June Renew: Day Eight
I like to think I’m impervious to being gaslit. No one can talk me into doing anything I don’t want to. Not at this point in my life, anyway. But that doesn’t stop people around me from trying. Just take a look at any press briefing from any of these White Houses. All is well, folks, we’re doing great, you’re doing great, the people on the “other side” are what’s wrong with everything. Meanwhile, here in New York, gas stoves are evil, criminals are just misunderstood, and “harm reduction” means free crack pipes in vending machines. And if you’re still not convinced as to why Americans are so distrusting these days, we can fire up a little song and dance known as “fifteen days to flatten the curve.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I can’t believe people fall into manipulative relationships. They do. And it’s really sad, especially when you’re on the outside looking it. For me though, it’s like I’ve got such a hard head that nothing’s gonna penetrate it. No one can ever tell me I’m crazy, even when I’ve got the heat cranked up to eleven. But sometimes it happens, and I feel it all starting to intermingle and burn brighter at work.
The other day, two of my co-workers tried to tell me my hair is black. “No it’s not,” I told them. I’ve been a brunette my entire life. I conceded my eyebrows were black, but they just kept insisting I was wrong. I had to go over to one of them and shine my phone’s flashlight on it to show the dark brown strands. And they still didn’t buy it. I thought that was so strange, considering more than one person said the same thing. Then there was another time we were going over the show and there was a question about a guest’s last name. I said it right, but I kept getting pushback. I was being told I was wrong, when in my bones I knew I was right, but I just said fine. Later, when my host said the guest’s name, s/he said it just as I originally said. So clearly someone in the control room asked him, and got the right pronunciation. Gaslight averted.
Okay, so I know I’m not choosing the best examples here. Gaslighting on far grander scales exists. Just ask everyone masked-up in New York City now. Double masked. Scared of even holding school when we shelled out millions for proper ventilation indoors. There’s all sorts of scams going on if you only give the air a moment to really clear out. Which is why it’s very important for me to examine where I might be the gaslighter-in-chief too. Especially when it comes to my job. I write things in a way that can let the viewer know how to feel about a story we report. I stress what’s important and let all the other things be discovered on a viewer’s own. And we’ll skip stories that “just aren’t ours.”
I think about what I’m doing with my all the time, including how much longer I want to be in the corporate arena. I suppose I can rest assured that I strive for ethical reporting and have strong news judgment about what should go on air. But in the end, it’s just another way to play on emotions, now isn’t it?
I really hope in these entries people aren’t getting the wrong impression of me. I’d hate to think I’m forcing a certain way to think of me. I just do what feels right and don’t do what doesn’t. Simple as that. There’s really no need to manipulate anyone into doing what I do. I figure they’ll come to their own conclusions on it anyway. I’ll still be crazy, but at least it’s by my own hand.