October 4, 2008 by

Now that I’ve Calmed Down a Bit from My Last Post…


Categories: Meanderings (look it up), Rantings, whine-and-opine

…I’ll turn the comments back on. (But mind your manners.) πŸ™‚

As you can tell from my last post…I have a bit of a temper. It’s a lot more controlled than it used to be.

One of the defining character traits of my son The Director is his passionate distaste for injustice. Anytime he sees someone unfairly dealing with another, or bullying, or oppressing, or slander, or anything like that–he is fit to be tied. He gets as angry as he would if it were happening to him. He’s seen enough injustice dealt to his parents in ministry–seen leadership wrongfully treat us, seen people we loved and cared for turn around and abuse us, accuse us and slander us, while we remained silent, unable to defend ourselves without making things worse. And he’s experienced some of that injustice himself. He simply has no stomach for it.

I look at him, and I read my rant from earlier today, and I see where he gets it. I can remember being the same way in the days of my youthful passion. And I guess that’s what came out earlier today.

You see, this is not really about wanting my chosen presidential candidate to win. One thing my journey the past couple of years, and interacting on this blog, have shown me is that there are other ways of looking at the world than just through the eyes of a Red-State American Christian. I know that there are some good people out there who feel just as strongly about Obama as I do about McCain, and who feel McCain would be as dangerous a choice for America as I feel Obama would be. And I recognize that none of us sees the big picture–only God does. We just fumble around here and try to do the best we can with the limited perspective we have, hopefully asking God for wisdom along the way. And as my friend Sarah emphasizes so often on her blog, we believers ultimately are citizens of a kingdom much greater than any earthly institution, whether church or state, and ultimately our allegiance must be with that greater kingdom. I get all that.

So this isn’t me being a whiny-butt because my candidate is behind in the polls–I know God will take care of us no matter who is elected. What is boiling my blood is the injustice that my candidate has to stand against two opponents at once: the Democratic candidate and the major media outlets that are spinning truth and covering up truth to see the Democrat get elected. It’s unjust when Gov. Palin, during the debate, feels compelled to make reference to the “media filter”, being glad that for a moment she can talk directly to the American people without interference. It’s unjust when the mainstream media manipulate their polling data to influence opinion rather than reflect it.

Look, I’m all for people giving their editorial opinions. Freedom of speech is one of the great values of this nation. But journalism is supposed to be neutral. The press is supposed to report news, not create it. The press is supposed to be the source of information that can be trusted because it is not tainted, so people can make honest informed decisions about these things. So it’s a betrayal of the people’s trust when journalism turns yellow. It’s injustice.

I know this crap has been happening for a long time. Today I just got really pissed about it.

I really feel that if Obama is so great, and would make such a great president, he ought to get there on his own merits; he doesn’t need the press to help elect him. If he can’t get there without the press as allies, he isn’t as great as he’s made out to be. And that goes for McCain, for that matter. In fact–if McCain does get elected, it will be all the more proof of his outstanding merit, because he will do it despite what the media is trying to do to block him.

That’s what I think, anyway. πŸ™‚

Thank you…I feel better now. Good night. On to other subjects tomorrow.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

8 Responses to Now that I’ve Calmed Down a Bit from My Last Post…

  1. Sarah

    I appreciate hearing your thoughts on these issues, and thanks for the link.

    It’s true that as humans, we all have bias, and yet ideally, the professional field of journalism would show some restraint, some neutrality. That doesn’t seem to be the case. You’re absolutely right about that – it’s a big problem here in the US.

    I think that in regards to Palin, the media is astonished and upset by the lack of access. This frustration includes right-leaning journalists as well (like Andrew Sullivan). To be fair, there are Republicans who don’t believe Palin was a solid choice due to her lack of national experience, lack of interest in foreign policy (not to mention lack of knowledge – if you are running for governor of Alaska, then you probably don’t need to know what the Bush Doctrine is. But VP is a different matter). I don’t think Gibson expected her not to know. I don’t think he was trying to trap her – I think he was seeing what she thought of Bush’s foreign policies and if her policy would agree or not.

    Palin strikes me as an intelligent, very articulate and well-intentioned woman. In her defense, I think she can handle probably handle it. (By ‘it’ I mean the fierceness of American politics. I could never do it!) She signed up for this – and this is what happens in campaigns (unfortunately). I agreed with Palin when she said that Hillary didn’t benefit herself by complaining about harsh treatment from the media.

    Ultimately, I respect your desire to protect those under fire! That’s an admirable quality. Although our policy preferrences differ, I still like you and your family. πŸ™‚ It will be interesting to see who wins this election… there’s still a month to go!

