You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have… The facts of life. Boom - 1980’s sitcom reference.
The facts of life are pretty universal. Things will be hard. You will get hurt, physically, emotionally and mentally.
You will lose loved ones, you will lose friends and gain new ones. Most people will have to have a job/career at some point.
You will make mistakes, some you will learn from, some you won’t. And you just can’t please everyone.
Aside from elected officials, I think a journalist is one of the most criticized positions a person can have.
There is not one perfect person on this planet, and there has only been one to ever have graced it.
But we all try, and isn’t that the best we can do?
People make mistakes, and no matter how big or small those mistakes are, there will always be someone that notices.
There is an odd irony in the scrutiny that both politicians and journalists receive. Each has the mindset of exposing the other for falsities, incorrect statements or finding out the “whole truth” of any given situation. It’s like a dog and cat that pretend like they don’t like each other, but when they think no one is watching you can find them cuddled up on the couch together.
I have never intended for this column to be political.
Not that I’m opposed to discourse on the subject, but my reasoning for this is twofold. One, I don’t follow national happenings as much as I should therefore I'm not informed enough to argue (in which political discussions inevitably result).
Secondly I think opinions have little place in the “news.” That’s why this editorial page is in your paper every day, separate from news.
I’m getting a little off topic here, but the reason I don’t follow national news is that major media outlets make me sick.
I have my personal political beliefs, and I’ve developed a fairly good sense of right and wrong. From these two facts, I can say that national coverage that comes from both sides of the political spectrum does not inform.
The sickening part is that most people don’t realize they are being lied to.
What happened to reporting the facts about a situation? Why does there have to be a “spin” on every single storyline that comes out of the capital?
Major media, my friends, is no longer a watchdog of your elected officials. They are now a lapdog of your elected officials - hanging out with Bo in the corner of the Oval Office.
Page 2 of 2 - If they’re naughty and write something the administration doesn’t approve of, they get put in the kennel and are left outside during press conferences.
Among countless great quotes from Thomas Jefferson are some gems that are priceless in this day and age.
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” Hmm. Who does our government side with on that issue, the people’s liberties, or the bank’s profit margin?
"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." Though this can't be confirmed to have come from Jefferson, it is usually attributed to him.
“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people, they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."
Educate and inform. Ask yourself, as I am asking myself right now, how informed are you?
Most people don’t blindly go and buy a brand new car without looking around a bit. Why not do the same with government?
How much do we really understand about what goes on in Washington? And have they not made everything so diluted that the average Joe couldn’t possibly understand?
Something has to give with the way this country is going, and the only certainty in my mind is that it will NOT be my beliefs and what I know to be right that will change.
Of course, Jefferson also said "I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it."
Oh, and he said that "the man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."
Figure that one out. Become informed and help save our country.
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at