The Dumbest People in America

English: President Barack Obama shakes hands w...

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Tell me, what’s wrong with this picture: The state of Nevada continues to have one of the worst unemployment rates in the country at 11.8%, 4-points above the national average and President Barack Obama maintains a slight edge in polling over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

So this state that re-elected Dingy Harry Reid in 2010 to the U.S. Senate and then subsequently the Majority Leader position while battling unemployment over 14% at that time seems resistant to changing the leadership that has presided over their horrible conditions.

English: Night Panorama of the Las Vegas Strip...

Nevada also ranks sixth nationally in home foreclosures. At one time in the last four years they were number 1. And without looking this up to verify I can safely say the state of Nevada is first in the nation in gambling expenditures. And you can judge for yourself the morals and wisdom in Nevada being the only state in the country with legal prostitution.

And then there is the fact that Nevadans built their largest city in a desert, bereft of any sufficient water supply.

Las Vegas Strip in HDR

Las Vegas Strip

The polling numbers today got me wondering if the people in Nevada aren’t the dumbest people in the country. Why on earth would you continue to elect the leaders in charge of your horrible economic conditions.

So then I got to thinking about who the dumbest people in the country truly might be. I’d be interested in my readers nominations. But aside from Nevadans one group of people leaped into my head: television reporters and/or personalities. Calling tv reporters journalists is an insult to journalists.

This opinion isn’t based solely on partisan resentment for what is displayed daily on MSNBC. I was a journalist. I worked among newspaper, radio, tv, and magazine reporters for a number of years. I was at press conferences with the local, state or national politicians who had to face tough questions. I sat through more than my share of boring city and county and legislative council meetings. I stuck my microphone in the face of some of the country’s most prominent people; and usually did so side-by-side with other scribes and with the hot lights of television cameras shining over my shoulder.

And though its been 20 years since I worked professionally in reporting the news, all indications are that my personal experience with these walking, talking Barbie and Ken dolls remains a valid point of view. Let me state that like everything in life there are exceptions. But on whole I found tv reporters shallow primadonas without the intellectual capability of your average gas station attendant. I was awestruck on frequent occasions to hear questions of news worthy individuals that did little to expand on the story at hand, did little to enlighten the viewer. Usually, tv reporters benefited from the questioning of other more erudite journalists who usually came from the print or radio industry. Print reporters were generally quite arrogant and did little to hide their contempt for the average tv reporter…or news subject…for that matter. Radio journalist were the ones I respected the most. As a radio reporter you must ask your subjects questions that expand the story. Yes or No answers don’t work on radio. You need your subject to talk in order to get the sound bite that is long enough and interesting enough to include in your story. Being able to do this is not always easy and one reason I found more intelligence in the average radio journalist than in the average tv reporter.

TV news at the Empire State Building shooting

TV reporters were always more interested in how they looked on camera than in the facts of a given story. And in today’s world they seem utterly oblivious to fair and balanced reporting. It’s not so much that they boldly state ill-informed, uneducated opinions; it’s that they set a premise for their reporting and then work to shape the story to that premise rather than just gathering the facts with an unbiassed curiosity that allows for the truth to come out more frequently.

I also think its worth mentioning that among those who I learned to respect the most were the politicians. Politicians on the whole are genuinely smart people who care about the service they provide their constituency. I’m well aware of the average Americans contempt for politicians. And I understand that disrespect. But in my personal experience those who run for office have more education, wisdom, personality and compassion than other persons I’ve encountered in life. And I would say this of men and women from both parties. There are exceptions. But I am speaking generally.

So who would you nominate for the collectively dumbest people in America?

A friend posted on Facebook some time ago a quote I won’t soon forget because it’s true and its a little frightening. Half of all people are below average in intelligence. So now you have half the country, 1 out of every 2 people in which to choose.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

 

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