The destructive power of bad information.
by Alan Winner (Performer, Writer, Producer)
Do your research. Your tweets are being watched by Big Brother… your actual big brother... and your even your grand mother.
Don’t circulate bad information. If you hear something and pass it on without confirming its truth, you are circulating questionable information. We all think we know a lot of facts that are actually complete balderdash. Watch Stephen Fry’s quiz show “Q.I.” on BBC America or Hulu. It’s a quiz show basically proving, we all know a lot of facts based on questionable information.
The reason it’s forgivable, however, for you and I to circulate questionable information and apologize after we figure out the truth, is because that questionable information is only falling on the ears of the people in your immediate vicinity. That information then becomes the responsibility of the next person who hears it. We are all responsible for doing our own fact-checking.
For Brian Williams, however, it is a different story. I hate droning on about it, but now Bill O’Reilly is under the bus, too (Thank GOD!!!), I figured it a good time to bring it up again. When you are a house-hold name in a position of public influence, you have an understood responsibility to tell the truth… always.
Any person tuning in at any point in the broadcast should be able to trust what our network newsreaders are telling us. As a human, Brian Williams can make as many mistakes as he wants and I can personally forgive him, but I’ll still expect him to leave his job as he no longer fits the requirements. His word is now in question. He’s disqualified.
The Bill O'Reilly accusations stem from his time as an actual news anchor which calls into question every opinion he’s touted on his FOX show, The O'Reilly Factor. If we didn’t have enough reason to dislike the guy before, surely now we’re convinced.
I’m positive that Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly will have a satisfactory quality of life (monetarily speaking) until the day they croak.
Will there be a knock to their pride? I hope so. But the last thing I’ll ever be caught dead doing is feeling bad for people who abuse the trust of their audience. How else will we hear the truth without demanding it?
The people with the power are happy holding on to it. If you want to be heard, open your mouth and be heard. But please, for the love of god, do some research first and give me the facts. I’m a grown-ass man and can make up my own damn mind.
ALAN WINNER co-wrote and starred in his one-man show The Boy Who Loved Bassey. He is currently writing the screenplay for Kitchen, scheduled to shoot this Summer. www.alanwinner.com
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