Mon, May

Beyond the Echo Chambers: Embracing Honest Journalism in a Polarized World


ALPERN AT LARGE - At this time, if you (yes, YOU, Friend Reader) aren’t reading both the Huffington Post and Fox News (or some liberal and conservative equivalents), you’re not learning the entire truth.

…and you probably darned well know it.

It’s certainly nice to stay within one’s own “comfort zone” or “safe space” if he/she leans left or right, but is that person going to truly learn the whole news, and both sides (or more than two sides, if needed) about a given debate if only one side is read?

Do we want to be a dupe of one political party, or be led around like sheep…we like using that term “sheeple”, don’t we? But ARE we sheeple?

As I’ve stated before, Critical Thinking is not taught in elementary schools, and it appears that Critical Thinking is not taught in middle or high schools, or even at college universities, anymore. Of course, critical thinking is not taught to sheep—do we want to learn the truth as human beings or not? 

Juan Williams, a traditional and honest liberal who gets bashed all the time by his more conservative co-hosts at Fox News, still got treated even worse by National Public Radio (NPR) for simply saying that Muslims were primarily responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (heck, are we even ALLOWED to bring that up still without being called a racist?).

They fired Williams in 2010 for simply saying what everyone knew, and still knows, which is that anyone in this nation who identifies him/herself MORE as a Muslim than an American might make some concerned. Hence Fox keeps Williams and many liberal and Democratic figures safely employed for honest debate.

I’ve met plenty of flag-waving American Muslims who entirely agree with Williams’ sentiment, and most flag-waving American Christians still feel the same way about any “Christian-first zealot” who might attack fellow Americans (be they Muslims, Jews, etc.).

Fast forward to today, when senior NPR editor Uri Berliner, who blew a whistle on the NPR editorial headquarters and reported that 87 registered Democrats were in editorial positions but NO Republicans. They suspended him for simply telling the truth, and he just resigned.

So, shall we say “good riddance” to Mr. Berliner, or “good riddance” to honest journalism?

Or even “good riddance” to honest liberalism?

After all, are honest liberals flooding to red states or blue states for freedom of speech?

After all, are “liberal” cities becoming beacons of improved economic opportunities, affordable living, and quality of life?

After all, are our college campuses beacons of both conservative and liberal free speech, or only one-sided “allowed” opinions for those who don’t want to be flunked out of school or get physically assaulted?

After all, are journalism majors even allowed to proceed in most of our universities to the workforce unless they have the “right” opinions (and by “right” I mean Left, and not Right)?

Is it too much to ask for the bygone “Point/Counterpoint” days of 60 Minutes with a liberal journalist and a conservative journalist debating the key issues of our day?

Alan Dershowitz—a civil rights attorney who is hardly a bleeding right-winger—is more concerned about our modern-day “Woke” McCarthyism than the original McCarthyism of the Red Scare, as he states in his new book “War on Woke”.

As with civil rights attorney Leo Terrell—who, like Dershowitz has been an honest liberal his entire life—they’ve found more kindred spirits at “right wing” Fox News than in the rest of the left-of-left-of-left-of-left echo chamber that has been too pervasive in what is (let’s be honest!) the majority of what we read and hear about in we call the Mainstream Media.

Because being truly “liberal” isn’t the same as Leftism—it’s open-mindedness.

Similarly, being too “conservative” isn’t always about lurching backwards to closed-minded philosophies—it’s common sense.

If anything, Woke McCarthyism, as dishonest and one-sided and free speech-crushing as it now is, is closed-mindedness.

So shall liberal journalism swirl down the drain to be leftist/fascist/socialist Woke, or return  back to honest journalism once again? 

(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father. He was active for 20 years on the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) as a Board Member focused on Planning and Transportation, and helped lead the grassroots efforts of the Expo Line as well as connecting LAX to MetroRail. His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)