Not all things are re­lated

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Opinion -

I was a lit­tle trou­bled by Marek Warsza­wski’s “both-sides-ism” piece (Dec. 31). It’s a pop­u­lar me­dia trope that finds equiv­a­lence in things that aren’t re­ally re­lated. Truly, do you think the hor­ri­ble, hate­ful, hurt­ful things some read­ers say about the deaths of chil­dren at the bor­der are re­ally the same as ver­bal pokes taken at the pres­i­dent’s cam­paign rally in Afghanista­n?

Not long ago the me­dia were is­su­ing mea cul­pas re­gard­ing their year 2016 re­port­ing fail­ures. Those fail­ures in­cluded: suc­cumb­ing to both-sidesism, “but, what about (s)...”, and to false equiv­a­len­cies — all ef­fec­tive tools in the sow­ing of chaos.

There are things that are right and just, and those that are not. While the me­dia may get a pass for find­ing no moral au­thor­ity wor­thy to in­ter­view and present a find­ing of what’s right and wrong in a story, there re­mains a dif­fer­ence. At the least, please do not state that there are equiv­a­len­cies in sto­ries when there are none.

I agree that there are many ways to con­sider most sto­ries and is­sues. And that it is im­per­a­tive to at­tempt to con­sider those many fac­tors, and per­haps pur­sue com­mon ground in con­ver­sa­tion, if and when that ground is fer­tile.

– Gunnar Jensen, Fresno

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