Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday's Words for March 6, 2013

There was a time, when, “if you read it in the (New York) Sun” or if you heard it from the mouths of Huntley, Brinkley or Cronkite, then it was so. There was a time when you could count on the integrity of the reporters and the veracity of the news they were reporting.

Sadly, that time is not now.

The Internet is full of blogs, which anyone can create. You don’t need a degree in journalism. Integrity and veracity are not requirements. You don’t have to prove you are not an idiot. All you really need is that undocumented, very biased opinion, a computer, and an Internet connection.

I do believe that everyone ought to be able to express their opinion. However, that does not mean that their opinions should in any event, be taken as Gospel. And while expressing one’s opinion is a government-bestowed right through the first ammendment, you have to be careful not to overstep a God-given commandment when you do so.

What people should not be allowed to do, is lie.

Of course they do lie, and they have always lied and were it not so, there would be no need for those wise old chestnuts like, “caveat emptor” – let the buyer beware. I just wish we would all take that principle to heart and take as much care about “buying” someone’s words as truthful as we do buying a dishwasher—or a computer.

There were several instances in the last year when blog opinions, or outright lies were repeated as factual stories. They were repeated as such on national news networks as part of their election cycle coverage, until finally there were hundreds if not thousands of people swearing the stories reported were true.

Who do we blame for this profanity [for surely that’s what it is]? The opinionated or biased ones who vent their opinions and tell their lies? The media, who repeat these opinions and lies as if they are fact? Or the end user, the reader, the viewer or listener who seems in this day and age strangely willing to believe, well, pig swill?

Why do we lately seem so willing to believe the words we find on the Internet, or inn the news without benefit of thought? They say that “trust” is at an all time low. You’ve heard others say, “you can’t trust anyone anymore”, parents warn their children, “you can’t trust strangers!”But apparently there is no distrust when it comes to outrageous opinions, lies and inflammatory stories written or reported on line.

It bothers me that a piece written on a blog as either opinion, or as an obvious attempt at sarcasm can be repeated by a television news station as “fact” without that station even bothering to verify the piece. It bothers me when people are willing to believe the most ludicrous things, because it suits their need to vent, or to hate, or to smear.

It bothers me that many of those same people proclaim in loud and boasting voices that they believe in God, and then act in decidedly ungodly ways.

I don’t like liars or cheaters, but somehow, in today’s world, it seems the liars and the cheaters are the only ones thriving, the only ones getting ahead, and the only ones being believed.

Yes, I do believe that the truly righteous will receive their reward in Heaven. But I also know that they should be receiving a bit more of the goodies here on earth, too.

And they probably would be—if there weren’t an overabundance of liars, cheaters and idiots gobbling them all up.


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