The Justification for Fictional Interpretation

Damn, I wish I were a investigative reporter in Washington D.C. instead of a reality TV show tape logger. I would pull a Monica Lewinsky on Rove to get to the truth. Sounds disgusting, right? I'd do it for America.

If my name was Jeanie, I could grant my own wishes, but seeing as my name is Delia, I can't exactly crack the case, I can only provide a fictional interpretation of the Valerie Plame-Joseph Wilson scandal as it has unfolded thus far. Why must I digress into fiction territory when this is all very real and very serious? Well, many Americans enjoy their news as entertainment, or their entertainment as news. Who wants to read a boring news story when we can turn it into hype, hysteria, or national sensation? And in the instance of this particular story, how can we really trust the press anymore when it’s a major player in the story, thus incapable of being completely objective?

Yet on the press parade continues in the responsibility of reporting the cold hard facts, even when one of its most celebrated, reliable publications (as long as I’m naming names, the New York Times) is supposedly above the law when it comes to revealing confidential sources, placing journalistic integrity above national security. The lines dividing objective and subjective are blurring faster than we can tell the difference between the facts and what they’re trying to sell.

Average Janes like me are right to be suspicious of such ignorant secrecy at the topmost level. But what can we do? Some of us choose to be silent. But as a critic of modern politics, I can’t remain silent for the same reason I can’t join a religious cult. It’s too limiting, causing you to realign the values that your parents taught you in order to serve the mission of the leaders who don’t know you as well. You may become someone you won’t even recognize until it’s too late, until you don’t know who you are anymore. Criticism and acceptance come hand in hand, and only with an open mind to all political, spiritual, and social leanings can I stay true to the liberal views my parents taught me.

Now I’m afraid that journalism is facing limitations that will only erode its open-minded critical resolve. Corporate ownership, lackluster ad revenue workforce cuts, and limited access to the Bush Administration have brought the press to a fork in the road, a circus of subjective commentary on one hand, and the fight for fairness in the interest of public service on the other. The brilliant Iraq War work of Seymour Hersh is rarely read beyond the liberal snobbery circulation of the New Yorker. James Fallows’ harrowing projection of America in 2016 warned readers of The Atlantic Monthly of impending economic disaster if we don’t change our credit card-dependent spendthrift ways, but we don’t want to know about that right now because we’re a consumer society, and there’s an August filled with back-to-school sales coming up.

Yes, I’m a left-wing commentator, and yes, I am fully aware of my inherent political bias, but in my exposure to right and left sides of the coin, I find that the lefties are much more reliant on facts to back up their arguments. Just as the right side of the brain tends to veer illogical and spiritual, conservatives can’t solidly back up their passionate ravings. The left sect, on the other side, is dry, uninspiring, wordy, and too fact-heavy, if anything, as if middle-of-the-road Americans are going to journey into a mess of condescending college-educated rhetoric, limiting the preaching audience to an effective choir. It’s no wonder they chose the trusty Jesus-backed confidence of good old Cowboy Bush. Yeah, it was all an act, but it was a damn good act. His people learned from Clinton’s charismatic one-up of Bush the elder and Dole Bob. No matter how hard they tried, Gore and Kerry were dry and boring, at times flying way over our heads.

Obviously, I’m a perpetuator of left wing commentary, so I want to do anything I can to help get it out into the public in a more creative, interesting, and intriguing way, still fact-based but as passionate and raving as the evangelicals. Opinion/editorial commentary may be the current savior of journalism. You can call it propaganda, but if propaganda has become the free market’s free press, isn’t it everywhere? If everyone is a potential consumer, why can’t we consume the awareness of a scandal like the Valerie Plame-Joseph Wilson affair the same way we consume the Michael Jackson or Scott Peterson trials? If it’s not entertaining enough, how can it be? I’m doing this for you, and you all know who you are. Like I said before, to be continued…but if I succeed, you'll all be following this, and if I fail, the tabloids and celebrity gossip will only get hotter.


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