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FIVE SCENARIOS FOR A SKEPTICAL NEWS VIEWER

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Headlined to H2 12/8/09

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FIVE SCENARIOS FOR A SKEPTICAL NEWS VIEWER

The first scenario:

Your next door neighbor shoots your dog. Everybody knows he did it. Your son is devastated, feeling intense grief and anger. You tell him you'll make sure justice is done. Then this miscreant moves to another neighborhood. Do you tell your son he should forget about this horrible event because the man is gone? Would you expect your son to accept the killer of his dog not suffering deserved punishment and just 'move forward' with his life?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Isn't there a man in Crawford, Texas who, by lying to the American people, caused the death of thousands of our soldiers and more than a hundred thousand Iraqis? The loved ones of these victims deserve justice. A simple "life goes on' message from our news media is extremely insulting. How will history record the total absence of accountability by George W. Bush and his administration?

As it looks now, the 'mainstream' news outlets will be seen as being irresponsible, pursuing rating and circulation numbers instead of operating for the good of the country.

The second scenario:

Your car needs repair. It runs, but it has problems that need to be addressed. The mechanic you take it to really screws it up. The car is now just a three-ton stationary object. While a second mechanic is working on it, fixing what the first mechanic broke, the first mechanic comes by to criticize his work. Do you allow this incompetent a voice in how to fix the vehicle? Would his perceptions and opinions have any validity?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Didn't we have an election last November in which the policies the Republican party pursued for eight years were judged by the American voters as counterproductive and incompetently executed? But, whenever our President attempts to exercise the mandate he was given, a huge amount of network news time is provided to Republican naysayers, criticizing the Obama administration's actions. Almost none of these interviews are framed in the context that their viewpoints have been repudiated by recent events (e.g. the financial collapse last year, the failure to bring Osama Bid Laden to justice). If today's network news people showed the courage and tenacity displayed by the late Tim Russert, Republican obstructionists' motives would be more clearly perceived by the American people.

The third scenario:

You're on a luxury cruise, in the middle of the ocean. You and other passengers have heard rumors, outrageous rumors, such as the captain plans to scuttle the ship, the crew wants to throw everyone

overboard, and other nonsense. You're stunned to see that many passengers believe this insanity and are reacting to it by sabotaging the ship. How would you respond to this emergency? Would you try to discredit the rumormongers, or just jump in a lifeboat?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Most Americans get national news from television, primarily from the three major networks. But,

a large percentage, are exposed to and persuaded by the malignant assault of misinformation by, among others, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Many of those receptive to this extreme right-wing propaganda put pressure on their senators and congressmen to block needed reforms, such as on the healthcare industry. When network newscasts spotlight the opposition to the administration's programs, they rarely show the intellectual courage (and, yes...patriotism!) to illuminate the entire picture for the American people.

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RETIRED TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNICIAN.
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