Long ago, TV news was really fair and unbiased; no more
Growing up in Kansas in the '60s, our primary news source was television. My parents read the newspaper, but for national and international news we relied on the reports of either Walter Cronkite or Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
There were only three broadcasting systems, CBS, NBC and ABC. Cronkite as well as Huntley and Brinkley reported the news with gravitas and seriousness. What was reported was to be believed.
Now with many news agencies as well as the Internet, 24-hour news, and twitter accounts, news is available in many forms.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Sadly it is hard not to be cynical about what is true and believable. Fox News spins to the right. MSNBC spins to the left. Depending on the point of view, the same reported event can take on many different meanings.
The polarity which has occurred in our nation can be attributed to that spin.
It would be wonderful to hear the news and believe that it is the unbiased truth and to be trusted.
On April 25 I was shocked to witness Randi Kaye of CNN as she listed (in chronological order) all "the mistakes" the Boston Marathon terrorist-murderer suspects committed that made it easier to identify, locate and finally apprehend them.
In my mind, this kind of journalism is getting close to being treasonous on the part of the reporter and those in command who would allow her to report it. It seems to be getting uncomfortably close to aiding and abetting the enemy.
All that Kaye's report succeeded in doing was giving future would-be terrorists or misguided individuals a blueprint on how to dress and carry out a mission so as not to be identified or found. This kind of journalism simply has to stop. There is too much of it.
Jumble, comic woes
I feel I must add my own concerns about June's behavior in the Rex Morgan, M.D. comic strip.
For shame, June. The word "strip" (as in comic strip) doesn't allow you to undress in front of Rex when you are getting ready for bed. No telling how many readers were offended by that strip.
And now another careful reader has pointed out that June consumed alcohol during the daytime even though she suspected she could be pregnant.
Even as we speak, hordes of pregnant women may be sloughing down boilermakers and saying, "June says it's all right, and she's a nurse." What a disappointing role model June has become.
I thought my friend, letter writer Bill Ellis, and I were the only readers who take our comic strips so seriously.
While we are airing comic page complaints, I must point out that a recent Jumble contained a jumbled word impossible to decipher. Every Jumble fan knows that when double letters are together as in CYOPPH, the letters will not be together in the unscrambled word. Is POPCHY a word? How about PHYOCP?
We are expressing our strong opposition to the Marketplace Fairness Act. There are many reasons.
This bill — which would require more online retailers to collect sales taxes — will place severe accounting burdens on businesses large and small. There are 9,646 tax jurisdictions in the United States and more are being added all the time.
Think of the additional cost added to each transaction, and its impact on the purchase price, beyond the cost of the tax.
If enacted, large Internet retailers will simply move offshore, costing yet more jobs and still avoiding the tax. Small Internet retailers may just quietly disappear, unable to stay competitive after the increased overhead.
Tax revenues will increase, but the actual volume of transactions will decrease. The net effect will be a shrinking base taxed more heavily, fueling a continued downturn in the market overall.
Then there is the constitutional issue: States and localities will impose taxes on retailers over which they have no legal jurisdiction. No wonder President Barack Obama likes it.
More bureaucracy, more paperwork, more taxes, and a further weakening of our economy. Is this what we want?
Richard and Elizabeth Bendure
Mitch's gun policy
As 82 percent of our Kentucky community supported having a required background check before purchasing guns, Sen. Mitch McConnell disagreed by killing the bill.
His decision to do so has shown that McConnell is far from being concerned about our community and our safety. Day after day there are tragedies happening all over the world. This problem is taking place because guns are being put or allowed in people's hands without really knowing the full background or intention of the person who is holding the gun.
We need to take a step back and not only take a look at our community, but the person we elect as representative. The representative is supposed to be for us and what changes we want as a community, not against us.
Tea for two
A two-person political action committee that raised $1,000 is not so super. A PAC that supported Tea Party candidate Matt Bivens against Sen. Mitch McConnell is not Democratic.
Progress Kentucky billed itself as bipartisan. So does the Tea Party. Walks like a Tea Party, quacks like a Tea Party — it's a Tea Party.
Great musical peace
Almost a minute of silence followed the final note of "Libera me" (deliver me), the last movement of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem.
Not until Maestro John Nardolillo bowed his head did the crowd break into applause. Why? Because what we had just experienced was so profound and magnificently performed, it left us momentarily stupefied.
The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the UK Chorale and the Lexington Singers (Jefferson Johnson), Lexington Singers Children's Choir (Lori Hetzel), a chamber ensemble (Marcello Cromio) and three soloists, Justin Vickers (tenor), Thomas Gunther (baritone), and Catherine Clarke Nardolillo (soprano) amazed and astonished as they delivered Britten's Latin Mass for the Dead infused with the English text of nine war poems by Wilfred Owen.
The unsettling tone for the evening was solidly established by the tenor's opening lines from the most famous of these poems, Anthem for Doomed Youth: "What passing bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the gun."
The "Sanctus" segment, however, provided the greatest parallel for Britten and Owen's anti-war sentiments as the solo soprano's voice pierced the air and the orchestra and chorus barged in and crescendoed into the most conflicting, cacophonous expression of the conundrum of war I have ever heard.
The audience, obviously shaken to the core, seemed to sit silently waiting for their own deliverance, "Libera me." I left feeling as if I had just witnessed war, death and resurrection firsthand. What a grand season finale. Thank you and pax vobiscum.