News: Don#039;t dress it up, don#039;t dress it down

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Perhaps one of the easiest things that an individual can do is to damn his fellow-man with faint praise.

It also is one of the worst things a person can do.

It's an insidious, low-down, thinly-veiled effort to stomp a man's ambition into fine dust, and to destroy any drive he may possess that would lead him to success in his chosen field.

Example of faint-praise: "Oh, this man is a sterling model of rectitude all right, and he's a veritable paragon of morality and wisdom….But, he has a blind spot when it comes to implementing the objectives of his profession."

The key word here is "but."

It's like the sin of omission; its a deliberate attempt to undercut, downgrade and subject a man to the eroding, undertow of doubt that places him in a position of questionable ability in the eyes and ears of the beholder/listener.

Why this moralistic lecture, you may ask.

The answer is simple: it is just another in a skip-series that is designed to point up succinctly the sins and evils that are the ongoing depredations of the mass media. Involved are the dailies, the networks of radio and TV, and the pap and invective spewed out by those of the "learned," column-writing profession.

We have a strong desire to clear the reading and listening public's minds of that trash so that their evaluations of events and people will be arrived at through independent thought, thus eliminating the rubber-stamp jingoism that some commentators and periodicals would shove down their throats.

For the record, we feel that there is an overflowing tendency on the part of the daily press to magnify matters of monumental insignificance.

Examples: the antics of civil libertarians and their creation of uncivil libertines; flags and their removal; criticisms by expertise-less hacks who would remake branches of government in their own haphazard-like image, if only they could; ad nauseum.

Over-simplification is just as hazardous as under-simplification, we believe, and hopefully we at The Advocate are not guilty of either of those offenses.

What we seek, in our humble way, is the factspure and simpleblessed with the absence of the Rather-Brokaw-Jennings syndrome.