Even I don't always agree with my opinion


It’s All About Balance

Posted June 1, 2008 by jim young in Politics

– jim young

I recently received an email with the subject “Jay Leno on President Bush (Surprising).”

According to the website Snopes, the email, allegedly written by comedian Jay Leno, was actually penned by Craig R. Smith in 2006. Only the ending quote which was paraphrased at best, was actually written by Leno (or one of his writers) and taken from a monologue broadcast a year before Smith wrote his commentary.

You can check out the contents of this email that began circulation in 2007 and the Snopes comments on it at http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/hitnail.asp

My following critique is directed at the context of the original Craig R. Smith article which urges us to focus on the positive.


All I can say is to quote a Molson’s commercial that suggests, “It’s all about balance.”

Although Smith’s commentary is an obvious American propaganda statement – there is much of it that applies to us Canadians as well.

Yes – we should be grateful for the many wonderful freedoms we have – not the least being our freedom from want.

But it is not material things that make us – or should make us – happy.

It’s interesting that in one line Smith suggests – blame the media. And in the next line he openly admits the media only write what sells.

So who’s really to blame here? That’s right – you and I.

Ironically – isn’t Smith doing the same thing – presenting material that he thinks will sell? Hmmm – American patriotism seems to be a familiar topic that – right or wrong – always sells, don’t you think?

I agree Bush has done much good for the U.S.

I also think Hitler did a lot of good for Germany.

And O.J. Simpson’s rise to a great athlete after overcoming rickets at an early age should be an inspiration to everyone.

But the good that Hitler and Simpson have accomplished does not compensate for or forgive the many evils they have committed.

I am not (necessarily) comparing Bush to either Hitler or O.J. Simpson and I do acknowledge that I was impressed with Bush’s initial handling of the 911 terrorist attack. However, how Bush reacted later was a little more than disappointing.

And Bush’s support in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina left much to be desired

For actions such as these – I think the criticisms of Bush are more than justified.

Yes, the media too has its flaws. As do you and I, but let’s not blame the media or much worse – try to censor it.

And let’s not forget that the rest of the world that admire all our material goods – would also welcome our freedom of the press.

“Just ask why they (the media) tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn’t kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way…..”

I can easily answer that. As the philosopher Voltaire once said, “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.”

Personally I would have liked to see O.J. Simpson publish his book. And then I would like to have seen zero sales on it.

But that wouldn’t happen; not because the media published it; but because people would buy it. You can’t blame the media for that.

And anyway what’s so wrong with having a great country to live in and still want to make it better – for ourselves, our children and for future generations?

Whoever said that was being ungrateful?

Complacency breeds stagnancy. Discontent breeds change. It won’t always be for the better – but we can hope and try can’t we?

As Molson’s said, “It’s all about balance.”

So what are we going to do about it? I don’t know about you – but I’m going to have another beer.

– 30 –

One Comment


    After rereading Smith’s original article, I have to question the validity of 2 of his quotes.

    “Say what you want but I blame it on the media.”
    “Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage.”

    I certainly hope that Smith is not implying that we all form our opinions based solely on what the media tells us. To suggest that would be very condescending and insulting to the general public wouldn’t you think?

    Maybe some do. And those that do – deserve what they get.

    When I was about 10 years old, my cousin Steve who was about 2 years older than me told me “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.”

    That’s pretty goddamned profound for a 12 year old don’t you think?

    Of course the implication of Steve’s advice was “question the evidence you are being provided until you can form an educated opinion of your own” not – “disregard everyone else’s opinion entirely” as Smith suggests.

    Personally I take everything the media tells me with a grain of salt. Thankfully due to “freedom of speech” we are exposed to more than one viewpoint.

    I then compare their views and consider that with all the other resources I have, not the least being some good old fashioned common sense, and I will base my opinions on all the information that I have access to.

    What more can anyone do?

    Just because we buy what the media is selling doesn’t mean we buy what they are saying.

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