September 30, 2010

Can you confirm that?

I watched All The Presidents Men last night for the first time. The 1976 classic starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford is the story of famed journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward whom broke the story that eventually led to the resignation of everyone's favorite president, Richard Nixon. The film simultaneously portrays the best and worst of America and I highly recommend it.

It reminded me of some things Einstein said about America and how it handled McCarthyism. He thought we were on the verge of becoming Nazi Germany at the time. A certain segment of the population was being identified by the government (communists and homosexuals mostly) and blamed as the reasons for any of America's ills much the same way Nazi Germany blamed the Jews early on. He thought that fascism would not be far behind. As he grew older and saw that there was an eventual backlash against McCarthyism and that Americans did in fact realize what they had done was wrong without millions dying he started to appreciate how America works.

At times we do some pretty fucked up things. Sometimes, with the help of people dedicated to the truth like Woodward and Bernstein, we realize how out of control we have let things get. Hopefully with things like WikiLeaks and angry bloggers such as ourselves the fourth estate won't die out with print media. We need some of our brightest minds to show us how to hold ourselves accountable. We can't just scream at each other with unsubstantiated rants if we want this medium to ever be more than a shared journal. We need our young Woodwards and Bernsteins to show us the way to use this tool we call the internet to promote greater accountability as opposed to being just more useless screams like those heard on CNN and Fox News. We need to stop regurgitating and opining on every subject without a critical eye and maybe from time to time do a little legwork ourselves. I'm willing to give it a try. Let's all start checking our sources and maybe we can contribute to the ebb and flow of American life in a positive way.

4 comments:

  1. I agree. I think we need to learn for ourselves, trust our instincts, and form our own opinions. I think we're too quick to accept others' opinions as ours.

    Um, did I totally just do that with you? Hm.... *scratches head*

    :P

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  2. Bob Woodward is my hero. Always loved this movie. Looking forward to reading his book about Obama - the interviews I've been watching our amazing - shows you such an unfiltered, objective perspective. Bob defines journalism.

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  3. 'I'm willing to give it a try.' Well I support your passion, integrity and ~ I'd say you were one of the brightest minds. I'll be your cheerleader, that's all I can do ... Im all ready jaded.

    Good luck :)

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  4. I love Bob Woodward. He's been doing a lot of interviews lately. Nice to hear some honest opinions from a journalist for a change.

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