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Maybe we are as shallow as the media think we are

Out on a LimbRoss L. TalbottGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Some years back I read of an East Coast journalist/ columnist who felt that the world was going to hell in a handbasket. He took several weeks off and toured around the heart of our great nation. That is the area we live in, and which is referred to by the people on both coasts as “the great flyover.” Well, that journalist’s attitude changed dramatically when he found the flyover was full of good people doing good things and living lives of responsibility, people who loved their country and honored their creator.As life gets more complex and situations change rapidly, we tend to pull the covers over our heads. We are inundated by television media. Television reporters are like huge buzzards or carrion crows that swarm to every tragedy or disaster and blow it out of proportion. A steady diet of the media and you become like that journalist who felt we were drowning in social sewage.Did you get as sick of Anna Nicole Smith as I did? Here is a cheap, promiscuous, self-centered, egotistical trollop who had so many “relationships” she didn’t even know who fathered her kids. She dies as a result of her lifestyle and we are supposed to find that exciting and inspiring.Day after day, the media wallowed in that pigpen, and it apparently trumped every other happening in our nation and the world.

It scares me to realize that the drive-by media has come to believe that the viewer audience is really that shallow. What frightens me most is the thought that the media may be right.Are we just a band of sheep, and CNN is our shepherd? Have we lost the ability to do rational thinking because our input is so lopsided? Even the political cartoons are designed to stimulate and reinforce preconceived attitudes, and are not dealing with either fact or truth.I love the line from Ogden Nash, “The door of the bigoted mind opens only outward so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.” The problem however, is that partial facts or incomplete knowledge can have the same distorted affect as an outright lie. For instance, the number of children younger than 5 killed by gunshots seems to condemn guns, until you find that there are more children drowned in five-gallon buckets.Or, how about more people die of gunshots in Washington, D.C., during a given time than in Baghdad? I think we need to pull out of D.C. and build a fence around it.

Why are we so obsessed with every incident in Israel, when the whole country is about the size of Garfield County? Isn’t anything of importance going on in the rest of the world? The complexity of the national and international political, social and trade picture defies understanding, and yet there are many who believe they have the whole understanding. If only the president could be as wise. Maybe he doesn’t watch enough TV. Who needs cabinet advisors when you’ve got Larry King and Geraldo?The first logical response to all this is to realize we may not have enough information to become so opinionated. If we examine the roots of our biases, we may discover that they are slanted. Honest history is hard to come by, but it has great insight into human behavior.Finally, and most important, we must never cease to search for foundational truth. Many people deny that absolute truth exists except for that one truth. Go figure.



The stakes, however, are incredibly high both in terms of our corporate existence and our personal future.If political cartoons are your source of information, goodbye and good luck.Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.


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