Sunday, January 13, 2008

... in the eye of the beholder

A few years back, I was asked for my opinion on what had been reported on the news in re a traffic accident on Loop 610. I really don't recall, now, all of the particulars -- but, what I do remember is hearing on the radio and seeing on TV many (& varied) reports of the same incident.

That it was controversial, I am sure. That it involved a taxi driver, probably. At the time I was asked, I was sitting outside in the staging area for cab drivers at Hobby Airport and listening to other drivers vent their feelings on the subject. I was simply listening -- absorbing, but contributing nothing.

My response to the question was that I had not seen the accident -- and, even if I had, my interpretation of what I had seen might have been different from that of another actual eye-witness.

I got the impression that the questioner really did not like my answer, but it was the only one I could honestly give. I was reminded, yet once again, of an incident that occurred many years ago in Columbus, Ohio, where one of my teacher friends -- while driving down a street -- struck & subsequently killed a young boy who had unexpectedly appeared directly in front of her from between two parked cars while riding his bicycle.

She tried to stop, but was unable to do so in time to avoid striking the child. She immediately exited her vehicle -- and, while holding the dying child in her arms, wept, thinking all the while of her own two young sons.

The news media (in this case, radio) reported the accident as a "hit and run".

I am not privy to "W's" (George W. Bush) visits in the Middle East, but I was interested to watch Charles Osgood's report this morning on the varying coverages ... country, religious orientation, TV/radio/internet site, etc. That they vary widely is accurate, but whom can one really believe?? If you were actually there, could you report it "accurately"?

Of course you could, but it would be from your perspective ... albeit country, religious orientation, whatever.

What are we looking for? Are we looking for peace/war? Are we looking for good/bad news? "Some" say that the United States is trying to dominate the world. "Others" say that extremist followers of Islam are trying to convert the world. Sometimes, it seems to me, that most of the news that is widely covered/reported is bad news.

Personally, I try to stay away from negativism (altho I must admit that it sometimes overtakes me.) I urge all of you to listen carefully. Read & watch all you can, and then make your own decisions when you vote this year ... and, if you have the time, work for the cause you most believe in.

No comments: