Saturday, October 27, 2012

Newspaper Endorsements---Back to the Poisoned Ink Well

In my last article, Newspaper Endorsements ---Poisoned Ink, there was a comment accusing me of the doing the same thing our local newspaper does, delete unflattering comments. The writer went to say that my comments on the public board were "garbled and confusing". Interesting that they took the time to read my blog article and post their comment there.

As I responded, I usually post comments, even (or especially) those I disagree with. I don't posted hateful or vulgar remarks, nor those which are obviously meant to harass. I don't know any blogger who does, and I'm pretty certain most newspapers or other media venues have the same restrictions. These are meant as public forums for civil discussion. So, just what was it that the newspaper finds so offensive and, apparently, my reader, found so "garbled and confusing"?

Apparently "someone" takes the time to remove my comments almost as soon as I post them. Of course, I simply repost them. So what is it that I'm writing that is so terrible? Simply this, ignore the editorial board's endorsements. Read the voter guide. Make your own decision, and go vote. Blasphemous isn't it? Why does my mystery commenter (actually, he's no mystery. I have a good idea of who he is) find this so "garbled and confusing"? Well, it's non-partisan. And I'm telling people to think for themselves instead of allowing a very partisan editorial board to tell them how to vote. Shocking isn't it? Can you imagine the fear this must engender? Someone telling voters to learn the facts about the candidates and issues and then show up at the polls and vote? It must keep them up at night.

Our local newspaper's editorial board is liberal...very liberal. It often accused by a large swath of locals on all sides as acting like the unofficial mouth piece for the Democratic Party. Conservatives really need not bother. Personally, I don't care. Every election cycle, the editorial board goes through the motions of interviewing candidates and making their pronouncements daily in the editorial section. In some cases, the conservative candidate isn't even invited to show up for the interview, or even questioned about their position on the issues. Even when they do, facts are dropped or misapplied, edited, and, well, you get the picture (it happened to me personally on two occasions when I ran and to several good friends).

The media often cites the 1st Amendment and some self appointed duty as the public's guardian (a leftover from the Gilded Age of William Randolph Hearst and "Yellow Journalism"). Ok, no problem. I believed the media, be it print or electronic, owes the people fair, balanced and honest reporting. As Dragnet's Sergeant Friday used to said, "Just the facts please". When it comes to editorials, I believe the editorial boards owe the people the facts. Tell us where each candidate stands on the issues. Don't tell us part of the story. Don't feed us journalistic pabulum. The average person is quite capable of understanding the truth. Don't give us edited versions either. That's why I'm such a big fan of voter guides. It give voters an opportunity to compare each candidate's position (in their own words) side by side. So, is that so terrible?

The system is broke beyond repair. No amount of band-aid tinkering is going to fix it. The only way we, as Americans, are going to save our country is to save ourselves. There isn't going to be some miraculous celestial intervention on December 21, 2012, nor is George Washington or Thomas Jefferson going to return from the dead and ride to our rescue. We're in this mess because we've allowed (yes, "allowed") our government to be sold out from under us. Democrat or Republican makes no difference. The transnational corporations own both parties, which are run by extremists on both sides. It really makes no difference to them who wins. They control the levers of power because they control the money, and money makes the rules. You and I merely get the illusion of choice. They're only concern is how to keep the People divided and at each other's throats and not focused on them. This can only change when we take the time to do our own research and show up to vote. It's the one weapon we have left. If we don't use it, I assure you, we will lose it.

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