If you have been watching the news, or your AppleTV, or reading a blog, or have been in a state of semi-lucidity, then you are well aware of the state of our union. Two wars going nowhere, bank insolvency, credit freezes, retirement savings disappearing faster than Jose Cuervo on an episode of Rock of Love Bus, A-Rod and steroids, Bernie Madoff, and Brittany Spears. It’s tough out there and our media outlets, all of them, are none too bashful about letting us, the American public, hear the truth be told.
With headlines like, “GM Loses $9.6 Billion as Its Struggles Continue” in the New York Times, the distant din of ‘Enough with the negativity’ seems to be gaining volume. People are becoming fed up with the media’s negative portrayal of our state of affairs. Negative headlines, it is claimed, hurt morale. Cantankerous crisis’s only get more ghastly with each ghastly headline on page 1. Yet, despite the negativity, don’t we have a right to know all the details? Aren’t the American people entitled to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
It’s a fine line between news that makes you want to double your dosage of Prozac and the truth. More times than not, a flashy headline in bold font can be circulation gold(so to speak seeing as how gold may not have the monetary power it once did in our economy). The job of newspapers and news outlets is to maintain profitability(and hopefully, at the very least, the illusion of honesty). I am sure Newscorp harbors no regrets for running a “negative” story if that “negative” story is being sold, watched, or blogged about.
I was told in church, the truth will set me free. My mom always warned me to tell the truth(And yet I still got grounded?) Regardless of the tone to our daily news, we need the exposure of these stories’ honesty. As the people affected by the grim situation currently going on it might be a good idea to make us aware of the colliding planets around us(especially when our government tells us we need to foot the bill for our “recovery”). We deserve to be set free.
Can we not affect the change necessary to flip our collectively capsized canoes if we are let in on the whole ugly truth? Keeping the public in the dark about the despondence of our current position serves what purpose exactly? Keeping us in the dark with misinformation(political speak for lying) and the deliberate withholding of the truth got us eight years of George W Bush. Anyone want more of that?
For so long the American public has been fed the same sort of tales a parent feeds to their six year old when the six year old asks what happened to Sparky and the parents tell their child Sparky went to live on a farm so he could run and play forever. What we need now is to have the six year old talk to us with the brutal honesty only a child can conger forward. We need the six year old to tell us we’re fat or to point out the hairy mole on our face. It may be negative, make us feel bad, but we need the truth if we hope to change anything.
We can not temper the truth because we are afraid of upsetting the masses with “negative stories”(the masses need to toughen up). The truth hurts but at least it makes us feel. Glossing over the truth will leave this country in a Novocaine type emotional state unable to cope or react when things get really bad(they can you know). We are already apathetic enough, numbing us to the truth can only make matters worse. Change a NY Times headline, “Profit Declined 55% in Quarter at Sears”. Change it to “Sears Retained 45% Profit in Quarter”. Does this increase the value of my retirement portfolio? How does changing the tone affect the dollar and it’s descent in value toward Peso territory?
Our complacency, due to intentional ignorance, will grant greedy, self absorbed politicians to create policy with no checks or balances from their constituents. Without those in the news reporting honestly, ignoring the heed to hold back for morale’s sake, we jeopardize losing any semblance of control we can exert(it’s called voting folks). We never discover the midnight deals for our politicians to raise their own salaries. We never find out about Watergate. We never are witness to the atrocities of war. Guantanamo Bay just sounds like a Spring Break locale for horny coeds. We have our phones tapped and never know any better. We go on thinking there were always WMD’s in Iraq. The truth can help maintain checks and balances.
I want to know. Damn the negative headlines. Damn your morale. I want death and despair on the front page because then I can make the tough decisions our time will require. The kinds of tough decisions I wouldn’t make if I only thought Sears’ had 55% off sales, not 55% off profits and fire sales. I think the citizens of this country have built up a skin for negative/truthful news(you still see video of 9/11, Rodney King, aftermath of the Exxon Valdez, House of Wax 2). I think this country and it’s citizens not only can handle the stories but will find themselves capable of amazing feats in the face of these stories.
In the climate of fear and uncertainty we are living in now, given my choice between negative but honest or positive and withholding? I choose negative but honest, truth be told.
- Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country (and bald...and cranky...and out of shape...in the service of being a parent) - George Washington
Seek and Ye Might Just Find