CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER AND CIVIL DISCOURSE

I was saddened this past week when I heard that Fox News Commentator and Syndicated Columnist, Charles Krauthammer had succumed to cancer.  Life was certainly not kind to him, physically, but mentally, he was good for life, in particular as an commentator on the bizarre role reversal of media during the past year. Prior to the Bush Presidencies, the media, television and print, reported the news with civility and integrity. Now, it seems to me, that those who profess to comment on the news of the day actually make the news by their comments and then report on the backlash it stirs up. There is no Republican or Democrat here. It is all about your agenda and the extent to which you go to promote your view of reality, then make up procrustian facts to fit your agenda of propaganda. Hardly the media’s finest hour. I don’t watch national news networks or read magazines like Time anymore. Why not? I already know what they will say. It is an absolute certainty that, whatever the topic President Trump chooses, they will choose the opposite or calumniate and detract from his personality to deflect criticism from their own inadequate, Tabloid fall from grace. Tabloid magazines look good these days because all media heavyweights are dysfunctional in their reporting of facts and innuendoes of incompetence. I am astounded that the media does not heed the words that, if you tear someone down, you do not build yourself up.

WHAT IS GOING ON? 

We are losing the integrity of all political institutions when we tear down the Presidency. Movie stars give opinions. Who cares? Politicians give opinions on this or that. Who listens? New commentators give way to hatred and duplicitous half truths. So, what do you expect from Tabloid sensationalism.? The news papers are in decline. Wonder why? I don’t watch national news anymore. Why should I?  It isn’t news where I know what they will say. I don’t read hate mail or peronally denegrated topics in magazines and newspapers. I watch only Sports, History and Discover Channels. The Democratic Party is morally bankrupt because its platform is being against or blocking whatever President Trump is for. Not inspiring! The Republican is nominally conservative depending on what faction you belong to and can’t come up with a cohesive vision for the future. They reject President Trump’s vision, as far as I can tell. Into this cauldron of incohesiveness comes Charles Krauthammer, one who writes about principles and the implications of crazy thinking. He is one of a handful of commentator I ressect, others being Newt Gingrich, William Buckley, George Will, Chris Wallace,  Martha McColumn, and Brit Hume,  Discourse from other commentators is very often not civil or balanced. Yes, I know these are all from Fox News.  Into this gaggle of top-notched commentators on society, Charles Krauthammer is the one person I always went out of my way to watch. Here are some reasons I think he was go marvelous. I offer these suggestions as someone who is not expert in anything, a broken-down, old, Lay Cisercian, in need of constant repair and conversion of heart.

INTEGRITY– I like news commentators and to have integrity about reporting and giving opinions about news stories. Charles Krauthammer was the best at his craft in a sea of journalists and television commentators that shape our public opinion. Integrity means there is no hidden agenda, like, we are going to bushwack Hilliary, now let’s print something about her, Thank you so much for your integrity

HONOR- Honor sounds like a strange characteristic for a commentator to have. Honor means to respect the views of others which being steadfast in what you believe. I think back, years ago it seems, when Sen Ted Kennedy and Sen. Alan Simpson debated thorny issues of our society civilly. https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/EMKSEN-AU0008-031-010.aspx Why can’t or won’t Fox News or CNN collaborate to bring two pre-selected people with differing views together to discuss their positions and to allow the public to look at consequences. Unlike the sound-bite commentary that now exists, have The Charles Krauthammer Civil Discource Debatess moderated by CNN one month, Fox another month, etc.  The country is polarized because it is focused on polarization not civil discussion.  Who knows if the citizens are actually polarized in their thinking because each sides hates the other so much that we can’t see or hear what is true. You won’t bring people together for civil discourse, if you don’t have honor and respect for them as human beings, politicians, even Presidents. If you dishonor anyone, it is you who are dishonored. We are better people than hatred, calumny, detraction, pride, jealousy, power, and name calling. Honor can’t live in the same room with hatred. I think Charles Krauthammer honored others with differing views, even if he was passionate about the debate. He was very clear in his disagreement with some of President Trump’s policies but honored the Office. We all win with that approach. Thank you so much.

LET THE FACTS LEAD YOU, YOU DON’T LEAD THE FACTS What distinguishes premier journalism from the Tabloid press is a story based on the truth, as far as you can ascertain it.  There seems to be several categories of the truth:

  • The truth is what I say it is.
  • The truth is the result of putting together facts and making conclusions and inferences best on these facts.
  • The truth is fake and we make up a story to fit our agenda.
  • The truth is an innuendo about personality that may or may not be true, but we will put it out there to see what sticks.
  • We publish a falsehood, such as the cover (Time Magazine) of President Trump with a crying child, meaning our bad President beats up on little children. Inneundo. The child is not separated from its mother and is crying because she is hungry.  The inference is that the policies of this President are heartless,  and we drag out the old Nazi mantra to hand around the head of the defenseless perpetrator. No body cares about the truth, it is what they want to infer, even if the photo is misleading. When you have a premise that we will get you for winning the election and making fools of us, you will print what makes you look good, even if there are no facts. Tabloid journalism in its most foul form.

One of the things I liked abut Charles Krauthammer was his rigorous and relentless pursuit of the truth no matter where it led. He was not so much a conservative purist (whatever that means) but a conservative thinker that liked to think things out before talking. Thank you so much

RESPECT –– I like that Charles Krauthammer stayed faithful to his homeland of Israel when others waffled on their support. His insights and comments with Bret Baier every evening made we want to plan on being there to listen to what he had to say. For his commentary on life, love, and the betting he did on candidates in the Primaries was particularly enjoyable, expecially the wine, women and song. If you want to be respected as a journalist, respect others, expecially those with whom you disagree. There is nothing civil about lack of respect we show each other. Thank you so much.

May he rest in peace. Missed but not forgotten.

 

 

 

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