Updated: Oct 9, 2018
Welcome to my blog. I am going to have a lot to say. Some of it will be facts. Some of it will be opinion. But unlike most of what is labeled as journalism today, I will always make it clear which one you are reading and encourage you to make your own decisions about what you think and feel.
As a child, when given the choice I always read non-fiction books. I also loved history. Facts fascinated me. I was inspired by them. I didn’t want to escape into a fantasy world (though there is certainly a time and place for that in our minds and imaginations). I wanted to set goals based on what was real. What was achievable.
I think that’s why I became a journalist. The power of truth combined with the written word was intoxicating. I enjoyed filling my mind with information. And when I had the opportunity to offer that to someone else, I also had to accept the enormous responsibility that came with it.
Unlike far too many print and TV reporters today, I always did my best to keep my personal agenda in check. When I wrote for the NY Times in the 1990’s, and attempted to expose the abuse, greed and flat out cheating that was taking place in the sport of figure skating, I came under attack. But not once was I ever proven to be factually incorrect.
I am saddened to see how things have changed. My articles were not only read by an editor, they were checked by an attorney to make sure nothing I asserted was libelous. But now, with 24-hour TV news shows and countless Internet sites, far too many media outlets are like mad dogs, frothing at the mouth, racing to beat everyone else to the story – a story that all too often is undeniably captivating, but unfortunately lacking in factual content. Even worse, many stories are intentionally skewed to promote a social or political agenda that is so weak or unappealing that it cannot stand on its own merits.
Okay. I’ll say it. Fake news. However, I use that term not because of its political affiliations, but because it is the concept du jour and one of the greatest threats to the health and well-being of our society.
And because I take this threat so seriously, I’ve decided it is time for me to speak up once again. My only objective is to offer information. Anyone who is afraid of that idea need not bother reading my blogs. Curl up in your crying room. Scream at the moon. And at all costs, avoid learning the truth.
Our way of life that was once the envy of every country on Earth is under attack. And if we are to survive as a nation and as individuals, we must first recognize our enemies and then vanquish them as we have done so many times before.
But our most dangerous enemies are not dictators or terrorists or gangs or immigrants or politicians or red or blue or black or brown or white or straight or LGBT or Christian or Jewish or Muslim. They are an insidious trio that are tearing at the fabric of what once held America together and now threatens to destroy us.
Our enemies are ignorance, arrogance and intolerance. Our enemies are We, They and Us.
We protest, but often don't know even the basic facts of the situation, nor the consequences of implementing the change we're demanding.
We assume our opinion is the only valid one and that anyone who disagrees is unintelligent, therefore, not entitled to live and act on their beliefs.
We shut down opposing viewpoints, refusing to engage in civil discourse while committing acts of violence and harassment.
We judge and react to information not based on its accuracy, but by who said it.
But we can save ourselves and become who we once were. Who our founding fathers and ancestors dreamed we could be when they came to this country, fought and in many cases died for.
In 1597, Sir Frances Bacon wrote, “Knowledge is power.” It is a favorite quote among teachers. If I were to ever get a tattoo, that’s the phrase I would choose. But our concept of knowledge has mutated into something else. As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is: "the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind".
It isn't opinion disguised as fact. It isn't someone's beliefs no matter how sincere they may be.
Truth. Information. Principles.
My goal for this blog is to provide all of the above. What you do with them is your choice and will be determined by how open you are willing to allow your mind, heart and soul to be.
I wish you and our country well.
I leave you with this thought.
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
- Isaac Asimov