The Whole Story…

If we are to be informed voters, then we need to understand the whole story. We need to read and seek out opposing opinions, not just from those with whom we already agree. This is a bit difficult because journalism and journalists, in the aggregate, have given themselves over to political or social position promotion rather than truth telling. Nothing really new, I suspect, but in the waxing and waning of ethical behavior there are times when the reality of the wrongness is more prevalent and common.
Like the Religious Right political machine and their leaders push their agendas regardless of whether their means are ethical/moral because the end justifies all means, journalism and too many journalists are intent on pushing political and social positions/policies/theories rather than the objective reporting of news/people/events – or objective investigative journalism for the common good. Not all of them, of course, just like not all American-Evangelicals are in the thralls of the politicized, New-Conservative, Religious Right.
So, here is an opinion piece written by Orson Scott Card (or click here). For those who may not know of him, he is a writer and columnist. I first “met” him through his science fiction series begun with “Ender’s Game.” I’ve been told from a couple different sources that this book series is actually studied at the U.S. military’s War College. He has also written a number of essays (or some such thing) pertaining to culture, empire, and various other national, cultural, and geo-political topics.
Here, he chastises journalists for their lack of truth-telling. He is a Democrat, according to the personal description at the beginning of the opinion piece. He is also a Mormon. I suspect not many Mormon’s are Democrats, but I could be wrong. Anyway, for the sake of the whole story, this is an interesting piece to read….
Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
By Orson Scott Card
Editor’s note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.
An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:
I remember reading All the President’s Men and thinking: That’s journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.
This housing crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.
It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.
What is a risky loan? It’s a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.
The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can’t repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can’t make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.
They end up worse off than before.

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Value Voters…

Well, the election is just days away. I can’t believe it is approaching so quickly, but here in New York (at least in the City) there have been almost no campaign commercials. It doesn’t seem like an election at all, aside from the debates.
Here is the latest promotional/motivational video put out by the Religious Right organization ValuesVotersUSA to “get out the vote.” This tactic in the end will only come to one kind of action.

I find it strange and off putting when the image behind the statement “Judeo-Christian Values” presents a bunch of men on one knee, not genuflecting, but aiming a rifle. “Judeo-Christian values” begins with guns. Now, I know that the point is that Americans have been defending the Constitution and their rights all along and now is such a time (it is an attempt to honor those who defended OUR rights in the past and imply that this is such a time, again), but the implication of that image is not there/implied by mistake. Is it a nudging or a planting of the idea in values voters’ minds that they may need to pick up arms again if Obama wins?
The other thing that strikes me has to do with why these kinds of organizations and the people who have their psyches formed by these groups honestly believe that straight people’s marriages will be doomed, or the whole institution of marriage destroyed, if same-sex couples are allowed to marry? It makes no sense. “Saving Marriage” has much more to do with straight people and THEIR attitude concerning their own marriages and the institution than anything the prospect of same-sex marriage can do. It is fear baiting. It is ridiculous, and the leaders of these groups know it. Fear mongering brings in money and fearful people remain devoted to “the cause” (read Neo-Conservativism and Christian fundamentalism) and the maintenance of the leaders’ own power.