Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Andrew Breitbart/Fox News Launch and Run a Totally False Story

Yesterday a video clip which had been heavily edited and taken totally out of context from a speech Department of Agriculture agent Shirley Sherrod gave 25 years ago was posted on the FoxNews website. It had been produced and released by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart. Breitbart has a history of sensational and false work and FoxNews can always be found close by taking advantage of the opportunity to "piggyback" and sell ratings with their conservative following. This was a blatantly false story.

The proliferation of false information and uncivil discourse on the internet and the airways is very disturbing. While we all appreciate the "upside" of technology, this distinct "downside" should be of concern to us all.

An ideological "free for all" is occuring on the electronic information highway and on the airways. In the process, how do we keep the moral fiber of America intact? I am not, of course, talking about the old, conservative moral focus on sex, drinking, smoking, etc. I am talking about how we treat one another, the way we treat our country, our culture, our neighbors, neighbors like Shirley Sherrod who have assumed roles of service in America.

A prominent piece appeared on an old-line media outlet just yesterday entitled, "The Most Successful, Failed Presidency in History." The gist of the piece was the right-wing distortion, which has taken hold, of this Presidency, one of the most accomplished Presidency's, at this point in an administration, in history. Just this morning City Councilwoman Nancy Vaughan pointed out how she had been viciously and outrageously attacked by an uninformed, and possibly unstable, blogger. The propping up by the electronic media, and resulting rise on the national scene of a character like Sarah Palin leads one to grave and scary concern.

What is our responsibility as citizens? What is our responsibility as consumers of news and as bloggers? It depends on how seriously we take our responsibility of contributing to civil dialogue and truth in America. It depends on what our motives are, what our agendas are. It depends on how we view our obligation regarding the "national conversation."

And, of course, it depends on how we view truth, on what our source for truth is. One would hope that we all have as an objective to move America forward and to help create an America based on virtuous values and principles. Adherence to universal truth and values such as honesty, courage, kindness, humility, forgiveness, modesty, cooperation should be our primary goal. The Judeo-Christian values we have all been taught would do quite well.

I clearly understand that there are different views of the world, different views on how to approach the problems of society, of the economy, etc. But we have got have a common set of values and principles on what to base our actions, our reactions, our positions.

So how should we proceed? We must be careful and diligent when consuming or contributing to the national dialogue. We must evaluate and scrutinize everything we read and everything we hear on the airways. We must seek out the motives of the disseminators of the information. We must not look only for information which reinforces our bias and our positions.

We really did "learn everything we need to know in kindergarten." We must seek out and develop a solid value system based on eternal and universal principles. "The Golden Rule" beckons. We must revert to those simple, civil, eternal virtues and principles. Without those, we do not have a chance to survive the proliferation of the destructive absurdity we face.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive