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Christopher Wilde
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Friday, April 18, 2008

A Dream I Had

 

My son came to me and said, "Dad.  I want to be a journalist when I grow up."

"Really?"  He had never shown any interest in such things before, I was pleased and surprised.  "What brought this on?"

"I've been reading the newspaper and it doesn't seem like they are telling the whole story.  I want to be a journalist so I can report the truth.  The hard facts."

Oh. These are the painful moments between father and son. No one wants to burst the bubble of a child.  I didn't want to tell him as a reporter he was going to spend the rest of his life compromising the truth to appease competing interests.  News agencies don't investigate their advertisers, CNN doesn't go out of their way to pursue Ted Turner, Fox doesn't go after Rupert Murdoch,  and George Stephanopoulos isn't going to go after Hillary Clinton in a debate.  Where does the bad information about the candidates from from?  The other candidates.  Is it available to the reporters, sure, but they don't dig like the candidates special investigators that spend all day and night looking for that dirt.

How do you tell your son?  Even when you have the truth, when you are the first to the punch with the truth, people don't care about the truth, they care about perception.  Most people don't even have the capacity to see the truth because they see everything through an ego filter.

"Son, I love you.  If you want to bring people the truth there is only one way to do it.  I'm not very good at it, but if you start now and work hard at it, I believe you can do it.  There is only one way to give people the truth. Son, you need to study comedy, you need to be a comedian.  Learn to write well, (again I don't), and go work for Comedy Central, the Onion, or start your own web site.  But the only way you'll ever be able to slip a little truth in, is if you do it with a smile.  Distract them with a little laughter and then slip it in when their defenses are down."

 

What a weird dream....I need to stop falling asleep to Steven Colbert.

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