Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bad Attitudes, Good Attitudes in the Media and Healthcare

I have to admit that I haven't been engaged with the discussion on healthcare, as I am not open to government taking over that part of my life, no matter what their "greater good" arguments are. I recognize that my husband's employer, as well as many other employer's are probably most interested in this discussion, as many foot much of the bill. But, I have listened to some of the discussion. What stikes me is the press!

We need a Free Press to remain a Free Society. Without a free press, we are headed for an authoritarianism that will subvert any choice that the individual may want. The taking over of our liberties is done incrementally and without much notice, unless one is aware. The press is aware of what is happening, if they will 'take a step back for ideological commitments and do their job responsibly. The government is held accountable by the press and is the greatest assest, if sometimes the only way "we, the people" are informed! I love to see a "critical press". But, most of the time the press holds a double standard when it comes to Republican and Democratic leaders.

I caught a glimpse of change when one of the press's most prestigous and well-known asked a question of Obama's press secretary. He tried to delay answering the question until the end of the press conference. Why? Was it because he hoped that the question would not be televised, or that he had time to "think" about how to finagle out of directly answering the question? Was the question so direct and critical that he was "taken aback"?

Whatever the reason of his request for delay, he was held accountable to the press! In fact, the press insisted that the question be answered, then and there. And it was suggested that the press was being controlled! I was very elated to see such courage, such critical thinking, such responsibility toward the American people and one's job!

Was this a bad and disrespectful attitude toward those in authority? Or was this a Good Attitude because the press was not being held hostage to the adminstration's desires about healthcare?

Is this adminstration having an open dialogue with the American people about the real problems, and allowing the population to engage, be informed and educated, as well, as being honest about the pros and cons of both sides of the issue? I don't think so.

I "ran upon" a town hall meeting when flipping through the channels last night, while babysitting. The moderator asserted that Obama had not been informed beforehand about any question that was forthcoming. He was answering honestly and directly. The first question was about why America wouldn't want a one payer insurance policy, meaning that the government underwrites all of everyone's healthcare. Obama did not answer with pros and cons, but only with the pros concerning government take-over of everyone's healthcare.It seemed to me that it was a 'prepared answer' to a specifically focused question. Obama didn't show any critical thinking skills at all.

Then, a woman stood up and said she hoped she could ask a question without crying...she gave her "story" and the public was moved, Obama gave her a hug and reassurance that "government would be there"! I was not moved and was incredulous at a Town Hall meeting of our president, the most powerful of the free world, having an"Oprah-like" "feel". I turned off the TV. I couldn't bear how manipulative the whole scene seemed.

I am not negating this woman's real crisis, if it is real. But, I am negating what seems to be a "play for reality TV" when it comes to our policy decisions. All it takes for authoritariansm to take hold of our government is for there to be no accountability. The "consent of the governed" is being taken incrementally, subtly, and without any critical thinking on the part of the American people!

Did the press have a "bad attitude" toward the press secretary by "not being nice" in his request of denying an anwer to a direct question? or was the press really in "good behavior" according to their responsibility toward the American people? I think it is obvious!

No comments: