2009-12-11 / Columnists

The Progressive

By John Paul Culotta

Why is our political discourse so contentious? Sometimes we are confused because of how our mass media discusses the issues of the day. Too often we are led to believe opinion that is dis guised as fact. Although it is impossible to expect complete objectivity from the media, our news industry no longer pretends to be objective.

In recent days commentators and journalists have become leaders of pol - itical movements and are now seriously considered as candidates for political office. Politicians now find it lucrative and politically advantageous to leave public service and make reflections, observations and criticisms of cur rent events. We are no longer aware of any separation between journalism and political life.

It is true that in the past journalists and commentators were not as professional as is desirable; and yet today the fine line between advocacy and objectivity appears not to exist.

This is regrettable.

A few days ago labor union officials were categorized as labor bosses in an article in the Wall Street Journal. This gave an impression that these men were not democratically elected leaders of a workers' collective bargaining organization. How many CEOs are elected? Do CEOs answer to the public? It is more accurate to categorize CEOs as bosses not labor union leaders.

It is also apparent that when President Obama was elected the majority of Americans desired a public option as part of health care delivery system reform. All political polls demonstrated this as fact. After a vicious campaign by the insurance in - terests and the GOP this desire was categorized as "socialistic" and a threat to our liberty. As I write this column, I am perplexed as to how public opinion can be transformed so quickly by half truths and distortions. All those who oppose the public option have no solution for the continuously increasing health care costs and the fact that not all Americans have adequate health care. I challenge FOX news and the Tea Party movement to explain their total distortion of the public option proposal.

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