The Malefic Media

Are many media people dancing on the end of strings manipulated by political masters, or are they themselves willfully misleading their audiences?

Of late, I have been waking up at 4 am and I have developed the bad habit of watching CNN as I sip my first cup of tea. For months now CNN, at that time at least, has been focusing on the USA primary election goings-on. Almost without fail Donald Trump is portrayed as a dangerous buffoon and Hillary Clinton as the only reasonable choice for president. They do this in a number of ways, but one particular airing captured the essence of it for me.

Media mind games

The host had three men on his show, two avid and very vocal Clinton advocates, and the other a member of the Trump campaign team. The Trump man went to great length to make it clear that he was an advisor to Donald on matters of policy, yet the host kept on addressing the matter of fund raising. His other two guests were allowed to interrupt and shout over him, but when he tried to interrupt he was curtly told to wait his turn. After trying to respond to a barrage of fundraising related statements he once again said something like, “I have told you repeatedly that I am a policy advisor and that I am not part of the fundraising team. I truly hope that you will eventually get to discuss matters of policy.” The host retorted with, “We will get to that shortly”… and within minutes he concluded the programme.

So, what’s going on here? It seemed to me that the host was following a predetermined script, had got the Trump man on the show under false pretenses, and was ensuring that the Hillary side came out on top.

Another example is the appalling number of clips shown which are out of the bigger context of what that person (usually Donald Trump) was actually saying. When you get access to the fuller version it becomes obvious that the media folk have put a distinct spin on the intended meaning.

In South Africa, at this time, I am witnessing a very similar lack of integrity in much of the media and I suspect that there is a political agenda driving a lot of what we see and hear.
The result of all of this is that I have come to believe that I just cannot trust what I am being told in the media and that if I want ‘truth’ I will have to dig it out myself… if I can.

In time gone by the media was regarded as the fourth societal estate. Its task was to hold the other three estates (rulers, clergy, and citizens) to account and to honestly and accurately inform the public accordingly. Sadly, this does not appear to be the case anymore.

If we want the truth then we should turn to:Who are the puppets here?

  • Jesus, for He is the Truth (John 14:6)
  • The Bible because it reveals the truth, and
  • The church because it should be the conveyor of truth.

Of course, we can’t isolate ourselves from the media, but

we certainly should evaluate everything we see and hear against the standard of The Truth.
When I was younger I might have accepted uncritically what I saw and heard, but now I think twice about what is presented to me as ‘fact’ and tend to reject a lot more than I accept. Skeptical to the point of being cynical? Perhaps… but I would rather be a cynic than a gormless puppet on the end of a politically controlled media string.

I called this little rant ‘the malefic media’ because ‘malefic’ means ‘causing harm or destruction, especially by supernatural means’. I believe that the sea of half-truths and lies in which we are all drowning has distinctly supernatural overtones.

We are in a spiritual battle for the soul of our nations and only The Truth will serve to rescue us.
Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler



4 thoughts on “The Malefic Media”

  1. I agree Chris, but I do not believe that this “malefic media” is a new or a recent phenomenon. I have lived 62 and a half years, and for as long as I can remember, this issue has been with us. It makes our role, as the church of the living Christ and the expected bearers of truth to the world, critical as we live in the world but do not belong to, and are not of, the world. Jesus and the Bible are certainly the only sources of all truth and the church needs to reflect this truth. We need, as you have done so accurately, to be reminded of the “malefic media” on a regular basis so that we do not fall into the trap of blindly believing that which is placed before us in this prolific media age. The media is used to the advantage of vested interests all the time. In the SA context, it is no different. Integrity has become almost a forgotten word, sometimes a word to be scorned. Truth has become personal in the minds of too many. All too often, I hear people say, truth is what you make it to be. Your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth. Therein lies a great danger.

  2. Aurelia Sieberhagen

    Sadly, I have notice that as well now for many years actually. The media are very bias on many topics, particular about Israel and as you mentioned on the politics of Donald Trump as well as the immigration crisis. Luckily you can read about the other (more accurate) side on Facebook. I find that lately you have to read both sides story to really get to the truth.

  3. For years the “Conspiracy Theorists” have insisted that the media are controlled by members of the conglomerate of secret societies. I woner…?

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About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.