This morning, I received a forward from a friend (wow, imagine that!) Thanks, Kel. It was a video of interviews conducted at a polling place during the recent election. The answers given by the folks who were interviewed were astonishing.
What came through to me loud and clear, is not that they're ignorant or stupid, but simply that they're uninformed, and to a large extent, that is not their fault. While it's true that we should all get in there and dig and make ourselves informed, not many people do. We all have our lives, our busy-ness, our personal concerns. We habitually skim the newspaper and listen to the TV or radio playing in the background, and depend on that to keep us on top of what's going on. We get our information almost by osmosis, and if only one side is being presented, that's all we hear and therefore, all we know.
Also, getting one's self informed is difficult. Where do you turn? You can't trust the papers, and most news sites on TV and radio are slanted so steeply that I'm amazed that the lobby lizards don't slide off. It does take some effort to find a news source that tells it like it is, warts and all.
Journalism in America has fallen to a pitiful low. It's slanted, biased, irresponsible and not at all trustworthy. It's time for us all to demand better performance from those charged with the awesome responsibility of keeping our citizens informed. If they can't report the truth, ALL of the truth, then they should step aside. Maybe they'll be pushed aside in time, by the bloggers, by email forwards such as this, by all the independent network of news-sharing that's developing.
Medically, quite often when a blockage in an artery begins to form, and that artery isn't doing its job of delivering oxygen-rich blood to its intended destination, collateral circulation will form. New blood vessels will begin to push their way through the tissue and bypass the poor performer. If that didn't happen, there would be many, many more heart attacks than those which do occur.
And so it may be that the day will come when newsboys will again be standing on the streets, shouting "Read all about it!" to people walking by, almost begging them to buy a newspaper, but to no avail. Instead, people will be checking their email and reading blogs, watching a select few TV networks, and newspapers will become as non-essential as butter churns and buggywhips.
This puts a big responsibility on us as private citizens, though. We must be as unbiased and responsible as we want our news media to be. No willy-nilly forwarding of things without checking their veracity first. The only reason I forwarded this is that I could see it with my own eyes. The lines of people in the background fit with the implication that it was conducted at a polling place. The folks being interviewed seemed to be genuine. Though it is always possible it could have been staged, my gut feeling is that it was not. Some of the folks appeared to be a little brighter than others, and one woman really seemed to be thinking it over, when she said, "I don't think I'll be changing my vote, though." Obviously, a chord had been struck.
The fact is, two things elected Hussein. Racism, obviously, was one. Millions voted for him, who would have done so if he had sprouted horns, simply because he's black. If it had been reversed, with Hussein being white and McCain being black, they'd have all voted for McCain - everyone knows that. However, there were other millions, black and white alike, who voted for him simply because they were poorly informed. All they heard from the MSM was "hope and change", and they drank the kool-aid.
So, Hussein rode into the White House on a tide of racism and rotten journalism. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Until we demand better from our news media, we will not get it. Dallas has only one newspaper, The Dallas Morning News. One voice, for a city the size of this. That's not right, and Dallas is not alone. Many major cities have only one big newspaper, and I think that's dangerous.
So, what are we to do? My mother used to warn me, "Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see." There's a lot of truth in that. I think it could be modified to "Don't believe anything you hear or read, and only half of what you see - verify it first!" I was unable to definitely verify this video, so be aware of that. However, it fits with the results of a couple of free-lance interviews of my own - questions asked in conversation with patient aides at work and the like. What I found was that almost no one had a clue regarding the issues. Try it yourself, you'll be amazed.
Well, the election is over, Hussein is to be the president, assuming he can solve that annoying birth certificate thing, and so we have four years to get through. We will, and perhaps will emerge the stronger for it. Perhaps people will see where voting blind gets them, and will begin to demand more balanced, comprehensive journalism.
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