Trouble Me

I’ve always had a soft spot for newspaper films. “Spotlight,” “The Paper,” “All the President’s Men,” “The Post,” whenever these pop up, my remote control stops. Maybe it’s the story of the pursuit of ideas, the continued chase for what is really happening that they resonate with me so solidly.

Out of the recent round of commercials put together for the Super Bowl, the one that resonated with me that I can even remember it was the one produced by the Washington Post.

Check it out here:

Predictably, many internet folks aren’t seeing the forest for the trees, hitting the Post for buying Super Bowl space instead of hiring journalists. Or my personal favorite complaint that it is just a “leftie rag” or other such cultural  nonconstructive criticism.

The need for journalism has never been greater. One of the missions of the current administration has been to discredit reporting from the very first day. The screams of Fake News, the general atrophy of attention spans and a social media induced malaise about information seems to have resulted in a fear of ideas and information and a preferred stage of propaganda induced and narrative confirming subservience that renders most into baseless name calling on Facebook.

We seem to be scared of having our notions challenged, to the point where accusations come in case to threaten those notions. You hear “fake news’ and it is pretty fair to say the yeller of same has just heard something they don’t like.

While there are more avenues for transmitting and receiving data, our ability to process has been getting more and more muddled.

Blind Faith is a dangerous thing. So is looking for gossip ahead of information and that seems to be how many are digesting their informational mcnuggets.

A good friend and good journalist posited on his facebook page, admittedly opening a can of worms, asking “what we’d expect from the President’s State of the Union?” Aside from the usual waggishness including my own, there were a number of responses that took shots at the network his station is affiliated with and that just seemed weird.

I get wanting to defend “your guy” but such blind subservience reminds me about the late 70’s “Afterschool Special,” that mused how Germany evolved in the 1930s.

Learning new things, getting actual information, finding out more. These are all good things. They might not always be pleasant but they are worthy pursuits. It could reveal that some leaders aren’t who you think are, but you might have a more honest assessment of who they actually are. That is good.

Don’t be afraid.

 


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