Fox news clips. But if you do it this one time, you may start to understand how news editors can snip out balance to promote agendas.
In fact, after watching the long version, my opinion did not change. But my concerns that the new citizen journalism can present through a lens that is as filtered as the shoddiest of traditional news organizations have been known to give us.
It is obvious, that the original pepper spray video was shortened to promote a point of view and to me that lessens the credibility of students who risked arrest and pepper spray for a cause that many of us do not understand–but they passionately believe in.
Did the police act rightfully or wrongly? You and I may continue to disagree. But we cannot intelligently decide unless those reporting the incident are responsible to give us a reasonably ba;lanced report on what happened.
Distortion of the truth in the name of a cause damages the credibility of that cause if you ask me.
Let us understand that non-violent protest is designed to provoke authorities to further a cause. Leaders through the years have suffered arrests, beatings and gas. This raises public awareness and sympathy. It is very powerful and has brought down governments, ended wars, destroyed unjust and discriminating causes.
The essence of it is to reveal that truth is on your side. That’s what giants of protest Like King and Gandhi did. That’s why in America, students in the 6os sometimes died to end an unjust war or Jim Crow segregation.
Lying doesn’t get you there; nor does distortion. All that does is make you the citizen version of Fox News, grinding the facts through distorted lenses and filters.