As a writer, I’m less inclined than my journalistic counterparts to remain neutral about my subject matter. Indeed, journalists have a rough lot in life: observe, report, and keep their personal views out of the matter. That last bit—the neutrality, the Swiss-like character—is one reason I eschewed journalism as an occupation.
Enter in the editorial. Edward R. Murrow exemplified a dynamic editorial style, which presented the facts, and—calmly and respectfully—offered a viewpoint. Yet, in so doing, he clearly presented a point, not pushed overtly, but offered to the audience. I admire that.
Increasingly, the soft glow of neutrality is waning, replaced by a piercing ferocity. I cite one CNN journalist’s arguing with a man-on-the-street she was interviewing at one of yesterday’s tea parties. Her actions were hardly professional and questionably logical. By her actions, she questioned her own professional integrity. And such certainly begs the question, “What was her motive in asking in the first place?”
My brother called me yesterday around 5 p.m. to invite me—on the spur of a moment—to attend one of the Atlanta tea parties. I couldn’t make it, but I’m proud of him. I’m proud of every citizen of this Republic for not just speaking up, but taking action.
The voice of the people, varied and at times contradictory as it may be, must be heard. And those who report it must remain neutral if we are to grow through the process of dialogue and ensuing action.
“There is no such thing as public opinion. There is only published opinion.”