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Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Art of the Story 

Stand by for tears. Today's journalists all take the same approach to news. “Make it bleed, then it leads.” Make it graphic, make it coarse, make the mundane and immaterial seem a life threatening atrocity. Reporters all swinging for the fences of maximum reach. Reach means circulation, circulation translates to money, supplied by advertisers as desperate as the American population themselves. Well, as desperate as the 98% of Americans not enjoying the economic contraction brought on by greed. The state of the country is chaotic, news services are either folding their unit altogether, or expanding the glam and hype of their broadcast for greater appeal. America stands to lose what we have long taken for granted and grown used to its synthetic replacement. Shame on us for not demanding better, or at the very least, not knowing the difference. There was once was a tasteful approach, a reporter with panache for telling stories to the American public.

The story of a child who loved color, who loved to paint, but who, as an adult, was an unsuccessful artist, then became a villainous leader of catastrophic proportions.

A life-long innovator and entrepreneur, believing in his own ideas as much as America’s promise as the land of opportunity, was facing his own last chance.

Our history as a country was kept in good conscience and defended, mirrored, and distilled by a man who served as a walking, talking history book for perspective.

When, in 2008, gas prices soared to over $4 per gallon, he reminded us that we had been here before, by reissuing the headlines from newspapers dated 65 years ago. He compelled us, without volume or hatred, without renouncing one political party for another, he compelled us to examine our country, our choices, our selves. We had been there before. He was the voice of reason, relying solely on our past experiences that we chose to either ignore or devalue.

Who else would give us the innocent, pitiful portrayal of a lil’ Fuhrer to remind us that we’re all human? Who else would remind us that those who try and try again just might be the next great Golden Arches of America?

Who else would entertain us with news of our day, our lives, our country, grounded in the one humanity, one planet, that we all share? Who else… but Paul Harvey. May he rest in peace, February 28, 2009, and since his stories are timeless and America suffers short term memory loss, may his broadcasts play on forever.

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