  2. Jeff McQ

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I don’t know about the right-leaning journalists, but I have an alternative view of why the media is “astonished and upset”. This is a generalization and will not apply to *every* journalist–but the media as a whole, I believe, see themselves mistakenly as the self-appointed watchdogs and guardians of America. There is an elitism and a collective ego there of monumental proportions, and so the press takes it personally when someone refuses to speak to them–because they feel it’s their right, not only to take down their words, but to spin them as they choose.

    My guess is that the biggest lack of experience Palin actually has is the lack of experience with the media sharks. The campaign has kept her away from the press probably because she was not yet ready to face them. One commentor on Fox had a good take on this–he actually blamed Palin’s *handlers* for not preparing her for the likes of Gibson and Couric. That made a lot of sense to me. Interviews with these guys are a shrewd mind-game; you don’t just go in and have a friendly conversation. You need to know what you’re doing, and what *they* are up to.

    That said, Palin has promised to talk to the media more. She probably now has enough “experience” to know what she’s up against. πŸ™‚

  3. Barb

    Hearing your last two articles is like sitting on the sofa next to my Husband. You guys would love each other!!

    The thing the bothers him is also the unfairness of the whole thing. When you can “you tube” specific words from someone that clearly shows they are lying now it drives him crazy. If there were fair and balanced reporting they would be doing this for both canidates and others on either side of the isle.

    He hates unfairness so much that I almost think it is a spiritual gift πŸ™‚ Where I EXPECT the world to be unfair he gets riled each time he sees it.

    I admire your ability to be candid about this issue. There is a distinct difference in leaning right as opposed to left. It is almost ok to be an Obama supporter – from both sides – but to put a McCain poster in your lawn seems to mean to the world that you hate everyone.

  4. Kansas Bob

    Not sure what the issue is with the Palin interviews.. she is running for the 2nd highest spot.. she needs to be able to handle herself with reporters.. comes with the territory.

    All that said I think that the campaign will now focus on the main candidates.

    McCain has no one to blame but himself for his recent standings in the polls.. he said and did a few bizarre things during the last few weeks.. saying the fundamentals of the economy was sound then saying he really meant that American workers are sound (guess he had not read the unemployment stats).. mouthed off saying the SEC chairman needed to be fired.. grandstanded by suspending his campaign (even though his folks still appeared on TV with the pundits).. put the debate on hold saying he was needed to help in DC.. then flew to MS and debated anyway.

    He paints himself as a maverick but went along with the crowd (as did Obama) and voted for the bailout.

    I am not saying that Obama is any better.. he just came across as a bit cooler under pressure than McCain did.

    I don’t like either one of these guys. I may vote libertarian?

  5. Sarah

    Hi Barb, I know how you feel! (Just on the opposite end of the spectrum). Where I live, McCain signs outnumber Obama signs by about 8 to 1.

  6. Amy

    I loved your post yesterday. It was excellent. Quite honestly, I agreed with everyone in it. I actually earned my B.A. (I have a Masters in a different field) in Broadcast Journalism. Through my experience, I saw exactly that which you did. Exactly. Thus, why I did not pursue the field after receiving my B.A. In a nutshell, it’s not unbiased, and in fact, is incredibly biased and destructive in multiple ways.

    Secondly, I agree with your personal choices of president. I’m for McCain as well, so I appreciated your honesty and openness. There was multiple things within your blog that I simply continued to say “Amen” to.

    ~Amy πŸ™‚

  7. Jeff McQ

    Barb, I think it is that very thing–the unbalance even in public opinion bias–that is like nails on a chalkboard to me. It is the media spin–not just at election time, but *constantly*–that creates this undercurrent in many places where people who lean right are assumed to be bigots, but to lean left is acceptable to both sides. I feel this, even living in a strong red state.

    No real argument here about McCain’s stuff the past couple of weeks, although even the press has been saying the main reason he’s dropped in the polls is the economic crisis. It’s conventional wisdom that Democrats get a bounce when the economy is bad–something else I don’t understand about “conventional wisdom”, and possibly another assumption perpetuated by the press itself.

    As for Palin…it’s true enough she needs to be able to handle herself among the sharks, but that statement accepts the foregone conclusion that the press is going to behave this way. My rant occured because I’m just not in the mood right now to *accept* the foregone conclusion. πŸ™‚ Palin does need to know how to handle the press out of necessity, but that doesn’t excuse the press for being a bunch of sharks in the first place.

    A good perspective from someone who has studied the field. Thanks for the input.

  8. Jeff McQ

    Sarah–it’s also interesting that you see the opposite dynamic from Barb in your town, especially considering how blue the rest of your state is. That’s an intriguing contrast.

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