Bernie Zurbriggen: Enough polarizing commentary |

Bernie Zurbriggen: Enough polarizing commentary

Bernie Zurbriggen

Alex Miller is without a doubt the best editor that the Summit Daily has ever had, at least for the 21 years that I have been a reader. He is a genuine member of our community and obviously cares very much about Summit County.

His editorial about Fox News on New Year’s Eve left me perplexed to say the least. I agree that much of what you hear from Fox and MSNBC falls into the category of sensationalism. They take a shred of a fact, embellish it, spin it and turn it into a much bigger deal than it actually deserves.

We are living through an extraordinary time that is particularly difficult for a significant portion of our population in the U.S. As a country we are challenged by many issues that simply have not existed on our radar before. Things like wars with nameless, faceless enemies; an economic convulsion that seems to drag on and on; what do we need to do to better educate our children so that they are able to compete in the rapidly evolving global market place; and is our system of governing ourselves and interacting with the rest of the world the best we can do.

These challenges are creating a relatively high level of stress among our citizens. The stress is amplifying the long-standing debate between liberals and conservatives. Many people are much more passionate about their particular beliefs … liberals are becoming more liberal and conservatives are becoming more conservative. While the long-standing debate is a healthy part of our way of doing things, the current radicalization, on both sides of the debate is distracting us from aggressively addressing the challenges at hand.

Reality is that Fox News, along with MSNBC, exists because there is a significant audience for this type of political entertainment. Having someone articulate your frustration and show you who you can blame for it, based on your particular brand of conservatism or liberalism is somehow satisfying to a lot of people. What we really need is a way to focus people’s attention on the actual challenges while entertaining them enough to keep their attention. This is another way of describing leadership. And I think our journalist have an opportunity to identify, nurture and encourage real leadership.

With all due respect Alex, calling half of the engaged population “evil” is not the way to start this conversation.

Alex Miller responds: The comment was aimed at Fox News and the way it manipulates the news to fit an agenda, not at its conservative audience.

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