STILL IN THE ARENA
By Geoff Metcalf
June 5, 2002
This column marks a new beginning in many ways. After four a half years of writing for the same news site I am now in several different venues.
Stuff happens and things change. However, some essential things remain constant even as they become shaded and textured.
Duty, Honor, Country…honestly, integrity, and loyalty are (or should be) valued principles. These things should be (and to some of us still are) axiomatic. They should not be bargained away in a coatroom or compromised for some temporary expedient.
Some things are more important than material gain. You can make and lose money but “do overs” on compromised principles are kinda like buying a new crystal vase to replace the gift that was broken. The original is history. You can buy a new one and it will look the same…but it isn’t.
For those of you to whom my work is new, I offer some background to provide some insight into what you will hopefully be reading.
Although some will attempt to pigeonhole me as a “conservative talk show host and writer” that is (and always has been inaccurate). I focus on WHAT is right or wrong not ever WHO.
I am and will remain a non-partisan equal opportunity offender. I will praise a liberal democrat if or when they ever do good as quickly as I will eviscerate a republican when they abandon principles and fold like a house of cards to some politician accommodation.
I think Ronald Reagan was the best contemporary President in the history of the republic….but I routinely violate his 11vth commandment.
Teddy Roosevelt once said, "It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."
The New Media morphing which is taking place (I hesitate to call it a revolution) is really a function of physics. Nature abhors a vacuum. The mainstream media giants have created a vacuum by their malfeasance, complicity and arrogance. The refusal of the major networks and daily newspapers to report the “politically incorrect”, or news embarrassing to their corporate masters, has allowed the symbiotic synthesis of talk radio and the Internet to fill the vacuum unchallenged.
Almost five years ago, I wrote, "Notwithstanding the obvious liberal bias of mainstream media, many of us continue to wonder at what point will either embarrassment or territorial imperative compel the dominant media to return to the journalistic foundation of actually reporting Who, What, When, Where, rather than obfuscating the Why and the How, and/or committing mortal sins of omission."
I have used a line that has become an annoying refrain about fairness, and the ability (or inability) of people to "... not want to be confused with facts which contradict their preconceived opinions." People incorrectly assume that the mainstream is reporting objectively. In fact, the mainstream media is neither fair nor balanced.
For over ten years I have asked every mainstream journalist and media type (as well as several ‘outside the mainstream’ types like Matt Drudge) the same questions. “When will the networks and mainstreamers get hip to the open field talk radio and the Internet has? When will they offer their audience (which is eroding like Georgia clay in a flash flood) what the audience obvious wants?
Without exception, EVERYONE (Jack Germond, Bob Novak, Dave Barry, Matt Drudge, William McGowan and Bernie Goldberg) said, “Never!”
The mainstreamers are in terminal denial…despite overwhelming statistical evidence AND the remarkable success of Fox News.
If or when any of the networks were to offer programming to take on Fox, they would BURY the cable outfits…quicker than a minnow can swim a dipper.
And still they don’t and apparently won’t. Go figure?!?
Confucius said, "To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle." Frankly, it is both.
© 2002 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication. www.geoffmetcalf.com