It's that time of the year again. When we start seeing all the Top 10 Lists for 2018.
These lists reflex the perceptions of the people or organizations that create them as to what is "most important". So that's why it's unfortunate the Associated Press published their
Top Ten list without a mention of the record level of mistrust people have in government and the level of political polarization that dominates our national politics.
"But you can't include everything" is always the best defense to why things don't make a top ten list. But AP doubled down on two important issues, giving two slots to the issue of mass shooting (a generic "mass shootings" and then a separate spot for the Parkland shooting) and Climate Change (again, listing a generic "climate change" story and then a specific example of the impact of climate change...the California fires).
I'm certainly not disputing the importance of these two issues and the specific events of the fires and the Parkland shootings. But the AP apparently can't connect some imporant dots. The reason that these two critical issues (and other major issues) never get addressed is the deep level of political polarization in the country. THAT'S the underlying problem as to why many of these issues never get addressed. Without constantly shining the light on the polarization and mistrust in the U.S., we'll never address the issues like climate change or gun safety in America.
But the media--represented by AP in this case--doesn't get it. They can only see the world through the lens of day to day stories. They can only connect the dots at the most elementary level: Climate change = fires. Or, Parkland = mass shootings = gun control issues. The media has a hard time bringing to light the deeper--and far important--issues that are either driving the problems, or (in the case of climate change and mass shootings) are an impediment to solving these issues. By ignoring the polarization and mistrust "story" in the country, the AP ( a pillar of the media) proves they are incapable of judging the critical issues that are truly shaping our society.
With real news like this, is it any wonder people gravitate towards "fake news"?