“Make no judgments where you have no compassion.”–Anne McCaffrey
That was a great race on Sunday! It certainly made my day, what with Jeff Gordon notching his 91st win. Wow, can you believe his career? Of course you can. You, my friends, are NASCAR fans–as am I. You know that JJ and Newman had words post-race, and that Jimmie brushed it aside as Ryan being Ryan. You may have felt sorry for Kyle Larson when his No. 42 hit the wall, placing him out of the Chase–at least for the moment. Did you chuckle or just get irritated as Danica took out half the field? Logano looked mighty sad when he missed the last restart. And Harvick…still no win at Michigan!
Perhaps the hardest storyline to watch unfold was Jeff Burton’s. Sitting in the No. 14 in place of Tony Stewart, the car suffered a broken tailpipe, dropping their Chevy out of competition for enough laps to ruin their day. The stress of the last week could be seen in every crew member’s face and heard in Burton’s voice as he chatted with the press. There would not even be a good finish to soften the day.
We know all of this because we watched the event unfold before our eyes. We cannot be led away from the truth when we saw it happen. However, things do occur that we did not witness. What do we do then? We rely upon the media to deliver unbiased verified data. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case of late.
Monday, I came into work and was greeted with a co-worker who actually wanted to talk NASCAR for the first time ever. I looked forward to the conversation. Perhaps all the headlines of recent got him to watch a race. I remain disillusioned.
No, he just wanted to know when Tony Stewart was going to be arrested for murder. Yes, a full ten days after the sensational headlines and he’s still obsessing. He then continued to spout all the half-truths and internet garbage regarding the Kevin Ward, Jr. tragedy, complete with the trashy legal analysis regarding Stewart’s guaranteed future behind bars. He also spouted quotes from the sheriff’s department that were never made.
I snapped and explained what was true and what was not. What we know and what we don’t. And most of all, yelled at him for believing every piece of crap he sees. But what really grinds my gears is that this wasn’t the first conversation I had in the past week where Nancy Grace apparently became an auto racing expert in the matter of seconds. Perhaps the discussion that sent me over the edge was another ignoramus who not only knew exactly what happened at Canandaigua, but was also privy to the shooting in Ferguson, MO.
I know telling the press to hold to their standards and only report what can be verified as true, and resist making sheer conjecture but delivering it to the viewing sheep as The Word is pointless. But on a grassroots level, I do believe I can make a difference. I did this week. I spent enough time with the misled and showed them the press releases and actual quotes from all parties involved. Then told them to go digging and find the same from Ferguson. Make their own conclusions. Use the gray matter between their ears and stop leaping off cliffs because the television told them to.
I’m reaching out to you to join forces and do the same. Help to stop the stupidity. If you hear somebody spreading conclusions regarding an open investigation, make them stop. Share your knowledge and understanding. Seek out the truth, relying only upon real experts, not the ones found on the side of the road with a nightly talk show or trashy website. It’s only when we understand the facts–unsullied by the light of a media feeding frenzy–do we start to realize that it is only with compassion for all the parties involved that we’ll find the light at the end of the tunnel of such tragedies.
One can only hope the media moguls will learn that lesson one of these days. Until then, we’re on our own. Keep thinking, America.
2014 Sonya Strictly by the Stats
Top Three Rookies for 2014 Pure Michigan 400
1.) No. 3 Austin Dillon Started 8th Finished 22nd (2nd in RoTY standings)
2.) No. 26 Cole Whitt Started 36th Finished 25th (5th in RoTY standings)
3.) No. 23 Alex Bowman Started 32nd Finished 26th (6th in RoTY standings)
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