Give Me the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But

Back in college, I could write up a storm. If I had an idea, it just came out of me and onto the paper in a rush. I never read what I wrote, and never edited, and everything came out exactly the way I intended it to enough to earn me a solid 3.79 GPA.

Then, graduate school came along, and suddenly, I was told to write only in the third person and the rush came to a screeching halt. It seemed a dishonest way to write. Instead of saying this is my opinion and here's why, I had to covertly give my opinion by manipulating the facts instead of owning and taking responsibility for my opinion. What I had to say was no longer important, and I felt as though all I did was spit out crap that wasn't my own. I still graduated with a 3.89 GPA, but there was a lot less joy in earning it.

Blogging has brought the love of writing back, and the rush happens every now and again. Writing for the newspaper keeps my chops up with third person writing, and I have come to love it as well. It is a challenge to observe and state the facts and put it all together in a way that won't put you to sleep. I have to be careful to put things in ways that no one can interpret as the paper's opinion, and I have to be sure I don't editorialize.

"Here's the facts, you decide," is one local TV station's news grab line. I never watch the news, so I have no idea if they're true to their word or not. But, it is my goal in writing for the paper.

That's a good thing, I think. Just think how it would be if more journalists and reporters and editors felt that way, especially during the past few weeks. Can you imagine how much easier it would be to choose a candidate or know what was going on enough to decide whether you should be royally pissed or not about this Wall Street bailout deal?


A fact is "knowledge or information based on real occurrences; or, something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed," according to dictionary.com. You collect your facts, sort them and then decide if you can form a hypothesis. Check it again, collect more facts, sort them out, and see if you can come up with the same hypothesis. If the results are the same, then you have a theory, or loosely, a conclusion.

Today, I read an article, "Onus on McCain to turn presidential race his way." The AP writer very blatantly collected quotes and presented her opinions using the people's voice she quoted. She didn't even bother including poll statistics to support her claim, but gave generalizations instead. Is it "news" that one camp is "optimistic" and the other camp is "discouraged, but not pessimistic"? The article should have been presented as an editorial instead of a news piece. That would solve everything, because it is only....


Dictionary.com says that an opinion is "a notion or conviction founded on probable evidence; belief stronger than impression, less strong than positive knowledge." Yep, that article is an editorial presented as news. It doesn't help me make my choice knowing her opinion. I don't know the facts, so I can't form my own conclusions.

The same can be said about the Wall Street meltdown, and why our elected representatives chose to ignore an overwhelmingly negative public response to the $700 billion bailout funded by taxpayer money. Something that large, that important and that controversial should have been put up to vote and decided based on that vote. And not by the electoral college, but by actual numbers for and against.

You know what? I know nothing, nada, zip, zilch about the stock market, the finance industry, hell, even the need for a stock market, and I sure have no idea at all about the current meltdown. Why? I've read everything that came across the news wires about it as I could. None of the news articles were overly heavy in stock market lingo or terms or phrases and I understood everything I read. I still came away knowing nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

The conclusion I came to is the same as most of the rest of the population - no, absolutely no bailout for a bunch of bottom-feeders that bit off way more than they could chew! A man can steal a loaf of bread for his hungry wife and children and be thrown in jail, but when these greedy bastards steal from everyone they come in contact with, they are "bailed out" and never even charged with their grievous wrongs. How can that be right? You just gotta love…


Back to dictionary.com for the sunshiny definition of politics, disregarding the tactics to manipulate for personal gain and power:
The science of government; that part of ethics which has to do with the regulation and government of a nation or state, the preservation of its safety, peace, and prosperity, the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals.
It's ironic that the definition of politics includes no reference to the "government by the people, for the people." It's even more ironic to see "ethics," "rights" and "morals" with the goal to preserve and improve them as well. Forgive my ignorance, but I haven't seen any facts to support a conclusion that any of this definition is existent in politics today!

The other day, I read in a book by Dinesh D'Souza that most of the Middle Eastern and Asian cultures believe that it is ridiculous for the general populace to choose their leader. Some say it is because the lower classes are too ignorant to make that kind of decision. Others believe that the leader of a country is chosen by God alone. I can see their logic in these beliefs, especially back in the old days before mass communication existed. To me, it is not logical to assume that a 'government for the people, by the people' would not produce leaders worthy of leading, because in essence, all candidates are from the populace that is not supposed to be delineated by class lines. If I go out and earn the education and experience needed to qualify for the position, I could run for president too. That is the culture here. Right?

