Jewish World Review Oct. 31, 2003 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764
The Big Picturehttp://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The whole thing is being mismanaged and we need a change in leadership.
What are you talking about?
There are killings two or three times a week there. Our government is in over its head. Their policies are all wrong.
But there are a lot of good things going on there, too. The roads and bridges are being rebuilt. The schools are improving. Entrepreneurs are blossoming. Many people are enjoying an improved quality of life.
Improved quality of life! I have friends there. They say that some areas are so dangerous, they're afraid to walk down the street or go out at night.
But we must keep perspective. It's true bad things happen there every week. The loss of even one life is sad and painful, especially for the family members of a loved one who is killed. But millions of others there are facing a brighter future.
Brighter future! How can you say that when so much negative news is reported there every single day.
Because the news people are trained to report what is wrong, not what is right. If millions of people are safe and sound every day, but one person gets killed, which story do you think will make the evening news?
Ah, I see, so it's the media that is at fault?
Look, the killings are certainly a part of the story, but not the whole story. What's going wrong is part of a larger story that involves a lot of things that are going right. But the public isn't getting this broader story.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
Look, do you remember the summer before last when the media reported shark attacks daily? Well, the public was in a panic about sharks. Some vacationers decided to avoid the beaches and beach business suffered considerably.
Well, after the summer was over someone did an analysis of shark attacks that year. Guess what: There were FEWER shark attacks that summer than on average. You see how the media can cloud our perspective?
It is you who is trying to cloud our perspective. The fact is lots and lots of politicians are publicly questioning the decisions that are being made there. You're telling me all those politicians are wrong?
Hey, an election year is coming up. The art of politics is to sway the public toward your position, though some politicians aren't very artful. They'll say or do anything to win the public's attention, even if they know they aren't telling the whole truth - even if they know that the discord and confusion they breed will only embolden the killers to kill all the more.
Oh, please. You pretend to have all the answers so you why don't you tell me what is best.
All I'm saying is that for the public to make sound decisions - remember, we vote for people who run our government and we have the ability to influence the way they govern - we need to be well informed. We need to have a truthful and accurate understanding of the big picture in order to have sound judgment.
The big picture?
Yes, we need our media to work harder to report all the facts. The killings are so unfortunate and I in no way suggest we overlook them - things are NOT going as well as we want there - but we need to know more about EVERYTHING that is going on there. We need improved perspective that is based on the truth. And we need to work harder as citizens to understand what the truth really is.
You want the truth, I'll give you the truth. The truth is more than 100 Americans have been killed since the war in Iraq ended, and it's Bush's fault!
Iraq? I thought we were talking about Washington, D.C. and the more than 400 murders that have taken place there so far this year.
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10/24/03: A sorry bunch