Should I instead have titled this "In The Best of All Possible Worlds?" Perhaps. Assuredly a perfect world has never and shall never exist. But, this is my version of one slice of perfection. So, perhaps my title really does fit the bill.
Speaking of "bill". . . . This post at Bill's Comments, linking back to my site, planted the seed for these musings.
Much of the state of journalism today saddens me. In my youth, I always thought of journalists as brave warriors attempting to find and expose the truth to the world. These warriors would not be swayed one way or the other by what they discovered along the road to the truth. They simply would report, letting the proverbial chips fall where they may.
Even opinion writers would be protectors of the truth. Though everyone is entitled to a particular point of view, the opinion writers searching for the best in our world would present their opinions and the reasons why they hold them. Yet they'd give a bit to the other side, stating what it was in reasonable terms and why the other side believed as it did. If they followed this up with more analysis as to why the other side was wrong, no problem. At least the reader would be well informed, treated with courtesy and respect.
As we all know, way too much of journalism is so far removed from this it is pitiful.
Depending upon the slant of a newspaper, a story with far reaching consequences may end up on page one - or page fourteen - or maybe receive but three sentences within another only slightly related tale, buried where only the most hardcore news junkie can find it. News stories themselves are replete with the language of slant. "Terrorist." "freedom fighter." "warrior" and "soldier" go to work, depending upon left or right leaning, for exactly the same individual. A liberal paper may title a story, "Quagmire in Iraq" while a conservative one will state "Celebration in Iraq" - and the same data is in each!
Most sad is that equity is so rarely applied. A liberal publication? The most well spoken and articulate liberals are balanced (if at all) with foot-in-mouth conservatives - or ones who embrace philosophies represented by only a tiny portion of conservatives. Some conservative sources do the same to promote their take, finding foam-at-the-mouth lefties who only wish to Destroy Amerika and Eeevil Capitalism along with it.....
If you search, you can find a few brave enough and caring enough to travel an honest road toward truth. The recently mentioned Atlantic is one. Not only do they present a mixture of articles, columns and book reviews that span the ideological spectrum, they also offer significant give and take afterwards. In depth letters to the editor - on both sides - plus another opportunity for the author to respond to same allows the reader to sift through data and argumentation on an issue - and rationally draw his own conclusions.
Unfortunately, however, such publications are few and far between.
Maybe this is the way the world must be. If a reader wishes to be informed, he must partake of left and right, plow through miles of drivel, and hope that, somehow, when done, he can somehow ferret out the truth like solving some gigantic puzzle. Perhaps it is too much to hope that people can be humble enough to consider the possibility that their view is either not the only view or even a wrong-headed view - and then allow others to share in the marketplace of ideas right aside theirs! Maybe the idealistic philosopher in me is simply rising up once more.
But - what if this could be a reality?
Well. A girl can dream - no?