Listening for Our Best


Fox Blonde WomenIn a recent article, entitled Get Out of the Villages!, I made reference to an “unfathomable rift that Americans have allowed to develop between themselves and fellow-Americans, due to differences in political views, etc.” Nearly every day, I witness contributions being made to further widen this self-made abyss. Recently, I saw a post on Facebook that I viewed as exemplifying this problem. Since I think it can also serve to point towards the solution needed to close this gap, I want to discuss it here.

The Facebook post in question included the photo of the nine women, shown above, along with the caption “The amazing diversity of FOX News”. The, obvious, implication is that Fox News is lacking in diversity. To me, this was so blatantly inaccurate, I immediately posted the following comment:

“You seem to have overlooked a few, including: Alicia Acuna, Julie BanderasMaria Bartiromo, Harris Faulkner, Lauren Green, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Maria Molina, Uma Pemmaraju, Andrea Tantaros, …”

In case you’re not familiar with these personalities, I’ve linked each name to a related photo. That should settle the diversity question. However, settling that doesn’t do much to lessen the ongoing polarization of Americans. To get to that, we need to more closely consider the question, “Why attack Fox News in this way?”

Before addressing that question, let me say that the aim of this article is not to convert people who aren’t Fox News fans. FYI, I wouldn’t classify myself as a die-hard-fan either. In fact, there are three of their most popular personalities who I avoid watching. On the other hand, Special Report is one of my favorite news programs.


OK, with that understood, let’s get back to the question, “Why attack Fox News in this way?” I closed out my comment on the Facebook post mentioned above by posing a related question: “Another case of seeing what you want to see or just another instance of presenting an acutely slanted view?” Of course, I don’t know the motives behind this Facebook post but it utilizes a tactic that seems all too common as a contributing factor to increasing the polarization of Americans. The tactic boils down to, when you’re in general disagreement with one’s point of view, instead of listening to their message, attacking the messenger, to discredit them and by doing so, debasing their message.

As indicated, this is a commonly used tactic. The reason it’s so commonly used is because it’s so effective. Sadly, its effectiveness as a debate tactic is being far outdistanced by its adverse effect on us, as a nation. I think we desperately need to adopt a much more constructive approach. My recommendation for this is one I’ve proposed as far back as an article I published December 10, 2007. It was entitled Rediscovering America’s Strength. In that article, I stated “the strength that made America great in the first place (was) the synergy of the best of our differing ideas.” In order to do that, we have to go beyond seeing what we want and presenting an acutely slanted view without even hearing what the other guy has to say. We must listen to those who don’t share our views and actually consider what they have to say. The worst that can happen is that we will have our own views validated. But, just possibly, we will  pick up an angle on a topic that’s superior to ours, making our overall grasp of that topic stronger. If “the other guys” pay us the same courtesy, they gain likewise. And, if we, as a nation, make this our habit, instead of taking the “If you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger” approach, we can regain “the strength that made America great in the first place … the synergy of the best of our differing ideas.”


Filed under Stones of Help

3 Responses to Listening for Our Best

  1. Al

    Obviously a comparison of long blond haircuts which seem to be back in style now – LOL; reminds me of the 1980’s Don Henley song, “Dirty Laundry”. It’s not how people “look” in the media, it’s what they “do” in life and how honest they are in their reporting and comments that matter. Much of the American public has become all too focused on entertainment and sports celebrities. It seems to be less interested about understanding the challenges and truths in life. This is a sad state of lack of world events awareness, but true.

    The Facebook page topic and pictures as you have described and presented them appear to be extremely racist. I could selectively collect pictures of female Obama Administration personnel and make the same bigoted comments about lack of diversity, but it is only a superficial view of people in the public eye. Diversity is more than just skin color and ethnicity — it’s cultural background, age, education level achievements, communication skills, religious beliefs, moral stature, life experiences, community involvement, and many other human attributes than bring society together.

    Hollywood and the main stream news media sources have more information on famous people they are promoting (and marketing) than important social and world event impacts on the lives of average people. About 5% of our society (rich, privileged people and their favorite politicians) have hijacked the news media. Few people seem to care enough to boycott the multimedia sources that are promoted on every electronic device used by Americans today. Discuss this constant electronic propaganda bombardment with your children, grandchildren, adult family, and friends when the opportunity arises from a true believer’s perspective.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more, that diversity is about more than skin color. In an article I called Diversity or Reversity –, I noted a slogan used by some dear friends for their course in diversity education. It’s “Unleashing the Power of Our Diversity”. That means making the best of the differences between us. It’s how you end up being able to have a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

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