Now, I understand that TV pundits and personalities are often more interested in ratings than in journalism. But some of them just cross the line. And they don’t just cross the line, they zig zag and dance all over that sucker. They may become ridiculous in the process.
That’s just my opinion, but let’s look at Fox News’s Megyn Kelly’s latest random attack on the President of the United States. In a recent broadcast she twisted old news around – we’re talking Twister the kid’s game, twisted – and threw some pretty disrespectful shots at President Obama.
It’s one thing to have an opinion. It’s something else to lose sight of the power of your forum and descend into the cheap in order to achieve something as mercurial and intangible as ratings. It’s basically like abandoning your dignity for attention, something reasonable adults frown on, particularly in the work world.
Of course, that may be a high brow assessment of this particular situation. But in a broader arena, in matters related to diversity and inclusion, you really have to be careful that what you put out there doesn’t rebound and one, make the situation worse, or two, call your credibility into question.
Some might say, Fox News, Megyn Kelly, credibility isn’t actually a thing. But she does have a forum. She has power and reach and the ability to sway public opinion. By that token, I think she also has a responsibility to maintain a certain respect – dignity, impartiality, perspective – for her audience, even for the opposition.
I’m not saying we have to watch every word that comes out of our mouths. That’s not it. That’s no way to live as many people, minorities and majorities, will tell you. I’m certainly not perfect here. I’ve descended, perhaps not into the cheap, but definitely into a passion-induced quagmire where respect became thin. Either I pulled myself back from the edge of no return, or a reader did. I appreciate that. Such instances are opportunities to learn.
But after a certain point, when we continually make the same rude mistake, it’s time to reevaluate what we’re doing and why. Are you trying to make a point? Does that point have long-term impact on others? Is it worth the potential crap that may befall you and those associated with you if something goes awry?
Even Donald Trump has beef with Kelly for saying “dumb stuff.” It’s not the first time Trump’s gone after the anchor, of course, but perhaps – I almost can’t believe I’m writing this – he’s on to something.
Basically, we have to think before we speak, before we write, before we act. We’re grown. It’s part of the charter.