THE BLOG
10/28/2014 11:32 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2014

Beware of 'Alarmist' Journalism During Times of National Crisis

In America, the President reigns for four years and Journalism governs forever and ever -- Oscar Wilde

I am afraid, folks. Not of ISIS or Ebola or immigration or Ferguson or the fluctuating financial markets or even the recent threats towards journalists' lives -- of which I am one. I am afraid of the "alarmism" running wild across this country, fueled exponentially by certain people in the media whose concern for national security seems to go only as far as their own job security and no further -- despite all protests to the contrary. The fact is -- given a bit of clear thinking unencumbered by all of the noise -- none of the issues perpetuating our current national crisis are going to be solved by the screaming children in the room so why join them as it will only serve to hamper much needed solution.

Mind you, I believe in "Freedom of Speech" as well as "informative" journalism. What I don't believe in is "alarmist" reporting because that type of journalism always leads to unnecessary casualties and catastrophes and I think this country has seen enough of both already. Certainly, we will experience more but the odds of that "more" being a little "less" -- removed of the loud drums banging in the background -- are pretty good, especially if that banging serves solely as a skewed reminder of the "direness" we face as a nation as oppose to the 'greatness' that remains the catalyst to such challenges.

The fact is we -- the very fortunate citizens of the United States -- still live in the BEST country in the world. We may be facing a few "battles" so-to-speak but no battle was ever waged over "spoiled" rewards nor won by leaders riddled with unbridled emotions rather than calm and clear thinking. And so, should each of us go as well.

Let us keep in mind -- as we travel down the current road together -- that we are each other's keepers. To do that well, we must look past the alarmism of some and seek out reliable journalistic resources who strive to inform, arm, and empower us, individually and as a nation, rather than deafen us into a state of overwhelming fright and confusion. The truth is -- just as we want our leaders to shine at this particular moment -- so should we expect the same from ourselves in the choices we make and the behavior we demonstrate. Consider the notion that the volatility the financial markets are experiencing these days has as much to do with the volatility of its investors' emotions as it does with the culmination of tenuous circumstances leading up to the sizable fluctuations.

Shouldn't we learn from this rather than continue to perpetuate it by seeing past all the "alarmism" and proactively stabilizing our nation's footing as well as our own checkbooks... lest each of us continues to write checks payable to "ISIS" and every other calamity that comes our way as that is -- in an essence -- what we are all doing every time we lose money in the marketplace due to the fear this vile group derives in us.

In this journalist's opinion, regaining our senses and our confidence in this country must be "first" on ALL our agendas -- politically and otherwise -- in order to ensure that we overcome these momentary hurdles and any person or organization that impedes even one of us in this process is surely no friend of the United States. We cannot let "alarmism" rule. To that same point, we need to -- as sound individuals and citizens -- differentiate between "alarmist news and entertainment" and "responsible journalism and reporting," especially as more and more "media" forget where that line is drawn, themselves.

At a time when one clever fox can be confused for another, the onus falls upon the audience to become even more discriminatory in what they choose to believe and react to....especially today as we meet these tough -- but hardly insurmountable -- days. "Entertainment" aside, it is difficult to discern what is actually being said with all of this jumping around and screeching going on!

Remember that the next time you turn on the news and feel a wave of panic wash over you before you even fully ascertain what has been said. The winner of the "ratings" war today might not, actually, be the guy you want in your 'foxhole' tomorrow as he's the guy that's going to get you killed.