The Objectivity Crisis

Has anyone seen anything on the Kavanaugh/Ford issue - a private post, a news story, a statement by a public official - which doesn’t conform to party lines? What I’ve seen so far is that every comment or commentary is completely aligned with the commenters’ previously established partisan position.

Yesterday, I watched part of the live testimony on a left wing stream and part of it on a right wing stream. It was astounding to me to flip back and forth and watch the exact same footage with such polar commentary. The predictability of the reactions was what concerned me most. There was no deviation, no discussion, no doubt. It was as if the two channels were two alternate realities where the truth was so plain to see - and so plainly consistent with the page’s clear ideological bent.

What that says to me is that we are experiencing a serious crisis of objectivity whereby those in politics are committed more to their party than to the truth, those in the media are interested more in selling a viewpoint than reporting the facts, and those of us who comprise the viewing and voting public are unable to receive our news or form our opinions without strong and pervasive rhetoric that seeks to influence and compel our perspectives and actions.

Who the hell knows what’s true anymore?!

Yes, we need to listen to women when they say they have been victimized. Yes, our legal system is founded on a presumption of innocence. Yes, there are dark and powerful forces at work on both sides of the aisle who will stop at nothing to achieve their political agendas.

The only thing that is clear is that we are drifting ever further apart, guided by those who thrive on division, and we urgently need leaders and reporters who have the clarity and moral fortitude to see beyond their self-interest and their partisan pressures. We need to question our sources and challenge our certainties. We need to interact with those who see things differently and remember that difference is not the same as deviance. Decent people will fall on both sides of these issues, and we must resist the efforts of those who insist that anyone who does not agree or fall in line is the enemy.

The system is broken. We can either continue to contribute to its breakage, or we can seek new ways to put it back together.

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