I don’t know about you, but in my personal life and in my work, I like to meet and know people of various viewpoints on various issues. I learn from talking to different people with different viewers. I don’t like just recycling my own views. I am not a one trick pony and want to challenge my own thoughts and views and that only happens when I speak to a wide array of people with vastly different ideas, views and solutions. I compare and contrast in my own mind different opinions and views.
I assume you know people with different views (many may be family members) and you also like and appreciate those people / family members with whom you might disagree whether it be disagree on much or on little. I also assume you, like I do, compare and contrast in your mind the different views.
Sometimes when I hear from someone with whom I disagree I become more convinced of my original view ….that I am right…..and sometimes after listening to other viewpoints I am persuaded by that viewpoint and I change my view. As a consequence of both possibilities, I never stop listening. I don’t like to be wrong but I run a high risk of being wrong if I am unwilling listen to others. I also don’t want to be unfair. When you stop listening, you are contributing to gridlock. Gridlock is bad – whether it be in Congress or in the vigorous exchange of ideas. We need to exchange ideas and views.
I don’t do a good job for you if I don’t ask lots of questions from many different people. I also don’t do a good job if I am only listening to what others in the media say and then simply recycle the media comments. That is lazy. (Remember how many in the media used the word “bold” in describing Gov Romney’s choice of Rep Paul Ryan? That was a clue that the media does way too much listening to each other. What are the odds that they all came up with the same word description, right?)
So it is always with some amusement when people get all in a lather because I interview or even know people from both sides of the political aisle. I am proud of the fact that people from both sides of the aisle will talk to me. It means both sides see me as fair, that I will give them a fair shake so that they can communicate with you. They might not agree with me, or they may think I am dead wrong about something, but they see me as fair and willing to give them a chance to talk to you…whether in an interview or simply by what the tell me in the course of our paths crossing.
My job is not mud wrestling — but rather to get as much information as possible for you, from as many people as possible. I am also not in showbiz. I work for you to get information. And to do that, I work sources – I get to know people. That’s the job.
Have you noticed how people get all fuss’d up because I am polite with – but ask pointed questions of – two polarizing women — Governor Sarah Palin and Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton? People don’t like or dislike Palin and Clinton – it is hate or love. These women evoke strong emotions from people. And these women are only polarizing (evoke strong emotions( because this country has yet to embrace strong women in politics. I hear strident remarks when either name is brought up. Disagreeing is one thing and I like that and appreciate that and it is important — but the comments I get about either women is most often not simply disagreement, but often very personal and nasty. (By the way, although they have very different views on many topics — they do agree on some issues.)
And it isn’t just viewers who get all fuss’d up because I have access to both Democrats and Republicans, or even to Palin and Clinton, it is also some in the media. Some have let their imaginations get the best of them. What I see as working sources, they see as something else. Of course I work hard to get access to sources and I have been at this for years so naturally I have lots of sources. I don’t just read a computer monitor — I go out and learn. You can say a lot of things about me (I have planty of faults) but lazy is not one of them.
As we march into election season 2014…and then on to 2016…let it be known I know Republicans and I know Democrats and I hope to meet more and talk to more, on air and off air. Note also, I like people from both parties — don’t always agree, but like them. I will continue to do my job for you as best I can — work my sources, do my homework, ask pointed questions (not scream or holler) and then it is your turn. You then get to decide what you think of the candidate or the political position. Yes, “we report, you decide.”