It is there, available to all, the mass communications needed to get all the information out so that everyone could make a solid, educated decision on who to vote for. The infrastructure is there and it works. You wouldn't be reading this if it didn't.

But, no real information, no substantial facts are disseminated. If any happen to squeak through, the facts are buried in opinion, manipulation, distortion and contortion. It's like the photo at the top of this post. I am screaming for real facts, real truth, real news!

With what has been presented via the news media, I am disinclined to vote for either party's candidate. What I really want to see in that voting booth come election day is a "NEITHER" level to pull.


  1. The Middle East has Allah. We have the Electoral College. One is the belief of a supernatural head honcho (who art in heaven, with a bunch of virgins 'n stuff if I got my understanding of Islam right,) and one is a bunch of old fucks who can decide to vote against the popular vote if they choose. One has a irrational, yet powerful backing of a little thing called faith, one exists because our forefathers knew the American people to be too stupid to vote.

    Which is worse, the one choosing your leader because you believe he can fry your ass with lightning if he gets a whim for it, or the ones choosing your leader because they believe you're too damned ignorant to do so yourself?

    Ya know, I have to say I concur with our forefathers.

    (And how the hell is the Catholic Church gonna shake the whole pedophile thing with a Pope that looks like that?)

  2. Don't confuse stupidity with disinformation. No genius can come to a logical decision based on the information given.

    And, that's a fact.

  3. You cover a lot of ground in here, and you've got great points. As a journalist who tries to stick to the facts only, thank you from a reader who wishes more did the same.

  4. It is my understanding that what keeps the government within the lines is the news. The news is supposed to be the mediator between the people and the government, and in that way, protects the people. Because I hold that ethic dearly is the reason why I can be a part of the news media.

    Susan, thank you for stopping by and commenting. I hope to see you again.

  5. Dear Theresa, I've held you in high esteem, and "I love you blog" you know that. But using the picture of our beloved Pope as an example for: "But, no real information, no substantial facts are disseminated. If any happen to squeak through, the facts are buried in opinion, manipulation, distortion and contortion. It's like the photo at the top of this post. I am screaming for real facts, real truth, real news!"...I feel it's unfair for us Catholics, most especially for the Pope - the highest authority of our church, respected by the whole world - himself. The photo attracts as many would think there is "real news" to it, but we don't even know where this comes from, and if this is retouched ("Photoshopped"?)to look the way it is! and not captioned!

    For your above purpose, it would be all right, but I wish you spare the person of the Pope, in deference to your Catholic friends.

    I'm just letting out an honest reaction, maybe subjective, but let this not obstruct our friendship :-) I still "love your blog"!

    God bless you, blog on "in truth, the whole truth, and nothing but.."!

    mom Romy (goh.mom811.com)
    (I've just been so very busy, that's why this comment is late.)

  6. Hi Romy! The point of the photo was to show the news' distorted and contorted version of the facts, whatever they were supposed to be in the story that went with this photo originally. The badly Photoshopped photo shows that the removed man's leg is still right there, and Sarkozy's shoulder is very poorly painted back in! That the Pope was in the photo has nothing to do with it, nothing to do with the points I made in my post, nor did he have anything to do with it where I found the photo, which was at the Raw Feed, who also used it as an example of how some in the news decide what is and isn't fact. That's all. No bad intended toward the Pope.

  7. Thanks for your fast reply, I'm sure the photo was just used as an example for a point in your post "to show the news' distorted and contorted version of the facts", and I get this right, but my main point is: how I wish it's not the Pope's pic you used in such matters you opposed, so as not to expose such a revered and highly respected person as the Pope to doubts and more innuendos that will surely cast a shadow on his person.

    Well anyway, it's already there, and I've let out my reaction to it, it only shows how I love our Pope :) but God is the Almighty Judge, and He sees our hearts. However it is, truth always comes to light. With this note we go on.

    Accept my hand in peace and love. God bless you and your loved ones!

    Romy (goh.mom811.com)