Posts tagged ‘objectivity’

August 31, 2013

My Objective Is Not To Be Objective

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Damn it,  I’m not a news reporter!

Three teenagers were killed this morning when the car in which they were riding went out of control and struck a bridge abutment.  Mourners at the scene told reporters that they were “good kids.”

Or…

Three teenagers, with nothing better to do at 2 a.m. and with their parents failing in their parental duties, and while fueled by alcohol and weed, were killed while acting recklessly and irresponsibly as they sped through city streets at a high rate of speed, ending only when a bridge abutment jumped right out in front of them.  Mourners at the scene, calling them “good kids” and having emptied the local Dollar Store of candles which they placed at the scene, creating a shrine to stupidity and ignorance – the bigger tragedy – ignored the fact that the driver had a suspended license for past vehicular malfeasance, and 2 of the dumb little bastards had just been released from juvenile detention for drug violations.

The first piece is normally how these incidents are reported in your local rag of a newspaper, giving you the facts while seemingly blaming the accident not on the stupidity of the individuals involved but on a car that “went out of control,” all by itself like it was Christine.  The piece also presents the Oprah side of the tragedy as family and friends of the dearly departed gather to give reporters nothing but glowing testimony about the character of the “victims.” 

The second piece, while still presenting the facts, in fact, more facts than many want to hear at a moment like this, gives you the writer’s (oh, that would be me) opinion on reckless, unguided, and socially excused behaviors such as this that often lead to accidents such as this.   Hello!

Like most pseudo-writers spewing digital pages of reckless verbiage into the internet universe, my aim is to present an opinion or a feeling about a certain topic while leaving the bland reporting of the “he said/she said,” “he did/she did” facts to the very few objective news sources that exist in the real world.

Opinion does not dilute fact.  However, as Plutarch would agree, the truth can sometimes be a bitch when looked at through an opinionated microscope.  Your not agreeing with or being particularly open to hearing a diverse opinion, does not change the facts.

I bring this up as a self-described “newspaperman” of some years commented on a piece I wrote about the trials, tribulations, and idiocy involved in Puerto Rico’s history since Teddy Roosevelt cleaned his goggles of San Juan beach mist (http://waltkienia.hubpages.com/hub/HELL-NO-PUERTO-RICO).

Based on the Newspaperman’s Bible, this commenter was put off by of my lack of objectivity in the piece, while also telling me that the piece was too long and he didn’t read the whole thing (imagine that, a newspaperman who doesn’t like to read).   I thanked him for reading and commenting and thought to myself:  hey, it’s about Puerto Rico, how objective can you be while still being conscious?