Can’t Iowa do better?

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     Over the last few years we have seen the MSM continue to lose both readership, and viewership. The agreed upon reason for that is that “news” has been pushed aside for more reporting of opinions. The American people are rejecting that concept with their pocketbooks.

     It would sure be nice if that trend didn’t also take place in our little part of Middle America. Somehow the opinions and name-calling are taking root here.

     Last week the House of Representatives in D.C. took a vote on hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. The hurricane season was indeed devastating this year. Millions of people are hurting and need help, both physically and financially. Our District One Congressman, Rod Blum, voted NO on that bill. And the press was off to the races with complaints about how he hated people that lived on the island, and impune his character, and even resorted to name-calling. Too bad they didn’t just write the news, a large part of which should have been the reason for the NO vote.

     Rod Blum went to Washington with the promise to all of us in his district that he wanted to cut spending. Spending that was often in the form of perks for Congress. He has authored bills to eliminate first class travel at taxpayer expense for members of Congress, taxpayer leasing of the most luxurious cars available, and many others. Most of us have to live on what we make. Why not ask our elected officials to spend their own money on what they need, and want, in their lives. Despite our party affiliation isn’t that something we should all agree on?

     The NO vote on the hurricane relief bill was also in line with the above values. Congressman Blum very clearly explained his vote. An amendment was attached to the bill (which could be a whole conversation in itself), which added another $16 billion of non-emergency spending that had nothing to do with Puerto Rican relief. Sadly, this is Politics as Usual in D.C. Many talk about the changes needed; few stand up and actually try to make that change happen. Had the entire congress voted the bill down I have no doubt that the next day a “clean” disaster relief bill would have passed nearly unanimously. Wouldn’t that have been great?

But the real news apparently wasn’t explosive or divisive enough, not even for our small town Jones County newspapers. A member of our press instead let personal opinion rule and even resorted to name-calling. Quite disgusting name-calling.

     I hope I am correct when I say nearly everyone is tired of it. We want the news, and we want to be able to greet one another when we are together. Let’s not go the way of the MSM who have left news behind in favor of sensationalism. A couple of weeks ago even the NY Times gave guidelines to their reporters to stick to the facts and leave their personal opinions out of the story. Will it work? Maybe not, but at least they recognized a very large problem and made an attempt to correct it. CAN’T WE IN JONES COUNTY DO BETTER?

Linda Stickle

Anamosa, Iowa

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