Ed.: 072717 – Words: 919 – Audio: 08:36
I generally respect Sen. John McCain’s views, although I do not share some of them by any means. Of course his military record and sacrifice deserves my utmost respect at any time. Like millions of other Americans I wish him well in his next battle, and continued service to the country. But this post isn’t about McCain. Rather it’s a spinoff of what McCain said at his return to the Senate for the first time since his brain surgery. Some have viewed it as simply preaching to the unwavering, some have suggested it was in essence a verbal spanking from “dad”, still others, like me, saw it more as a combination of venting his personal frustration and a valiant appeal to return to the basics of compromise in serving the people.
But his notable quote in calling the press, or some of the press, “bombastic loudmouths” has just illustrated yet again the perception that the press is the villain of democracy. I’ve made a few posts in the past in here regarding the role of the press, and how important it is for us as Americans to exercise techniques of critical thinking when watching or reading the media. One of the big successes of the internet has of course been the availability of information at our fingertips; just a search phrase away from answering nearly any question you have, with opinion, on any subject imaginable. The trade-off in having all that unfettered and unfiltered access is developing techniques to filter it yourself to separate to your own satisfaction that which is fact or fantasy. In other words a free press comes with some responsibility of the average person being able to wade through those bombastic loudmouths to get to what makes sense based on the facts presented.
In the old days before the internet it was a common expression to not believe everything that you read or heard or watch on TV as being truth. Unfortunately, that just left you hanging because there were no alternative sources available for alternative comparisons to accurately gauge using a measure of critical thinking and common sense. Short of going to the library to do your own research, fact checking in those days was pretty difficult and limited. Now with the internet and all the news (and non-news) sources competing for your attention (in other words, competing for a buck) critical thinking is all the more important as your own personal filter in your quest for truth. But compared to those pre-internet days, critical thinking.. i.e, doing some level of intermediate research using sources you feel are credible… is far easier. IF you want to take the time.. and the fact is, we humans are diverse and many of us can’t or won’t take the time… or only have a limited interest. This is not being judgmental but rather understanding human diversity.
So is McCain right in that the media has “bombastic loudmouths”? Of course! But the media also has very credible and professional news people. It’s up to us to determine for ourselves what we want to believe… who we want to believe… how we want to believe… and why we want to believe it. But one thing is for sure these days… you can’t just accept what you see on TV or read in the papers or hear on the radio without some level of filtered interpretation. News is mixed with opinion, and opinion can be biased. Opinion is NOT news… and bias is everywhere. Beware!
Our new Communications Director is fixing the leaks!
Well, the new Communications Director (and “plumber”), Anthony Scaramucci, as I am preparing this post, has tweeted to the world that he will be reporting to the FBI that White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, has leaked Scaramucci’s financial data. On so many levels this public bickering, loose communication, and lack of professionalism… is appalling. Now.. do we go so far as to critical think this thing and think this is just a diversion scheme to divert the press away from healthcare, Russia, etc.? Do we accept this at face value.. more juvenile garbage from the Trump Administration? One thing is for sure.. by time I post this the stories will change, the press will feed, and in the end Americans.. like you and me… will again be reminded of how shortchanged we are on the quality of our nation’s leadership.
Which now brings me to an option for you to escape from all this political nonsense.
I have a new blog for those who have little desire for politics… or simply want to take a break.
For those readers who have followed me from my old blog, dougsboomerrants.wordpress.com, it’s more of a return to the old themes of baby boomer life, family life, society, events, daily life.
I will be including the audio of each post and I’ve also added a little tease to the audio presentations… at the end of my topic I will have a mystery TV show theme from the old days for you to test your ancient knowledge.
Stop by when you get a chance.