To watch the January 6 hearings, or not?

This post is not political. It’s not about bashing those for or against Trump supporters.  

This post is about being a responsible American. Americans who can legally vote have a duty to not just show up at the ballot box, but to be as informed as possible before casting any vote. Being misinformed when voting is not good for our country.

But how does one become informed? On social media, when two people from different sides of the political divide debate, it’s common for one or both to accuse the other of being misinformed because they watch fake news. 

What is news? Is it a meme you saw on social media that you agree with?

Is it an anonymous poster that shares some titillating political tidbit that you find believable?

Is it what your favorite political commentator who shares your political views tells you?

Is it what the reporter tells you on the local news?

When I was studying journalism in high school and then in college, we were taught that a reporter should report just the facts as he or she knows it—not their opinions on the facts. That’s what a commentator does.

What the reporter tells you is only as good as his or her source—which goes to reason that you should probably discount what the anonymous poster says, as it’s impossible to evaluate the source.

If you want to become informed, you need to drill down to the original source. And even then, you must objectively evaluate that source, weighing it against other credible sources.

Learning the truth is difficult. But as Americans we have an opportunity to learn the truth about what happened on January 6—not just what your favorite commentator told us happened. We can do that by watching the hearings and see for ourselves what the witnesses (the sources) are telling us while under oath.

If those elected officials on the Jan 6 committee are being bias or unfair, see it for yourself. Watch the questions they ask and the facts they present. Listen to the answers given them by the witnesses. See it with your own eyes and ears. Don’t rely on the slanted view someone on the news tells you. This goes for either side of the political divide.

If someone fervently tells me not to watch it, I wonder, why? Why don’t they want me to watch it? 

I was in college during the Watergate trials. At the time I was living at the home of my sister’s in-laws. Each day after school I would return to where I was staying and watch the Watergate hearing on TV with my brother-in-law’s grandmother, a loyal Republican.