Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Playing Leapfrog

This past week’s angst over the despicable edit job done on Shirley Sherrod’s March speech to an NAACP audience should all serve us well. They are calling it a “teachable moment” and I as an educator fall right in line on that.

It is a teachable moment, and an event that should give us pause to reflect on what the media has become and how it has evolved, or in this case devolved.

The old farts in the media are surely gloating in their righteousness over how they see how the media has changed. One reporter this morning said that when he was a journalism student he was told that when he was told that his mother loved him, that he should run a fact check on that. And that is the way journalism was, and that is not the way it is now.

Because as, anyone with an internet browser knows, all you had to do was to Google Shirley Sherrod’s name and you would have come up with a whole host of questions that challenged the veracity of the video clip that was being played over and over again at conservative “news” outlets.

And a little further digging and you would have seen the truth. But knees jerk and jerks knee others unfairly in uncomfortable areas.

Blogging, you might say, or if you are kind, “citizen journalism” has been the biggest new thing to affect information exchange in this new century. Any political blog, and this is one of them, has succumbed to the taking up of a news event to further their political agendas. I hope to have the right to say that I do fact-checking from time to time, and when a fact doesn’t hold water, or when I find I am too close to what is in the news, I have self-censored this blog.

There are some very evil people out there with some very distasteful agendas. Let this latest “snookering” be a lesson for all of us, from the White House to the apartment house, not to let things that conveniently support a radical agenda, either left- or rightwing, bend our judgment.

Let’s leave jumping to conclusions to amphibians and others of their ilk.

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