I want to rename the last few weeks of summer referred to as the "dog days" to the "bewildering weeks." I say this because of there is a swirl of controversial information all around us on many things but particularly health care reform and the stimulus. The information provided is a long way from what is correct or incorrect. It is more about how it is "spun" in the media, how people read the same information with different lens and experiences, and who you listen to on the radio and television. In other words, how are citizens able to get a straight answer these days? Some people make their living through misinformation; others have their own biases substantiated by myth; and still others see the world myopically beginning and ending with their own interests. An article on the impact of the federal stimulus on bostonglobe.com is a perfect example. The Democrats say that it has had a significant impact in creating and restoring jobs; the Republicans say that it hasn't. Now I know that cause and effect are sometimes hard to pinpoint but there must be some objective measure that we could use to determine where the stimulus was a factor in job creation. Ple---ase.
I agree with Neal Gabler's contention in the LA Times that the non-partisan, non-biased voice on health care and other hot button issues has to be the media. Instead of fueling the flames of the extremists on both sides, just tell us what it will cost, who will pay, and what it will do to my expensive but good existing health coverage. Newspaper subscriptions and sales have been down. If newspapers want to be the leading voice again--then lead. Help us understand this.