Just the Facts, Please

As advisor of the school newspaper, I have two goals for my students:

1) Be aware of the world around you.

2) Get the facts.  Opinion comes later or, preferably, not at all.  There is more than enough opinion journalism in the world.

One of our first big stories is about the health care debate.  I am gleeful at the prospect of bombarding people with the truth.  I am SO SICK of liberals claiming that this debate is racially charged.  People, use your brains.  Thankfully, our president is still using his:

“Look, I said during the campaign there’s some people who still think through a prism of race when it comes to evaluating me and my candidacy. Absolutely,” Mr. Obama told NBC News. “Sometimes they vote for me for that reason; sometimes they vote against me for that reason.”

But he said that the matter was really “an argument that’s gone on for the history of this republic. And that is, what’s the right role of government?”

The president said the contentious health care debate, which came on the heels of extraordinary government involvement in bailing out banks and automobile companies, had led to a broader discussion about the role of government in society.

“I think that what’s driving passions right now is that health care has become a proxy for a broader set of issues about how much government should be involved in our economy,” Mr. Obama told CBS News. “Even though we’re having a passionate disagreement here, we can be civil to each other, and we can try to express ourselves acknowledging that we’re all patriots, we’re all Americans and not assume the absolute worst in people’s motives.”

He is so . . . refreshingly . . . SANE.  And I'm not sure whether I agree with the health plan he's touting, but I sure respect him for telling it like it is (here and elsewhere!)

Likewise, I am SO SICK of conservatives throwing around terms they don't know about.  If I had my way, people would get cited on the spot for passing on information they haven't verified.  Intelligent people are not exempt, either.  A professional acquaintance recently warned me about cell phone telemarketers. My school's principal believed the hype about godless Pepsi cans.

Get. The. Facts.  Or keep your opinion to yourself.  That's my policy.