Thursday, October 25, 2007

Crooks and Liars

The title of this post is actually also the name of a blog. It can be accessed at: I haven't checked it out enough times to evaluate it from my perspective, but because I consider the current administration as a bunch of crooks and liars, I am predisposed to be at least open to what the author or authors have to say.

You might ask yourself why such a blog, with such a title, exists.

A few weeks ago, a political cartoon in the Boston Globe made the point. It consisted of four panels, two of which depicted then AG Gonzales with mouth closed and two with mouth opened.

The caption under the mouth closed panels read, "Not lying". Under the mouth opened panels the caption read, "Lying".

I love to laugh at some cartoons, like some in The New Yorker magazine.

I didn't laugh at the Globe cartoon. I grimaced.

As one who likes to find a middle ground upon which people with honest and honorable intentions can debate with others of honest and honorable intentions, I find myself not only discouraged, but angry about the kind of discourse we hear and read about in the so-called Main Stream Media. Even employing the word "discourse" to describe those reports constitutes a generous concession that the motives of the MSM are neutral in their nature.

Personally I am at least doubtful that the MSM is neutral. Of course one has to agree on the definition of the MSM. For purposes of this essay, I choose to define the MSM as comprised of institutions whose mission is to report and interpret news to those who read and/or see and hear what they publish. In addition I limit my definition of the MSM to those institutions which, according to generally accepted parameters, have a substantial audience, are well known and financially well funded and with a history of sustainability.

Examples include, but are not limited to, The New York Times, The Washington Post, New Yorker Magazine, Newsweek, US News and World Report, Washington Times, New York Post, to name a few with apparent opposite editorial bias.

Then there exists today a vast and growing number of alternative sources of news, like the existence of alternative medicine. They spring up all over the place and time. They are called blogs, short for Internet Web Logs. There is almost no discipline to which the writers of such blogs commit. They can write and publish stuff on all topics, obsessions, persuasions, perversions and narcisisstically fueled needs.

So, how is one to know what to believe in, what is accurate and truthful?

And the answer is, drum roll please, Judgment. There has never been, is not now, and never will be, a substitute for Judgment. Where does one "get" judgment? You can't buy it anywhere, you can't inherit it, though genetics plays a role, you can't luck into it like buying a winning lottery ticket, you can't find it dropped by another on the street, or in the local dump, land fill, recycling/transfer station, or in a dumpster.

Some might proclaim that you either have it or you don't. A good education is the beginning, followed by continued use of the mind on issues which have at least two sides, and by listening to and reading the arguments of opposing sides. The MSM has become too compliant with respect to politics. The blogosphere is full of opinion and is not compliant. It is the equivalent of the pamphlet phenomenon of 18th century America.

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