First, a warning: This is going to be a rambling kind of post. My apologies in advance for that and if some of what I write here is unclear. But hey, that is why I call this blog The Mess.
The impetus for this post is the article I linked to earlier regarding the public protests over health reform, and more specifically, the spin it will get amongst the conservative news outlets.
I am not naive enough to think that there are not also liberal outlets out there trying to push their own agenda. I do not have a problem with that, on either side, as long as what is being reported is factual. To me, this is where the likes of FOX News walk the tightrope.
Let me just say, too, that I suspect a lot of what is shown on TV is contrived and meant to attract viewers and ad revenue. I mean, O’Reilly is probably not as ridiculously out of touch with reality as he appears. And perhaps it is unfair of me to make these kinds of statements when my sole familiarity with these shows is clips I find on the internet or see on The Daily Show. But you know something, at least Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert call these MSM clowns out on their b.s., on both sides. It just so happens that FOX News is the most ridiculous and least credible of the lot.
Now, I have friends and family who watch FOX News, call it “fair and balanced”, etc., and I mean them no disrespect. But it concerns me that the information they are getting may not be entirely accurate. And if that misinformation gets promulgated and has an effect on them, I can only surmise that it has the same effect on others who watch across the country. And if more of this bad information is out there, then good things that need to happen and get done, will not. Then we all suffer.
We get caught up in our own ideologies and selfish desires and we forget that it is not just about us and what we think. There are 300 million people in this country, and 7 billion more around the world. We forget that all the time. Yes, we should make sure that we provide for ourselves and loved ones, but I would hope we would not want to do that at the expense of others.
The fact is, a vote against some kind of health care reform is probably a vote against insuring one of the 50 million uninsured people in this country. And do not talk about deficits all of a sudden when for six years the Bush administration ran up huge deficits to pay for two wars, only one of which we may have had a legitimate reason to be in. Where was your concern for fiscal responsibility then? Same goes for this talk about “big government” and the like; completely disingenuous argument that I will not even dignify with comment.
I guess the point of all this is that the MSM has gotten lazy, and it has made viewers/readers lazy, as well. It is hard to stay informed and we have to get our information when and where we can; I get that. But let us not so blindly assume that the information we are getting is not being filtered somehow, or at least consider the source before taking that information to heart. Let us debate about the facts, not the spin from the talking heads. If you really want to know how President Obama feels about health care, read the Whitehouse blog or Time’s interview with him, or watch his television appearances and news conferences, and not just the next morning’s spin. But please, do not make claims (about policy positions I mean, not talking about personal beefs) about him or any other politician, on either side, without first checking the facts. Can we at least agree to that?
I promise, I am not mad. I just love my country, too. Contrary to what you may have heard, one need not be conservative to be a patriot. You can be patriotic even if you do not support a war, or want to pay taxes to fund schools, roads, and other things we have all come to take for granted. Despite all the problems America has and faces (and to deny that we do is naive), this is still a great country and one that I am proud to live in. But we can be better and that is all I want. The times they are a changing, but let us work so that those changes result in a better America, and a better world for us all.