Sunday, April 2, 2017

Same Day but Not the Same Thing!

Why does truth engender hatred?
~St. Augustine (A.D. 354-430)

I find it oddly fitting that tomorrow, April 4, is both Hug a Newsman Day and Tell a Lie Day. Having grown up in the era of “And that’s the way it is…” (Walter Cronkite), I must confess to not knowing how things really are in this day and age. Depending on which poll you view (even polls, it seems, are influenced by the political agenda of the pollsters), a majority of people either do or do not trust the media today. I lean toward the latter.

We live in a culture that would literally fall apart if truth were told.
~R.D. Laing (1927-1989)

The First Amendment, better known as the Bill of Rights, prohibits “infringing on the freedom of the press”. Perhaps its best known provision against abridging “freedom of speech”. It seems that today the news media has mixed up the two freedoms thusly: they report what they think the American people should hear and doesn’t hesitate to freely interject its opinion into the reporting.

Truth will out.
~John Lydgate (1370?-1450?)

What should be civil, fact-gathering interviews often turn into shouting matches of accusations and defensive responses. Journalists, with a few exceptions, have one goal in mind: to get their own opinion “out there” and make sure you believe it’s the right one. One exception which comes to mind is Greta Van Susteren. While I was hesitant to see her become part of MSNBC, I believe she’s continued her honest pursuit of facts and fairness. There are a few others, of course--a very few. (Thank you, Greta!)

What we pretend to be defending as the “truth” is really our own self-esteem.
~Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

I don’t have television service in my home, refusing to subsidize so much filthy programming (yes, I miss the “good stuff”), and not caring to listen to news commentators spew their propaganda. Recently I unsubscribed from two newspapers when I realized that even the story headings were slanted. In other words, the heads were telling me what to believe before I ever read the story to vet the facts!

The truth never arrives neatly wrapped.
~Thomas Powers (1940-)

So how do I keep up with what’s going on in the world? It’s essential, so if Plan A fails, Plan B should be waiting in the wings. I browse various sources on the internet, comparing one to the other, listen to a few opinion spots, do more fact-vetting, and then I hope I’ve come close to the truth. It’s out there somewhere, but we can’t be like sponges and soak up everything we hear and take it as the “gospel truth”.

Truth is more of a stranger than fiction.
~Mark Twain (1835-1910)

I’d like to believe that responsible citizens look for the truth. A Nation of Lies will implode sooner or later.

The truth may not make us free, but we cannot be free without it.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I’ve posted “The Poisonous Truth” on my website as the April feature under I’ll Tell You a Story. 

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