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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
3:33 AM Mon, Dec. 17th

Editorial: Big words confuse as much as bias

In the recent past I have made it clear I do not like the bias in much of the broadcast news we’re subjected to.

The best example was how the monotone coverage and criticism of the Republican National Convention was so obvious, especially played against the gleeful commentary for the Democratic National Convention.

Talking-heads also had to try not to play their political hands during the presidential debates. Not all were successful. In fact, one even went overboard in the opposite direction.

But, now in post-General Election shows, if you had wished for the craziness to end – it has not. In particular, the TV anchors and such are doing viewers no favors.

People sometimes complain we in print dumb down our articles; it’s said we write to a fifth-grade level. That is mostly true. We work to cut out jargon – special words or expressions used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand. In addition, what we write should be easy to understand; thus, we lean toward that fifth-grade level because we humans form most of our language skills by the age of 11 or 12 (fifth grade).

This is not a classroom, and we cannot expect the reader to have a dictionary handy to get through an article, an old editor told me once.

I guess television and radio are different. If they were not, why then do we hear words like “misogynistic” and “xenophobia,” for instance?

Misogyny is an unconscious hatred that men form early in life, often as a result of a trauma involving a female figure they trusted. An abusive or negligent mother, sister, teacher or girlfriend can plant a seed deep down in their brain’s subcortical matter. That’s what says, anyway.

Dictionary definitions of xenophobia include: “deep-rooted fear towards foreigners” (Oxford English Dictionary), and “fear of the unfamiliar” (Webster’s). The word comes from Greek words meaning “strange,” “foreigner,” and simply “fear.”

Taking that to another level, Hillary Clinton used these two words – and more – in describing now-President-elect Donald Trump. Purely from this analysis standpoint, I do not recall learning Trump was abused or neglected by his mom, and his stance on foreigners to some could be taken as fear; to others it could be seen as protective of Americans or this country.

I don’t know for sure. I do have to admit, though, I had to look those words up to explain them.

Time to change the channel.