Journalistic Integrity

In our media these days we have a huge number of people calling themselves journalists.  However, I question their use of this title.  To me a journalist is someone who reports the information without bias, just giving details and information. 

Too often these days we see people commenting on the news rather than reporting it.  It very much reminds me of the era of yellow journalism which was back in the late 1800s.  Yellow journalism (for the non-history buffs) is the act of reporting from a biased point of view.

Most of our news people I think fall into this category.  They tell the story from the point of view they were hired to represent.  These reporters are not journalists.  They are commentators. 

I think it is sad that we have put so much importance on how someone looks on camera rather than on what they are reporting.  Honestly I don’t want someone to tell me their opinion.  I don’t want a news report to make me go do research.  I want it to inform me of the details so that I can form my own opinion.

Unfortunately now we are dealing with too many reporters not digging up stories because they are good stories.  We are getting reporters taking the facts and twisting them to fit their own biases.  I find this very patronizing and manipulative.  I just want the facts.  I’ll decide for myself the conclusion to draw from those facts.  Believe it or not I can think for myself.

Now we have stations on tv that spew out either all the Republican conservative rhetoric or the Democratic progressive viewpoint.  Of the two I think the worst is the Republicans at getting the information wrong but they are both guilty of it. 

The only stations I see giving a somewhat unbiased point of view are the public television shows (which I don’t watch often).  It seems like if you work for a particular network you only the point of view of that network instead of having an actual story based on facts.

Perhaps if our news outlets had some journalistic integrity, the American public could make better informed decisions.  It is a sad state of affairs when our media has slipped back into the practices of over a hundred years ago.

Democracy is Dead

I was trying so hard to not post the political stuff and just give it a bit of a rest to see if things would calm down and work out.  They’ve worked out – or should I say they have been rammed through. 

It is interesting to read comments on articles.  I find that the Democrats letters and such are about compromise and working together.  The Republicans are about name calling and bullying.  I have found this to be the case with those commenting on articles – in general. 

I’m not saying that the dems are better than the republicans but it seems as if people are just not informed.  I read a comment on an article last night where the person said that teachers were all making six figures and getting multi-million dollar retirements.  It was so ridiculous and yet so sad.  Any public sector employees wages are public record – go LOOK. 

What the Republicans did last night was a travesty in the name of democracy.  I’m sure that the assembly will ram it through – they showed that with the last time they voted on this bill.  Here are my predictions for the future…

Walker will still lay off employees under the premise that is financial bill didn’t go through.  He will also implement more furlough days under this same guise.  I think when he’s done with that he will start looking at other benefits like sick time, base pay, vacation pay etc. 

I think the power plants will be sold for a rock bottom price.  I think we are going to see gas at the pumps and in our furnaces go up drastically and horribly. 

I think that he will close all the clinics that help with cancer screening for the poor.  I think we are going to see an increase in babies (no birth control) and then in abortions or worse in babies being born to people who don’t want them. 

Walker I feel is trying to put us back to the 50s.  We aren’t there and won’t go back.

In the meanwhile the unions, democrats, AFL CIO, women’s groups and whoever else gets a fancy to will sue.  It will take a while but these suits will eventually go through the courts and hopefully will win.  The sad thing is – in the long run it is tax payers who are going to pay – look at Milwaukee County.  Some of these things can’t be undone.  Some of these things will permanently change how Wisconsin is and not for the better. 

Thank you…

Thank you to the Democrats who left the state to stand up for our rights.  Thank you to all the people who have come out to support this cause.  Thank you to those who have spent countless hours organizing and working on getting people to the capitol and keeping it peaceful.  Thank you to anyone who has gone to the capitol to lend their voice to the protest. 

Thank you to those who are for the bill and willing to listen and debate the issues.  I’ve learned a lot about the issue and beliefs of people by listening to their point of view.  I’ve enjoyed the open debate and discussion.  That is what our politicians are supposed to be doing – listening to all.

On the other side of this gratitude is sadness at the behavior and representation of the Republicans who aren’t listening, have closed their doors to the public, who shut down the debate in the Assembly, who will not negotiate.  I hear them spewing on tv that the Democrats are not letting democracy work but they are the ones who are not listening to the people or even their own assemblymen.  How is that democratic? 

Naughty Children

I heard on the radio how the Republicans have an agenda now that they are in control of the house.  I think that’s great.  I was hoping to hear how they were going to balance the budget, stimulate the economy, help the poor, and educate our children. No.  The Republicans think they should act like two year olds and stomp their feet till they get their way.  Instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting to work – attempting to work with the President and Senate – they are going to keep their ball gripped tightly in their hands and hold their breath until someone gives them their way. 
Here’s the thing, while they are acting like uncooperative and spoiled children, the everyday people are running out of unemployment, losing their insurance (which was too expensive), losing their homes, paying too much for gas, and going from bad to worse.  What are they going to do about that? 
I’d like to tell our political parties to get their heads out of their asses and do the job they were hired to do.  Run our country and ensure that everyone in the country has a voice.  Everyone doesn’t just include those who pay for your political ads.  It is the child who wakes in the morning to no food or heat in the house.  It is the gay couple who has been together for 20 plus years and isn’t allowed to get married because of the Christian right wing.  It is the two income family who is struggling to make ends meet because their adult kids can’t find work, gas is over $3 a gallon, and there is no public transportation.  It is EVERY individual regardless of color, creed, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or anything other ridiculous classification society has tossed out there. 
Regardless of level of government, all elected members need to work together, compromise and find solutions to the problems we are facing.  Otherwise when the next election rolls around the same thing is going to happen.  If life doesn’t get better for people, they are going to vote out those in office and look for someone new. 
Instead of tooting their own horns and saying we are going to fix this.  Someone needs to step up and actually do it.  I respect President Obama and feel he is trying to get the changes in place that this country needs.  However, when he has to deal with contention instead of cooperation, he can’t make progress.  This means, we can’t make progress.  Where is the cooperation monster from Sesame Street?  Perhaps if this critter showed up in the House and Senate, the representatives might get an idea of how they are supposed to work.
Someone wise once said be the change you want to see in the world.  I see Obama trying to be the change he wants to see in the world.  I see the political opponents saying oh you aren’t part of our group so we can’t play nice with you.  That is ridiculous and the people who get hurt are the everyday people who have to deal with the lack of progress on the issues that matter.
Another famous quote comes to mind – if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.  I wish our political parties would stop being the problem and start being the solution.