We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In our "It's all about ME!" America, it's no surprise that reporters feel narcissistically ungratified by the idea of being observers. Maybe just writing and talking about what other people do makes them feel small and insignificant if they are inclined that way. Shucks, they want to be important too, like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. You know, they want to personally "make a difference," "save the world," and all that nice Miss America stuff. They probably also want chicks and dough, too, along with getting rid of land mines. Who doesn't?
Dang. A white spider keeps running across my keyboard and distracting me. Run away home, little guy. It's a Little Miss Muffet moment at Maggie's.
OK, he's gone. Now, to continue. Today, we have yet another confession from a political reporter at Newsweek. But he's not a reporter, he's a blogger getting paid to pretend to be a reporter. This sort of thing, which we have seen everywhere this election year, demeans the entire profession of reporting. In fact, it mocks the very illusion that it is a profession at all if my definition of a profession holds. This fellow is basically saying "I am neither capable of, nor interested in, being a devoted, ethical, and disinterested professional in my professed profession."
In real professions, you get tarred and feathered if you screw the pooch. A note pad does not a reporter make any more than a knife makes a surgeon. I want to say to these guys, who should have their hands full just trying to find and state the facts, "When I want your opinion, I'll ask for it."
It is becoming more difficult find in the news'/opinion/polling/socioeconomic areas of the Internet anything that resembles honest information. We find more and more that what we read is change just enough to remain plausible but is in fact bull.
This is tremendously exacerbated by the lack of historical knowledge the under 35 – 40 year olds possess. Most of us older folks who have studied the classics have a base from which to draw in comparing that knowledge with what we read today. All too often the “new” reporting or the deconstruction of our history is simply false. The younger generations have nothing to compare what they read today versus what the Gibbons or Hippolyte Taine. William L. Shirer. to today’s' Forrest McDonald or Joseph Ellis, wrote in years gone by. When this happens they are subject to any junk history their mostly socialist or communist faculty forces them to study or write on the Internet.
In my conversations today with the average college graduate I am stunned by their lack of knowledge and with it their lack of inquisitiveness in seeking the truth. It use to be called being brainwashed. Seems to fit.
I can't believe you mentioned William Shirer. I read all his books after my mother finished them. I was in high school, and at that age found the enormity of the crimes of The Third Reich difficult to comprehend simply because my world view was so small. I did lose touch with my faith, though, and since then have read much about war - all with the same response: Where was God?
That is not a comment decrying God or religion; it's about the incredible sadness I internalized about the nature of man. I won't list the ways it affected my outlook or philosophy on life, but you are so right - this generation knows nothing. Nothing.
Not one of the so-called journalists in the mainstream media is what used to be designated as a journalist fifty years ago. Not one of the so-called journalists who are printed in the Houston Chronicle knows how to write an objective news story ... or knows what the Five W's [who, what where, when and why] are and why they are crucial to presenting an objective news story. Which is why the paper gets my blood boiling every morning. Why do I read it? It's the only daily newspaper in the fourth largest city in America, and it's going downhill fast, getting thinner [and more slanted] by the minute. You East Coasters have The New York Times. When I went to college at Columbia U. in the 1940s, it was a pretty good newspaper. Look at the Times now. It's a propaganda sheet for Pinch Sulzberger, and it's stock has just achieved junk bond status. And rightfully so.
The best journalists today are the bloggers, and news sheets like Townhall, on the Web. Sure, they're advocates of one point of view or another. But they're honest about it, so the reader can factor what they say into what he already knows.
I get all my news from the Web. It takes awhile, but at least I have somewhat of a grasp of what's really happening. I use The Houston Chronicle to get my blood boiling every morning.
That's important, because everything slows down when you're my age. And I hope you all will be, some day.