I try to keep these blog postings up beat. I really do. However, there are times when the press is sooooo biased and, although I doubt anyone reads this blog who disagrees with me (at least in general), I can't help feeling like the issues need a little balance.
For every 12 articles supporting the green movement, there might be one (in the mainstream press) which gives the other side a voice. This week, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle finally gave West Yellowstone business owners a chance to share their side of the story. Sadly, I fear, as usual it is much too little and much too late!
To add insult to injury, online newspapers allow, even encourage reader feedback. While this is a good idea, in principle, the feedback often amounts to nothing more than a spitting match.
Take the response to this particular Chronicle article. It started out with two comments from folks who obviously understood the concerns expressed by West Yellowstone business owners. However, it degenerated rapidly when a reader accused Yellowstone snowmobile visitors as being 'Me' centered and lazy.
Add the addition of a little inappropriate language and the writer had the desired result. Other respondents lost their cool, and it degenerated from there. Why? The only purpose this served was to reinforce my belief this whole 'environmental' issue is not really about what is best but who has the most power.
Before I go any further, let me clarify something. I do NOT go looking for articles to increase my frustration. I would much prefer to stay at Elk Lake and let the rest of the world go to hell in a handbasket if they so desired. However, I know if everyone practiced this mentality, it would only serve to increase our traveling speed - so I believe, if nothing else, I have a moral responsibility to at least speak to the issues in a peaceable and (hopefully) reasonable manner.
On the other hand, I do go looking for articles to keep Elk Lake's friends and guests up to date on the happenings in our area. My sources are usually the Island Park News and The Magic of Yellowstone. Elizabeth, The Island Park News editor, does a good job of staying on top of local issues. I also feel she works hard to present a fair and balance (albeit not always politically correct) news presentation.
The Magic of Yellowstone is my other source of area news. Jim McDonald, while much greener than Elizabeth, keeps the interested world up to date about recent Yellowstone news articles related to the area.
So, on to another article. This article is, I believe, a good example of current 'reporting'. It comes from the Jackson Hole News and Guide. This particular article speaks to green group's fears of what may occur during the last days of the Bush administration, and how much, in their words, 'inordinate impact on public lands' those acts will have.
While the basic premise of the article may be correct, the current administration may be working to 'enact policy' changes as their time comes to a close, the author's bias is so clearly set in the article's opening paragraph, it makes one wonder why he bothered to call his piece 'reporting'.
In the opening paragraph, Mr. Hatch says, "After eight years of government that unabashedly placed development over conservation and recreation over environment. . ." I'm not sure where Mr. Hatch lives, but one thing which has NOT happened in the vast majority of Idaho and Montana in recent years is an emphasis on recreation over environment.
While the Bush administration may have been pro-development and pro-recreation, the environmental groups have quite successfully locked up most pro-recreation and pro-development moves in the tri-state area. Since Jackson is in the tri-state area, I am surprised Mr. Hatch did not bother to get any input from the other side.
I should not be. This 'my agenda' reporting seems to represent the new definition in news these days. Maybe that is why so many Americans are turning away from the mainstream media?
One way or the other, only one side (the green side) gets much press time these
days. While I do not disagree with the green agenda in all areas, there
needs to be some balanced presentation. Otherwise people like 'Mr. Me',
the reader who commented on the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's article above,
will continue to feel that "he who shouts the loudest is right"
So the world continues. Who knows? Things may be worse before they get better. One way or the other, I will continue waking up in one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on God's green earth. And, for as long as I can, I hope to remain the
Lady of the Lake