Friday, June 15, 2007

Post travel thoughts

I was traveling on business last week and as will happen on trips with lots of airline time, I ran out of things to read. You can only look through the SkyMall magazine so many times. A prior passenger had left a Harpers magazine in the seatback next to mine and so I flipped through it to help pass the time.

I stopped in the letters section and came across what is becoming a common reader comment in many newspapers and magazines. The gist of the comment was that people need to stop paying attention to the main stream media because they are all just parroting the administration on every issue. Let that digest for a bit. This person and he (or she) is by no means alone, thinks that the media in this country is bought and paid for by the Bush Whitehouse.

It takes a special kind of person to hold such a thought. That ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, AP, etc. all get their economic, civic and war reporting notes straight from Washington. The sort of person that can watch the nightly news or read a newspaper and make that sort of statement with earnest should not be allowed to operate motor vehicles. To be able to sit through endless “America is loosing the war” stories, the media reporting of the Plame debacle and all of the “Al Gore says the world is ending” stories and claim that the main media outlets are getting their talking points and stories straight from G. W. Bush is to admit to a level of self delusion that precludes one from operating anything mechanical.

If you happen to come across one of these folks and take the time to actually engage them in debate on this subject by asking for proof of this grand conspiracy, you will usually be told “Well look at FOX, everyone knows they are just reporting what the government wants them to.” I have heard this rebuttal often but have yet to receive more than that general comment. No proof of bias can be found but lets’ not let that stand in the way of our “feelings”. This is usually my cue that this person is a lost cause. To view FOX news, which has the most balanced reporting and highest track record for standards and integrity, as bias shows just how lost the commenter truly is. They have been listening to liberal bias for so long that “fair and balanced” now sounds like right-wing propaganda. You will not be able to have any sort of meaningful debate or discussion. You should just save your breath and move on.

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