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My Disclosures And Where I’m Coming From

by John on 03/26/2012

You have probably noticed. I am big on disclosure. Let know where you stand. Tell me if you’re motivated by money or other factors when you’re communicating with me.

For example, I know where Fox News Channel and MSNBC are coming from. I also know the motive behind the smile of that car salesman. I get it – and that’s OK – as long as I know.

But on the internet – in blogs and emails — I might not know. Most journalists have built-in filters. We even question people who give us big scoops: why do you want me to run this story? We’ll talk more about creating filters – for you — in later posts.

But for courtesy’s sake, I propose we all spill the beans. Let’s not waste anyone’s time. Let me know: why you think the way you do; what is motivating your thinking; are you making money off this. Again, that’s OK – as long as we know.

So what about me? Sure, you know me as a TV host and news anchor. But I tend to hide behind a TV façade. Sure, you might pick up some hints in the posts here. But for the most part, I have been a fairly closed book.

So, here goes – sort of.

I could give you a whole run-down of what I think of Republicans and Democrats (both drink from the same troughs) or liberals and conservatives (as labels they fit very few of us since we’re more complex beings) or my thoughts on media bias (they’re all bias, like all individuals, get over it!) But that’s boring.

So instead, I boiled it down to a few things – thanks to some of you.

First, I hate anger in political discourse. In fact, anger is usually a façade. That’s why I am no fan of the cable and radio talkers. They are all enraged. Some of the rage is stupidity; the other part is entertainment. Trust me, talking common sense on airwaves does not lead to ratings entertainment.

Take Rush Limbaugh’s tirade about Sandra Fluke. Yes, what he said was horrible and untrue. But what, I think, hit most Rush detractors was his tone. He was belligerent and abusive. But his vitriol was being used to try to persuade you and me that to even listen to Sandra Fluke meant we are idiots. Sorry, but when an enraged person tells me I am an idiot, I am wary.

But I think Rush supporters have every right to call out Bill Maher for similar comments he made about Sarah Palin.

And I agree with Bill Maher: when someone says they’re sorry, we should accept it. Rush apologized, let’s move on.

However, I agree with women’s groups – and others – that boycott advertisers that support Rush or any other group that offends. It’s a free country. You can say what you want; but people have the freedom to react to what you say.

To come full circle: if you’re postings are angry, I tend to dismiss you.

Another John Daly – no not the golfer – who has kindly friended me on Facebook, posted this quote from American writer Charles Bukowski. It says what I might be struggling to say here:

The problem with the world is that intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.

That ties nicely to my second point. I think the majority of the people in the world are either stupid, uninformed, or deliberately misinformed.

It’s jaded, yes. But it’s my bias. And it’s the reason for this site. So many uninformed people have to led to our problems – especially with the economy.

I also understand that too many people have difficulty becoming informed.  The reasons are many; they’re too busy raising kids or caring for an elderly parent; the special interests in our country make things complicated to keep people uninformed, look at the inexhaustable amount of pages you get from your credit card company, if you don’t believe me.  This site can hopefully help those folks who are having trouble getting informed.

So, I tend to gravitate to people who confirm what they believe and know with facts. Everyone has opinions. (You know, they’re like …holes.) But it’s the person who can back things up — that proves to others – and themselves – if they really know what they’re talking about.

Too many Americans don’t or can’t.  The result: we are really not a free country. I think we are confined by our ignorance. Do we really think we have free elections? I am not saying they’re rigged – directly. But think about it. You are going to vote for a candidate chosen by a political party, funded by big money special interests. We’re not that far from Russia, when you look at it that way.

Third, the problems in American society can be boiled down to one phrase: the individual versus the group; or a person’s rights versus the common good; or freedom versus order. I see it everywhere: political campaigns; the economy; and baseball.

If you understand that conflict, you can understand and empathize with a lot of people with different points of view.

Where do I normally fall? Usually it’s on the side of the individual and freedom. My experience shows that big organizations – political parties and corporations – lead to a myopic or greedy way of thinking.

The turmoil we face now is simple. It’s new technology, new ways of thinking for this world with developing countries and a graying population that are being stifled by the status quo and the powerful that are trying to hold on to the past, wealth, and power.

Oh yeah. Fourth, I’m a Red Sox fan.

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