Someone once told me “Life’s one big perception.”  You might say that’s a foundational notion from the standpoint we have to constantly make up our minds about what we believe.  Our thoughts are constantly inundated with audio, visual, or emotional data at any given moment.  It’s up to each individual to make up their mind about any given thing – it’s called free will.

At any given time of day, it’s up to us to dissect what we hear, see or feel.  Is that right?  Or is this wrong?  What’s presentable and what isn’t?  What’s in good taste or tacky?  What is it you believe?  Only you can decide, unless you’re given over to letting others make up your mind for you which is no doubt a sad state of affairs.

Recently, another American, a young lady, was executed by the radical group ISIS.  She was a caring soul for she was a foreign aid worker trying to make a difference in the lives of others less fortunate than her.  She isn’t the first American to be slaughtered by that group.  President Obama offered his condolences over the phone to her parents, but that’s about as far as Mr. Obama was willing to go in retaliation of the heinous act.  It would seem an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth isn’t a perception he cares to dwell on.

On the other hand, King Abdullah of Jordan was quick to respond when one of his country’s fighter pilots was shot down by ISIS, put in a cage, and set on fire while still alive.

Yet, we’re constantly told by the press and our leaders in Washington that ISIS and other groups like them aren’t radical at all.  They aren’t even extremists.  They aren’t Islamicists or terrorists and shouldn’t be called that.  Hillary Clinton even went as far as to say we should sympathize with them – that’s quite dangerous talk coming out of a former first lady.

It would appear the liberal establishment is trying to instill the perception in our minds that those individuals are just a bunch of charismatic believers.  They aren’t really amassing an army; they just really have a large congregation and wanna spread a little enlightenment on the epiphany they had.

That same individual who told me “Life’s one big perception” also said don’t believe everything you hear or see.

With the advent of Photoshop and other computer programs, audio, video and photographs can be doctored quite easily.  And who can rule out the instinct of lying either?

Brian Williams, the NBC nightly news anchor, was recently suspended for six months without pay, a $10 million pay cut, for habitually handling the truth carelessly.  He told so many whoppers that when it eventually became public the Internet was inundated with doctored photos of Mr. Williams at Christ’s Last Supper, Iwo Jima, and other places of historical value.  There’s a relentless barrage of ridicule being directed at the journalist.  It would appear, from the public’s perspective, he’s become a joke.  Funny thing, his superiors at the network knew all along he was fabricating stories to gain attention.  But none of that mattered until the public got wind of it and perception changed – then the fear of falling ratings ensued.

There was a time when the nightly news was revered.  The network’s nightly anchor was held in high esteem, and we believed what we were hearing and seeing was the news of the day – all that’s come into question now.

Many in conservative media circles have been saying for quite some time that the so-called “Mainstream media,” consisting of liberal newspapers and television outlets, have been pushing a narrative agenda all along – not reporting the factual.

It becomes questionable when you flip through the channels and see the same thing reported on every station, and in some instances the same words used.  So … is it really news we’re hearing or propaganda?  It’s all about perception.  So … to say the nightly news isn’t reporting, it’s something else, isn’t a stretch anymore considering the latest revelations revealed.

In reality news anchors are script readers and actors whose perceptions, and those of their superiors, are conveyed repeatedly if only we lend an inquisitive eye or ear.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at

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