Politics

Draw Your Own Conclusions

"We still don't know the truth about the extent of that relationship. And so we're calling around the country, we're letting people know about their relationship and letting people draw their own conclusions." Alex Conant, Republican National Committee, on the subject of Robocalls regarding Bill Ayers and Barack Obama, this afternoon on MSNBC.

What are they waiting for? If there were any kind of "proof" of a deeper friendship, or a business partnership, or a bomb-making weekend, wouldn't we be subjected to it? I hate the idea that we can give out half-truths or suggestive tidbits with the idea that people will "draw their own conclusions."

Last night a congresswoman from Minnesota appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews (also on MSNBC) and suggested the media begin an investigation of the anti-American members of Congress!! Pressed to name one such person, she hedged.

"What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose
and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would
take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out
if they are pro-America or anti-America," she said.

Seriously? I was watching this last night and COULD NOT BELIEVE what I was hearing. It makes me sad, because I verged on hopefulness this week, despite the economic crisis, stood carefully at the edge of a trend in a particular direction. Then I heard the congresswoman and the Robocalls being played on TV, over and over again. I heard a radio host accuse Obama of creating a flag with his initial, when really Obama happened to be in Ohio standing in front of the O-hio state flag.

Our freedom comes with inherent responsibilities. We have all sorts of input from all kinds of sources, some credible, others "in." I resent the point of view that it's okay to hint and allege rather than supplying actual information; we spin rather than educating. I've heard journalists say, we need to supply both points of view and let people, wait for it, draw their own conclusions. Well, really. Aren't some things actually true or false? If they are, won't you simply say so?

I want more than a Robocall or a set of unsupported allegations. I want more.

10 thoughts on “Draw Your Own Conclusions”

  1. Robocalls are just another form of the dangerously misleading forwarded e-mails going around. This year I made it my policy to check each politically-charged e-mail I received at snopes.com to see what, if any veracity there was to each (always inflammatory) message.
    Oddly enough, this year I only had two such e-mails. One was from my right-leaning uncle. Snopes said the anti-Obama “news” in that e-mail was false. So I clicked “reply all” and simply said I’d checked it out at snopes, and they might like to do the same.
    When a cousin sent an anti-Obama joke e-mail, I just said that we’d have to agree to disagree on politics. She replied, “Oh, I guess you’re a Republican.” Seriously. An Iowa voter at that. It’s amazing how stupid even smart people can be.

  2. This is insane. Even my Georgetown educated spouse, who thinks GWB will go down in history as the greatest president ever (seriously), buys this stuff. Has nothing to do with education or smarts (he has tons of both), it is what one wants one’s reality to be.
    BTW, when I asked a friend of twenty years to not send me anti Obama emails, she told me we could no longer be friends and that she was sad I didn’t have an open mind.
    Oy vey.

  3. Investigate members of Congress to see if they’re anti-American? Holy cow, McCarthyism all over again. Truly frightening.
    I hate how innuendo passes for news these days.
    Is it a vestige of post modernism that we need to “present both views and decide which is better” instead of insisting on facts? Like you, I think sometimes things are right or wrong, true or false.

  4. Did you see the follow-up to the congresswoman’s remarks? Her Democratic opponent had received $450,000 w/in 24 hours of her appearance.
    It still isn’t clear how the race will turn out, but I’m hopeful. And amused, too.

  5. as i recall, mother theresa had a bad habit of hanging around with all kinds of disreputable people. [sorry about the pun.]
    the scary stuff is definitely coming out of the woodwork.

  6. Yeah–on behalf of my fellow Minnesotans, I apologize. Bachmann is certifiable. I opposed her election, and have great hope that Tinklenberg will take her seat this time around. Hoo boy.

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