Wednesday, February 04, 2009

All the News That's Fit...

When you look at the day’s headlines—stuff that is happening in the world that is affecting you—what do you see? A new administration facing the challenges of seating a new cabinet and other important functionary roles…a new crop of legislators with fresh ideas and urgent mandates from constituents to address issues of taxation, public spending, and policy application…and a growing field of wanna-be’s seeking the position of City CEO for a Mayoral race that’s going to prove entertaining, if nothing else.

We’re concerned about what we’re paying for gasoline. We fret about how we’re going to make our next house payment if there’s a whiff of downsizing in the air at work. We’re anxious about how our kids are going to get to college, and once they’re through, if they’re going to be able to find a decent job, or instead be relegated to a forced-apprenticeship in a field un-related to their course of studies “until the market turns around.”

We’re mad as hell at Wall Street for its infamous greed and incalculable stupidity in creating a financial mess that has stolen our savings and jerked the rug from beneath all of our planning, and we grow more incredulous with each day’s new revelations of arrogance and insensitivity on the part of banks and mortgage companies, living the high life, while walking off with public bail out money with no strings attached and no questions asked.

If you are living along the path of destruction left behind by last Fall’s hurricane, add to this list some other facts of post-Ike living: getting your house fixed, working with three different permutations of insurance coverage in some cases, and dealing with a mountain of red tape that rivals any pile of debris you’ll see stacked up.

You are also concerned about the people “at the top” who are making decisions and setting policy and enacting legislation that’s going to affect how you live in the next few years.

Some people would label these items as “politics.” I call it reality, the likes of which no stupid reality TV show could ever match in terms of drama, ethos, and passion, because it’s happening to each and every one of you every day that we’re sucking oxygen.

I received a note from a potential sponsor yesterday who said they were going to decline from underwriting this program because they felt the show was too political…they didn’t want to sponsor a specific political point of view. Curious, since this assessment came from a respected member of the financial sector who has a good story to tell, one which we embrace, and one that needs to be heard to balance all the nattering naybobs of negativity you’re dosed with the rest of the day. Odd, don’t you think, that they don’t want their story told here?

Fine. That’s their right.
However, I am not going to tone down this program to avoid stepping on toes that need to be stomped. I am not going to turn a blind eye to legitimate news stories and issues that do affect you everyday, and will have a bearing on your ability to earn and conduct business in the future, just because some marketing department somewhere is a bit squeamish.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

It is incumbent upon us all to question, examine, and doubt until proven-out any and all ideas and issues our government by the people and for the people is working through.
Our lives depend upon it.
Your success depends upon it.
And for any one commercial sponsor to hold hostage our ability to question, doubt, and discuss legitimate news issues of the day is a dangerous thing.

Yes, there is freedom of speech and freedom of choice in this country--including the freedom to choose to not support a show that is dedicated to providing you with all of the angles of issues upon which to build your life.

Mr. Jefferson also said, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Silence may be golden, silence may be safe, but in this economic climate, silence is inexcusable.

Silence provides tacit approval for continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done…Thankfully, fewer and fewer people are remaining silent about what we’re seeing and hearing and not liking. And it is on your behalf that we will continue to pursue the stories that matter, provide you with information that is as accurate and actionable as we can make it--regardless of who is paying the bill.

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