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Monday, October 14, 2013

Trustworthy

I was reading Reagan In His Own Hand, a collection of drafts Ronald Reagan wrote for his radio show and other presentations. The premise of the 550 page book is that since the talking heads knew Reagan was a dolt, it might be interesting to see what he actually wrote.

I never heard his radio show, and even today I would rather read a transcript than listen to a podcast, so this was fun for me.

I saw how Reagan developed a strong sense of what worked and what didn’t in this world interviewing and analyzing people who were making things happen. How he adjusted his views as he discovered new data.

When he later had an off-the-cuff observation (or “soundbite” as the talking heads say), it wasn’t a first time thought, it was the result of years of study.

Can’t Get A Break Department:
From Praise for Reagan, In His Own Hand (blurbs in the front of the book),

“These speeches certainly show what the (book) editors contend: ‘The wide reading and deep research self-evident here suggest a mind constantly at work.’ How come I – and my colleagues – never discovered these Reagan depths? To use another response that sounds like Reagan: ‘It beats me.’”
    - Godfrey Sperling, The Christian Science Monitor

No shame, no embarrassment, no outrage at revealing yourself as a lightweight. My spiritual counselor calls it “surface thinking.”

Back in the late ’60’s, I was a journalist, and the only way I could get accurate reporting on Vietnam was Nat Hentoff in the Village Voice. A jazz columnist, fer cryin’ out loud, who was angry enough to wade through the disinformation to get pieces of the story.

Knowing more didn’t make me popular, kinda made me sad, and greatly reduced the surprises. Same way I felt reading Reagan In His Own Hand.

Today the trustworthy news I find comes largely from bloggers. Solution oriented thinking comes mostly from bloggers. Examples of good behavior comes from bloggers.

But if you want to have a simple solution that exercises your emotions, without getting the details right, try a news outlet. They are in the business of selling hope and pills.

The Internet makes everything available, Finding trustworthy information takes work. Why would you want the right stuff?

WordPictures – Phrases That Lit The Bulb
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