Check media vanity at the door

Dear Editor:

It has become rather obvious that President Trump and the media are simply two sides of the same coin. While both outwardly lament the unfair treatment directed at them by the other, the truth is that each side relishes the conflict and the attention it garners.

Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart, certainly no admirer of the President, said to this point recently that Trump has shrewdly and successfully, time and again, taken advantage of the news media’s narcissistic impulses. By taking the barbs so personally, Stewart says, they have actually done Trump a favor by focusing so much time on this petulant war of words rather than on more substantive policy matters.

In this light, I think it important that we give some appreciation to the criminally underappreciated Brian Lamb. Founder of the C-SPAN empire, Lamb, a fellow Hoosier, established a mold of TV journalism that many in the media could stand to learn a thing or two from.

Known for his hands off interview style, Lamb made it company policy that his anchors don’t make themselves part of the story. So committed to this creed was Lamb, he went as far as to make it a rule that his broadcasters never utter their own names during programming. Equally important to Lamb was that his own personal views remain ambiguous.

Though C-SPAN is sometimes accused of holding a conservative bias, this is probably because it is one of the rare networks not to hold explicitly liberal views i.e. not being forcefully liberal counts as holding a right wing bias, according to some. If you haven’t tuned into C-SPAN in a while, I would encourage you to do so. The lack of outrage posturing, and sensationalizing of headlines will serve a much needed breathe of fresh air.

Lamb was a Democrat in the truest sense in his commitment to creating a better educated electorate. Though obviously a highly intelligent man with his own well informed views (whatever they may be), he thought it a fault of modern journalists that so many try to act like they know more or as important or interesting as the subjects they are interviewing.

This stark contrast of styles has made it clear that the network news industry has become simply a vehicle for C-list stardom for many rather than a place of substantive, high minded journalism.

With its credibility at an all-time low, the news media could perform its vital role in our democracy so much better if they took this great man’s lead and checked their vanity at the door.

Derek Taylor, Greensburg

Help for opioid addiction is available

Dear Editor:

Overdoses are happening everywhere, all over the country. In our current society, the streets are filled to the brim with ultra-strong heroin that’s often mixed with fentanyl and a multitude of its analogues, making life saving efforts, like Narcan, futile when trying to reverse an overdose.

The thing is, overdoses don’t just happen in the bathroom or bedroom at home. In fact, many people who overdose do so in public areas. Overdoses can happen in the grocery store, in the car, at a shopping mall – just about anywhere.

Overdoses happen when a person has taken more opiates (or opioids) than their body can handle. They can happen absolutely anywhere and it’s really important for everyone to know the symptoms of an overdose because then, the appropriate actions can be taken to save a person’s life.

For more information on the opiate epidemic, visit http://www.narconon-suncoast.org/blog/how-to-recognize-signs-of-an-opiate-overdose.html.

Jason Good, Clearwater, Florida