Certain media outlets have decided that the best way to generate more advertising dollars is by sacrificing journalistic ethics, responsibility and balance. They are willing to flatly lie about the Obama administration.
Generation Y has an obligation to see those outlets for what they really are.
The critically important generation should not allow itself to be misled by the subterfuge that masks as cable news no matter who is delivering it at the anchor table.
In many ways President Obama noted that the nation is at a critical juncture and that the ultra right wing policies espoused by neoconservatives is not the answer. Those policies failed under President George W. Bush and have not, in fact, worked in decades.
Deregulation, a conservative policy loved by Wall Street that led to the financial collapse of major financial institutions in New York, is still being pushed by some conservative politicians who have mastered the practice of looking at a white paper and calling it blue and expecting us to accept it.
It is not that there shouldn’t be any debate. President Obama acknowledged that “some of this contentiousness can be attributed to the incredibly difficult moment in which we find ourselves as a nation.”
The issue is that the debate is being held on deeply biased and prejudiced platforms, where students are not allowed to make up their minds in an atmosphere where truth and facts prevail.
Elected officials are willing to lie outright in the public space about death panels that do not exist in the health care legislation to hold hostage the largest voting bloc in the nation, senior citizens.
A so-called media analyst and pundit gladly refers to a cheering Tea Party crowd as “Tim McVeigh wannabes,” a apparent reference to the Oaklahoma terrorist Timothy McVeigh, yet not even the news organization that carries this particular host corrects that kind of insanity.
That is the challenge that Generation Y faces today: Getting the facts as they are without the interjection of prejudice, hate and bias served on a deadly golden plate as “real news” for their consumption.
Clearly, if students were to take their cue for responsible civic leadership from what the media reports or what certain talk show hosts serve up every evening, we might as well forget leadership for tomorrow.
“Here’s the point. When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate oursevles about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinons heard, that’s when democracy breaks down,” Obama said. “That’s when power is abused. That’s when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That’s when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power because none of us are there to speak up and stop them. Participation in public life doesn’t mean that you all have to run for public office, though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about.”
Students are the pillars of society. So many movements for change throughout history have begun on college campuses where there is the rush by leaders and activists to influence the innocent minds of tomorrow.
These students who are now proud graduates of the University of Michigan have an obligation to not let their voices for change be drowned out by those with the greatest media access, but operating with few, if any facts.
University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman aptly reminded the students of their intricate position in this complex and ever-changing world.
“Graduates, your community service is praiseworthy and important. It should also be unrelenting. Civic engagement is the foundation of a vibrant, prosperous society, and more than ever, as our neighbors and communities work through this economic downturn, your contributions matter,” Coleman said.
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