If there is one thing that has become apparent in the 20 months since the inauguration of Barack Obama, it is that journalists and politicians in this country are good at one thing - appealing to the lowest common denominator.
This is true on the left, with a few notable exceptions — one of which being our president, who has been criticized during this Ground Zero mosque boondoggle for talking more like a college professor than a politician.
It’s even truer on the right, with people like Sarah Palin tweeting “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”
Well, here at The Badger Herald, we’re good at two things that Sarah Palin isn’t: purposefully using fake words and not appealing to the lowest common denominator.
That’s not to say inane partisan bullnaggery won’t be found somewhere in this newspaper, since it’s a staple of any 21st century election cycle.
And why not? It’s a lot easier for Senate candidates to talk about “bringing America back” with “hard work” and “other principals that made America great to begin with.”
And reporters are either stuck with these talking points — as will regrettably happen to our news department from time to time — or they’re like cable news, and turn the talking points into 24 jam-packed hours of drama. Together, politicians and media do a pretty good job of insulting the intelligence of the 25 percent of this country that aren’t total lemmings.
It’s my general belief that most of this campus is a part of that 25 percent, and we should consider ourselves pretty lucky for that.
So, in order to better cater to that audience, it is my hope that the opinion page of this newspaper will never appeal to the lowest common denominator. We will eternally strive to be calculated thinkers, writers and journalists, and our viewpoints will reflect that.
Forty-one years ago, a group of UW students sat around a table at State Street Brats and decided to start this newspaper. Since that date, The Badger Herald has made a point to encourage open discourse. Shoot me an email ([email protected]) to send a letter to the editor or air any grievances you may have with our coverage.
And we are always looking for new writers, so come to one of our new writers meetings to find out more information about working for our news, opinion, arts, sports and online departments. The meetings will be Sept. 7 and 14 at 5 p.m. at our office, 326 W. Gorham St., above Silver Mine Subs and Madhatter.
Enjoy the three-day weekend as the last vestige of summer, but more importantly, enjoy every minute you have in this great city.