By John Hnatio
If it’s not CNN, it’s the Washington Post bashing Donald Trump. If it’s not Fox New News, then it’s the Washington Examiner bashing Hillary Clinton. Nowhere can you find a balanced news story that simply relates the facts as they are without getting an uneducated and too frequently emotional response from people that skews reality.
Take for example our recent post on the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. As the result of some of the bombastic responses we received on our piece regarding FBI Director Comey’s decision to give Mrs. Clinton a pass on prosecution we followed the suggestion by one of our commenters and tried to use wit in lieu of opinionated criticism in responding to the various comments.
I took each and every comment and found a famous quote by somebody else—not me! I chose quotes that came down on both polarized sides of election politics. I turned to the wise words of others to try and educate some of our commenters as to independently reported facts by others. I made it clear, as Clint Eastwood puts it, we are all the best. It does not matter whether you are a democrat, republican or libertarian. We are all in this together as Americans.
What we ended up with, however, was a mixed bag of many emotional responses that lashed out at others with opinionated statements and positions that, in many cases, were not based on supporting facts. There were few questions about the facts. But there were many conclusions with few, if any, explanations of the facts used to support them.
Now that we have a good cross section of participation at our site, with your help we want to raise the bar one notch. We want to ask everyone that if you say something critical please try to defend your statements with facts from an independent source. In this way, whether you are democrat, republican or libertarian we will all be able to respond on what we believe to be the true facts. If the facts are wrong say so and point us all in the direction of the right ones. In so doing, we can educate one another regardless of our own personal political views.
In all of my pieces, I add footnotes as to where my facts come from for a reason. In this way you can set me straight on the incorrect nature of my sources and point to better ones. Not all sources of information present you with the correct facts. It should be the correctness of our facts that we talk about first and then base our opinions on them, not the other way around.
In memory of people like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite I say the best decisions are made by weighing all of the inputs objectively and based on the facts. People are fee to form their own opinions but, hopefully, their opinions will be based on an objective consideration of the facts.
Oh by the way, a little research will show we are not owned by Mr. Trump or anyone else. A little more research will show that we are purely a public service that operates only on contributions from people just like you. A little more research will show how hard we try to remain balanced. In our editorials, when we criticize Hillary Clinton we are as equally prone to criticize Donald Trump. But whoever we criticize, we try to do it in a constructive way based on a transparent indication of our sources whether they may be on the left, in the middle or the right. You might say that we are all service political persuasion provider.
I leave everyone with this powerful thought by Thomas Sowell the famous author,
”If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.”[i]
[i] Elon University (June 27, 2013). Is Your News Fact or Fiction? The Impact of Media Bias. As retrieved from the World Wide Web on July 18, 2016, at: http://blogs.elon.edu/soc376ol/?p=2429