Sound like a strange question? Think about it for a minute. Are we being treated like adults or are we being treated like children?
We don’t want adults to be dependent on us, because, in theory anyway, they have demonstrated their ability to see to their own needs. If an adult asks us a question, then, we tend to give them the full answer so they can go back and, well, not bother us anymore.
It is different with a child. Since they are dependent on us, and still learning how to take care of themselves, we tend to think that we can just give them enough information to get by, and let them learn the rest later. How many of us have heard someone say to a child, “You don’t need to ask why, just do as I tell you!” In reality, we are giving them the information that we think they need, not necessarily the information that they really do need.
Here’s my point. There are professional people who are paid to bring us the information we need, but as time goes on, they seem to bring us the information that they want us to see, and leave some out.
That is a large part of the reason I started doing this a couple of years ago, long before the folks at Grand Rapids Voice asked me to write for them. As a private citizen, I saw it as my duty, in a way, to make up for the shortcomings of the established press by researching and writing about some of the stories that aren’t normally covered. I seldom receive any compensation, although I spend many hours of my own time doing this.
That is why it frustrates me to see a professional operation completely fail to even mention a big story which everyone should hear about. I found it in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but found no mention at all in our local papers. It is a story about one of the three largest political fines in state history: State regulators fine DFL Senate campaign $100,000 | Star Tribune.
Why was this not covered? It was dated Dec 17, 2013, so I gave them plenty of opportunity before I asked this question. Did whoever decides which stories are covered decide that this is one we don’t need to know? Would it have been covered had it been the Republican party, or one of the smaller parties?
Whatever the reason it was not published in our local papers, I find it unacceptable that anyone could deem the story of the third largest campaign fine in state history not suitable for us. The very fact that the state assigned such a large fine is enough all by itself to attach a significant importance.
The failure to cover this story, among others, gives me the impression that someone feels as if either I need only the information they deem important, or that they want to influence my decisions by withholding part of the information. It sort of makes me feel as if I’m being treated like a child who can’t be trusted with all of the information. What about you? How does it make you feel?
I will continue to do what I can, by publishing the stories you will likely not hear elsewhere, as well and as long as I can. My hope is that as there is a greater and greater desire for the whole story to be told, some of you will join me in this endeavor. What your talents are is not important, all talents play a role. It is not easy, but it is necessary if we are to leave this world better than we found it.
Many times I have heard the saying, “The truth will set you free.” That is the first step.