The New Uncertainty Principle
Seems we have a new “uncertainty principle.” I’m not referring to Heisenberg and quantum theory, as it’s not nearly that complex. The uncertainty principle I’m talking about refers to being asked a question, being “uncertain” about the answer, and simply saying whatever suits one’s purpose in the moment. In short, making stuff up! Apparently that’s the new uncertainty principle and, unfortunately, I’m seeing it more and more every day.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re watching FOX News, MSNBC or one of the now frequent presidential debates. Pundits and politicians alike will shamelessly say whatever they need to say to bolster their argument and get through a question/interview. Why do they do it? Because they can. And they do.
Consider the irony of someone asking for our trust to lead the country as president, while repeatedly being intellectually dishonest (to be kind about it) with the electorate as a presidential candidate. And as the line between news and entertainment continues to blur, misstatements made on television, print and on countless online platforms spread as rapidly as a contagion run wild. They poison the dialogue and drive people even further apart. The damage is incalculable.
For all the fact checkers and truth squads out there, they have all the weight of a page 9 correction of an error that appeared on the front page of a major newspaper the day before. Millions are exposed to the headline, while only thousands might get the message that it was apocryphal. Hardly seems fair, but until we step up and do something about it, the new uncertainty principle faces an even brighter future.
Maybe if misstatements by candidates, and even the media’s own pundits, topped the news every evening or were given prominent “above the scroll” placement on major news web sites, our leaders and media personalities might be less inclined to invoke the uncertainty principle. If that could happen, it’s possible, just possible, that integrity might once again take its rightful place in the public discourse.
What do you think? Feel free to add your comment here or, better yet, share it with your favorite source for news!