Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Well said, Kootenai Health

by Earl Parker
| August 6, 2020 1:00 AM

I tip my hat to the recent COVID-19 news article provided by Kootenai Health. It was a no-nonsense explanation of the current health concerns. It answered in simple terms all the myths and conspiracy theories that we hear every day on the television channels.

If there ever was a time to keep things simple, it is now. I, for one, like to believe our health officials are doing their best to cope with this new virus. They learn each and every day more about COVID-19 and that knowledge brings them closer to the day when it will be brought under control.

Unfortunately, it’s election year and politics is on center stage — being fed by 24-hour television networks who thrive on creating controversy and playing over and over the outrageous statements made by politicians. The facts associated with COVID-19 just seem to get lost in this constant barrage of verbal attacks and accusations.

It is amazing that politicians can look into a camera, accuse others in their profession of lying or worse, and always do it with a political smile on their face. Politicians have learned to use television to entertain, to create controversy and destroy the integrity of those in another political party. And, television is happy to accommodate them. It happens seven days a week, every day, every hour on all channels.

The few true news shows left on the tube are hard to find. The three major networks, CBS, ABC and NBC, each devote the grand total of a one-half hour evening news program to bring us up to date on the major stories.

One example: “Meet the Press” is no longer an outstanding achievement in journalism. It has been turned into a political show. Hey, when’s the last time you saw the “press” on Meet the Press? There was a time when it was the fair and respected members of the press — working reporters, not commentators — who were on Meet the Press, questioning politicians and government officials about important actions or national concerns.

So, in the midst of this political storm, it was great to just read simple, straightforward explanations about the local situation and what our medical community is doing to get all of us through this troublesome time.

The need for newspapers and local news is critical for our system of government to function properly. This one-time article from Kootenai Health which appeared on the front page of the CDA Press demonstrates clearly why voters should not rely on television to be fair and/or balanced. It is by nature an entertainment medium, presenting the “news” in 30 seconds.


Earl Parker is a Twin Lakes Village resident.