October 7, 2010

Hot Button Issues

How I long for some unbiased news reporting! I know that maybe there never was such a thing as truly unbiased journalism, but there certainly used to be an attempt to report on the Who, "What, Where, When, Why and How" of the news.

Yes, I know that there have always been hot button issues that sold lots of papers and influenced the public. I am old enough to remember the McCarthy Era when people like Joseph McCarty and Richard Nixon ruined the the careers, reputations and lives of many innocent people by using fear to serve their own purposes. There has always been an "other" for us to hate and fear.

My family was frightened, angered and sometimes even amused by these tactics. They understood scapegoating. And through their own personal experiences, knew the dangers, destruction, harm and heartache that hatred could cause.

I was raised in a home where people talked about such things. Debates about important issues were regular happenings in our house. There was discussion and conversation at meals and gettogethers. We were expected to think.

My grandparents were immigrants who loved their adopted country. They valued their freedom, their citizenship, and their right to vote. They read newspapers and became informed voters who couldn't imagine why some people didn't seem to care and took the promise of this country for granted.

They hoped for, but did not always expect absolute perfection from their government. They were grateful ... because they remembered what it was like to live under the rule of a totalitarian ruler. They remembered their escape ... and the trail they had to take to get here. They always felt they had a responsibility to help.

My parents and grandparents loved the US. They saw this country's imperfections, but they had faith that that their hopes and dreams would eventually be realized and their children and grandchildren would have many opportunities to have a better life.

They were open minded people who nevertheless had concerns about the future and worried about what might happen if the call to hate got too loud.

The news media today is all about sensationalism. It is about controversy, even if the controversy has to be invented. There are lots of calls to hate the "other". But there really is no "other". There is only us.

Posted by Judi at October 7, 2010 11:23 PM | TrackBack
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