100-Day Challenge – Day 25

This is a chance for you to let go. What is one product or thing that you hate with a passion, and why do you hate it? Do you feel more confident writing now that you have a particular target in mind?

Length: 500 Words

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I’ve been letting go for a couple of years. But there is one area that still goes against the grain. It’s our instant information. How do we separate truth from fiction?

Information, in my opinion, can be described as truth and opinion. Anyone tall enough to reach the keyboard is an author. This information doesn’t require any authentication, no signature, no messenger’s identity. We don’t know if the author is so-called “expert” on the subject he/she is addressing, or if they are an uneducated, uninformed, opinionated radical who logged on to a public library computer.

Case in point is President-elect Donald Trump. Trump casts a long shadow. It isn’t necessary that he log into Twitter when he feels the urge to bash someone. If he wishes to make a statement at two o’clock in the morning he can call a press conference. No matter the hour someone will be on alert at the bureau desk. People will come out of the woodwork to record what he has on his mind.

During my younger years, which was a long time ago, a responsible person, a person who had earned his/her way to a decision-making position, had the final word as to what was published and what went elsewhere. Information was seldom tainted with opinion.

When we lived in Eugene, Oregon a television newsman by the name of Jim Brown (obviously not his given name) came to work at channel 14. He refined the term “Talking Head”. After reading five minutes of news, he then invested an additional ten minutes explaining to us what his words meant. After a time he drove me off the channel. What happened to people like Walter Cronkite and Gabriel Heatter? Were they the last of their kind?

Gabriel Heatter was gone before television came along. I was small – the year may have been 1944 – when I remember his broadcasts at six o’clock each evening. “Ah, there’s good news tonight,” where always his first words. We were in the midst of World War II, fighting for our very existence and I still recall the stress in my mother’s face as she waited at the radio to hear Gabriel’s opening statement.

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