theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Editorials

November 25, 2013

Just the facts, please; hold the metaphor

Ada —

Thursday afternoon while flipping channels, I kept noticing the words “nuclear option” on all the cable news networks.

The talking heads on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc., were bloviating worse than usual, as if there were actual news to break as opposed to the usual puff pieces in between pharmaceutical company ads. So I thought there might be some reason to pay attention.

Let me tell you what provoked this thought: the phrase “nuclear option.”

I don’t know about you, but when I hear “nuclear option,” I tend to think of ICBMs air-bursting over my house. Hey, I was raised during the Cold War, when such fears were real and not unfounded.

I had forgotten, however, that we live not in the age of news reporting but in that of metaphor. We were never in any danger of nuclear war Thursday because no one was considering a “nuclear” anything.

What happened was, Senate Democrats invoked the “nuclear option” (whatever that means) by voting to change filibuster rules, making it easier for them to approve President Barack Obama’s judicial appointments.

It was a political story described in metaphorical terms.

This, to me, is not good journalism.

In one analysis of the story on CNN, two journalists went so far with the metaphorical language they got themselves confused about the topic in question. “I’m trying to think of a good metaphor to come back with,” Jeffrey Toobin said.

Speaking only for myself, let me say that I did not want either of those guys, or anyone on any cable news channel, speaking in metaphor about a fairly significant political story. Reporters deal in fact, not fiction; I don’t expect poetry when I turn on the news. Just give me the facts, straight. Otherwise, you run a real risk of trying to compare apples to oranges.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Jerry Duncan The roll call of the misfits

     The roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11 is designed to inspire us and give us hope. Comparing our difficulties with theirs gives us some perspective when the problems of life feel overwhelming. There are some pretty terrible and overwhelming struggles described there. 

     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kaylin Cullum Guest Columnist Where the sidewalk ends

    I remember getting the call one night three years ago. One of my best friends had been hit by a car.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear editor

    April 16, 2014

  • Money, Money, Money, Money, Money

    Whenever James Truslow Adams coined the term “the American Dream,” he probably never envisioned the nightmare that it would become. 

    April 11, 2014

  • Lyin' Eyes

    When I was down in Brazil, I went into a shop to practice my Portuguese and buy a Pepsi. 

    April 9, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan How Is Your Adventure Going?

    I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s music, at least, most of it. Before my last trip to Romania, I recorded some favorite tunes from different artists that spoke something I needed for the trip. The words to his song, "The Great Adventure" were perfect for me.

     

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Art Lawler Inflexible thought is a growing problem

    You remember the Dixie Chicks, of course. The band that told foreigners how embarrassed we were of President George Bush?

     

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who deserves the praise?

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”— Matthew 6:1

    April 4, 2014

  • Let the circle be unbroken

        “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
       — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

    March 26, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan How’s the search going?

    Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance has been out now since 1987.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Stocks
Poll

For years, Oklahoma was a mostly Democratic state. In recent years, there has been a swing to Republican affiliation. Have you changed your political affiliation to Republican?

Yes
No
     View Results