I have no problem with the media. My concern is with the pettiness that folks from the right are taking in picking on things.
While very humorous, it is dangerous as it is reminiscent of the "boy who cried wolf" fable. If you guys yammer about nits like taped music or a flubbed oath or a speech pattern it takes any seriousness and legitimacy that you might have for bona fided issues and reduces them to just another in a list of insignificant points. That reduces the dialog that helps inform and improve everyone's understanding and perspective.
It's all about opportunity. The chief Loss Prevention guru where I work has a general stat that he uses during his seminar. Don't ask for a link to his source because I don't have it. I am forced to assume it came from some LP journal that he read at some time in his career. Here goes...
85% of the people are basically honest and try to do the right thing.
10% of the people are TOTALLY honest. They couldn't steal if you paid them.
5% of the people are sick, twisted thieves and will steal no matter what.
So where does the theft come from? The 5% CAN'T account for the billions stolen yearly. We know the 10% folks WON'T Steal so that leaves the 85% who are basically honest. The problem is that given an opportunity or a motivation, some of them DO steal.
Now, criminals don't explode onto the scene as hard core safe crackers or truck hijackers, do they? They start small. Maybe they went into a record store and stuffed a Jonas Brothers CD from the $5 clearance bin down their baggy jeans and got away with it. Emboldened, they go back for more. Then they spread out to other sources of supply. Maybe they get caught if they don't learn more effective methods to steal or maybe they're just unlucky. If they end up incarcerated with others like them, they become the hardened career criminals.
The point is, nobody took issue when the theft was 'only' five bucks. That's too petty to worry about. The focus is on the larger opportunity for theft which is usually the target for someone who has gotten away repeatedly with smaller past misbehavior. The accumulation of small 'victories' gives the thief a sense of invulnerability and even entitlement.
You realize, of course, that I am greatly paraphrasing and distilling here as there are libraries of books on the subject and not enough time or space to include it all here.
I am a store manager. It's my job to see to the petty things to prevent the big oops from happening. It's been drilled into me from my first day on the job. I get mocked here for focusing on the nit-picky stuff but but these are the foundations on which a career is established and they jump off the screen at me when I read them. I can't always see the big picture that many of you who have followed these things for a lot longer than I but I can see when something is wrong. I know where it can lead. So I post about it.
Every pass that President Obama gets now will lead to an expectation on his part that he will become more and more immune to any criticism. President Bush was roundly criticized for everything, big or small, and chose to ignore it. By most accounts, President Obama is a better man than that.
Let's call him on the little things now so that he'll realize that he'll be called to account for the big things later on.