This is just a brief shout out to my friend Sean Murphy, who — like “Budman” — cartoon image of Budweiser from years ago (d0n’t ask) — is a “dauntless defender of quality”. The past few days, I have posted memes on Facebook that he has said aren’t factually accurate or “clearly not true”. For a while now, he has been trying to debunk this story or that — on the grounds that they are not true. We have talked somewhat recently and it appears that he does this not to make a political point (though he, like everyone else, has political opinions), but to press for truth.
It has been said that “the first fatality in a democracy is truth”. I remember years ago — under Reagan — how the press was enthralled by “Spin Doctors” who would say “he meant this” when he said “that”. This was in the days when “sound bites” were being introduced.My friend Cathi and her then husband were furious because they would listen to a whole speech on NPR only to have a sound bite taken out of context by the rest of the media. Now, we fight about the implications of a sound bite, regardless of it’s context and that becomes the issue.
Journalism is not what it used to be, and we don’t seem to care, so we need to fix it.I will say that I share biased opinion memes but be aware that I would never intentionally share a an untrue “fact”. I will continue to write/share opinion pieces, but I hope others will join me in not sharing lies. It’s not much, but we’ve got to start somewhere, if only to let Sean get back to work…. (just kidding), if only to start restoring reality to our public debate. Call me on it if I get it wrong.