This one is gonna read like a rant but I promise, there’s a point at the end… Okay it’s like 75% rant, 25% point. But there’s a TL;DR if you get bored.
So, I don’t know why it never occurred to me to share this information before, but I’m a copy editor at a local newspaper. Yesterday at work, we were sent a letter to the editor to run, which was written by someone in the community who also happens to be friends with our editor/publisher, if that matters. He wrote it in response to a column by Douglas Cohn which we had printed a week ago in which he commented on the possibility of our President actually having a mental health problem and the procedure by which we would put our Vice President in charge in the mean time.
I mean, I can see why for a conservative newspaper, it may not be the most optimal choice for a column. Quick side note: imagine just for a second the arcane ball of fun a bunch of Millennial liberals working for a conservative newspaper might be like, then quickly strike that imagination because it’s really just a seemingly endless serious of sighs. But anyway, Douglas Cohn, who is a syndicated columnist for U.S. News Syndicate and writes for the Washington Merry-Go-Round, the longest running column in America, wrote this column entitled The President’s Madness. But I mean, is it really that hard to believe that any one person, conservative or otherwise, has even just one problem with our President? In Tennessee, apparently. And I hate to just generalize the beliefs of conservatives to geographical details but there’s really just no reasoning with most conservatives around here.
So this guy sends in an article for our consideration (TL;DR it was pretty horrible), never mind the fact that neither I nor my fellow Millennial editors got a real say in it. Not only did he call Douglas Cohn a liberal, he also called him petty for introducing the idea that our President may not be in the best of health. Just saying that does not making anyone liberal. I don’t even want to root for Cohn’s column honestly, but it wasn’t bad. It was a little out of character, but not bad. Then the guy, in the very next paragraph, proceeds to be petty saying something to the extent of “We won. You lost. Get over it.”
How did that article get approved? How did it actually get printed in our newspaper? No clue, you tell me. Poorly written whiny bullshit is what it was which deserved absolutely no place in any publication at all. Honestly (I promise I’m getting to the point), it’s not like it’s the first time we’d ever used a column from Douglas Cohn. If this guy had actually been invested up until this point and read one or two of his previous columns, he would’ve seen that Cohn is a pretty alright dude. And he intelligently delivers content every week that typically is unbiased.
My point in saying all of this is that jumping to conclusions is just never a good idea. What’s worse is our organization was totally fine with letting a random dude vent about his rash interpretation of a column. However, one thing that’s always a good idea is trying to see things from multiple perspectives. Clearly, there are more variables in most situations that affect reaching a multifaceted viewpoint like time, personal feelings toward the situation, and media. But I would go as far as saying even those variables can be predicted to a certain extent.
I’m not going to bore you in listing off reasons why jumping to conclusions should be avoidable simply because I shouldn’t have to. It’s not an unheard of concept. It may even be common sense. But alas, it still happens with an even longer listen on consequences of varying relevance like embarrassment. Looking at you random dude. At least he’s most likely proud of his viewpoint. I guess that’s something.
TL;DR Guy wrote a dumb column that somehow got approved and printed in our newspaper and I think that’s real dumb. But hey, at least he probably got some weird self-gratification from it. Why do people still jump to conclusions?