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Extremists on both sides insist on having their own 'facts'

Petroleum IndustryMedia IndustryBarack ObamaGeorge W. BushTalk Shows (genre)BBCWhite House

It is amazing how differently different people see things. I suspect much of these differences boil down to simply which news broadcasts and talk show hosts we tune to.

If only we could have news stations like the BBC, which believe it or not, actually broadcasts news. We could then take the facts that are reported as the basis for making up our own minds. Instead, we have "facts" that are manufactured by people from either the extreme left or right, which are then played full strength over and over.

It's not surprising we become so one-sided when we are given only one side's opinions. And most of them are not even opinions; often they're outright lies.

But we don't admit that they could be lies, because they are "our" opinions; we've heard them so often that not only do we believe them, we believe that we thought of them.

Take Ilene O'Connell's recent letter in which she talks about President Obama having doubled the price of gasoline. I have a gasoline receipt from May 2008 when the price was $4.12 a gallon. Last week, I purchased gas locally for $3.33 a gallon.

(Incidentally, gas was $1.40 a gallon when George W. Bush entered the White House in 2001 — and $4.12 in May 2008, not long before he left, almost triple the price).

Ms. O'Connell mentions deficits. Former President Bush doubled the national debt, and Ronald Reagan quadrupled it. Mr. Obama still has a long way to go to match that.

And why do I see no mention of the fact that the Dow Jones industrial average nearly doubled under Mr. Obama, from 7,000 to over 13,000, while Mr. Bush saw it go down, from 12,000 to 7,000?

There are "facts" aplenty on both sides of the argument, but we seem to only want to quote "our" facts while giving no credence whatever to those of our opponents.

David Liddle

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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