It’s Valentine’s season, so let me begin with a quick personal note. I’ve written here previously about our struggles to bring my fiancée, Jasmine from Germany, into the …
It’s Valentine’s season, so let me begin with a quick personal note. I’ve written here previously about our struggles to bring my fiancée, Jasmine from Germany, into the states, so I am very pleased to report that, following 13 months of waiting (including an actual lawsuit against Mike Pompeo), the K-1 visa logjam has been broken, and my sweetheart is finally here to stay. Our Facebook timelines are now peppered with pictures of our fellow plaintiffs in their wedding finery, and we should be joining their ranks very soon.
But what a time for someone to come to America, eh?
I was in Germany on January 6, helping Jasmine get her things packed, when we became aware of the events unfolding at the Capitol. I was flabbergasted, bewildered and enraged—shocked, but not really surprised. I floundered about for a bit, calling friends back in the states, trying to get my head around what was happening and to figure out a response.
Eventually, I had an idea. I called Bold Gold Media.
Bold Gold, as you probably know, now runs many of the radio stations in our area, including a couple of talk stations featuring mostly right-wing commentary. As such, they’ve been responsible for giving a local outlet to the toxic fulminations of the Limbaughs, Hannitys, Ingrahams, et al. that have contributed so much over the last 40 years (yes, 40 years!) to our present state of distrust, division and conflict.
So I called and had a nice, long, civil conversation with a staffer there. (I believe his name was Adnan, but I could be misremembering.) He was quite polite, calm and tolerant as I raved, struggling to keep my temper under control. For his part, he made a few salient points regarding the First Amendment and the use of outrage and provocation by all partisan media to fuel listener engagement and ratings.
It was the kind of conversation I think we need more of—and we, who are in the media, should start the ball rolling. We have to talk about how opinions are constructed, manipulated and promulgated in our system. We have to talk about accountability and responsibility. And we have to talk about how news has been changed from a public service to a profit center.
The Second Impeachment is still in full swing as I type these words. In all probability, the result will leave everyone angry and dissatisfied, with many important questions unresolved. The gaping, fundamental societal problems brought out by the insurrection will remain unaddressed. And the likelihood of an even deadlier repeat of January 6 will only increase.
My fiancée and I have a lot of challenges ahead as we face our new life together. We can’t be the same people we were. Circumstances have changed, and we have to change as well if we want to build a household that will last. The same is true for all of us as Americans.