Eagle Talk

The Insidious Trap of Sound bites, or Creating Negativity as News

Over the summer, we have been exposed to a plethora of negativity being delivered as news.  It doesn’t really matter which TV station you watch, or which newspaper or magazine you read, the constant refrain of the dark spiral into which this country, and indeed the world, seems headed, is overwhelming.  We are bombarded by pictures supported by words highlighting everything wrong with our society, our economy, and our leadership.  It’s not just in the United States.  It’s across the globe.

Within the last week, we have seen articles in very respectable publications giving voice to the disasters that are about to occur in the United Kingdom because Jeremy Corbyn has been elected the leader of the Labour Party.  This event carries the label with it, A Catastrophe for Great Britain.  Various pundits on television and in print are warning of the disasters about to befall the nation.

What is correctly described as an “exodus” of people from the Middle East is now a major time slot on all the networks and headlines in every newspaper.  What is sadly lacking in all of this reporting may simply be stated as little or no discussion on causes.  It’s as though Western leadership is unwilling to confront the truth behind the tolerated and inexcusable behavior of Mr. Assad in Syria.   This is the same “head in the sand” approach that Western leadership took about Mr. Putin’s invasion of the Crimea.  Here’s my question.  When are we going to learn that condoning violent behavior leads to greater excess and greater violent behavior?  If only more leaders in political positions today had any understanding of history.  This lack of historical perspective, coupled with the insidious use of sound bite reporting, is creating one of the most dangerous environments we have seen in the last one hundred years. 

If you have watched either of the Republican Debates, first on FOX, then CNN, you have had a ringside seat to a combination of reality show and the political equivalency of Dancing with the Stars.  The sound bite statements delivered by the candidates responding to questions asked by moderators, whose personal goals for stardom overshadow being true moderators with leadership insights, reinforce the negativity and diminish the credibility of everyone who is running for the highest office in the land: President of the United States.  Is this really good? 

Here are my leadership suggestions for actions we can take as individuals that can have an influence and bring positive changes into our world on all levels, political, economic, social and cultural.

  • The biggest challenge each of us face is do we have the moral courage to stand up, speak out, and tell the truth as we perceive it in an environment of political correctness where it’s so easy to be castigated by those who do not want to hear the truth nor face reality.
  • Recognize and embrace the concept of doing things right, not just doing the right thing.
  • Recognize and admit that in the United States we must improve secondary education in terms of fundamentals, the ability to read and write, and think clearly, coupled with accountability and responsibility for one’s own actions and behaviors.
  • Be outspoken and become involved. Become involved in your community and in the political process that goes on around us every day.  Take ownership for the kind of world you want to live in.
  • Become a catalyst in your own way, a leader who will energize others to bring about behavioral change.  This demands a disciplined effort, and the necessity to create a shared consciousness with others.
  • Don’t be complacent.  If you don’t take ownership for your own environment, you will become a victim with no one to blame but yourself.

As members of our Eagle Talk, possessing experience, knowledge and wisdom, let’s begin a journey together.  Share with me your thoughts and ideas on how you will be part of the solution for change, bringing back into our society a true Leadership Culture.  We need to become a team of teams in order to defeat the mediocrity existing today brought about by a lack of leadership.

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