News, news everywhere, but what is the truth?

Judge Roy Moore is still being vilified in the media but there are growing claims that some of his accusers may have lied. It seems some of them had been in his courtroom or had relatives the judge sentenced. But of course I’m sure their memories are vividly clear after 40 years of suffering the indignities they experienced at the hands of the judge.
In California, Garcia Zarate was found not guilty of murder in killing Kate Steinle. Zarate claimed he found the gun wrapped in clothes and left under a bench. It went off when he picked it up. The bullet ricocheted on the piers concrete walkway and struck Steinle. The jury bought his story even though he had confessed to killing Steinle to an ABC news reporter. Of course that confession was when he was using a different name.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn plead guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI. Most conservatives say since it happened after the election it couldn’t have been about “colluding with the Russians to fix the election.” Most liberals are salivating that it spells trouble for President Trump. They claim it proves Trump knew Flynn lied so he fired then FBI director James Comey and that is obstruction The problem all of these stories have in common is they are often incomplete. That makes it increasingly difficult for us to make informed decisions about the issues of the day since we do not have all of the facts.
Our news media, particularly the electronic media, do not give us the whole story. They give us “sound bites.” Then the talking heads have to explain what the sound bites mean. Often the talking heads don’t have all of the facts so they bring in “experts” to explain what it all means. Most often the experts also do not have all of the facts either but they know the narrative gives credence to their call for justice.
For example, in the case of Judge Roy Moore the media called on Gloria Allred. Allred is a Beverly Hills attorney who made her fortune filing civil suits against companies who allegedly discriminated against her clients. Incidentally, she only represents women. In the case of the Judge, Allred produces evidence that Moore is guilty because he signed some young girls yearbook. When Moore’s attorney requested the opportunity to examine the evidence, Allred said not until there is an investigation. Of course that won’t happen until after the election so Allred “wins” by convicting Moore in the court of public opinion.
In the case of Flynn the lies he plead guilty to were after the election. Remember, the investigation is supposed to be about how the Trump administration colluded with the Russians to fix the election. To date there is no evidence that the Russians had any impact on the election. And the supposition that Trump knew about Flynn’s lies is based on a tweet. There is little discussion about Flynn’s concerns about his mounting legal costs.
The Garcia Zarate story is a problem on a number of fronts. The judge did not allow any discussions regarding Zarate’s immigration status or his criminal record. Juries just can’t be trusted today with the whole truth so the judges decide what is too prejudicial. It is unclear if the jury was aware of Zarate’s previous confession. Our system requires that an accused be proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. But what is reasonable, when the jury doesn’t have all of the facts?
Truth is often difficult to accept, but in a civilized society we must commit to honestly and completely confront the facts before we make a judgment. Journalists who make claims about the issues with incomplete facts are irresponsible and unprofessional. They should be held accountable and removed from their positions.
The problem is much worse today than it has ever been because now we are all “journalists.” Facebook, Twitter and other “social” media have given each of us the power to express our positions on the issues of the day and most of us do.
We owe it to each other to carefully and objectively examine the facts. Not just play into the emotions of the issue. President Trump is not a smooth talking President that weighs his words carefully before he speaks. That is a fault he should work on. Most politicians today are very careful about how they express themselves. We need to decide if their carefully crafted words are honest or manipulative. Many of them need to learn that what they say is important and they need to work on being truthful.

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