“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed” – Mark Twain

My father only attended school to the 11th grade because his father had abandoned the family, and Dad had to take a job to put food on the table. Many times he told me of carrying three paper routes, the last one taking him by the potato chip factory where he could get a bag of crumbs to eat on the way home. The paper routes were before he gave up on trying to get an education.

He and my mother married in 1951, she was 27, he was 34. She came from a higher class than he did. Her father and uncle were partners in a drug store together, the old-fashioned one with a soda fountain like you see in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The difference in classes created a lot of tension between my father and mother. Only in his later years, did my father confide in me that he had always hoped his father-in-law would take him into the drug store business.

By the time my dad married, he had essentially already raised a family providing for his mother and siblings. After the wedding, he and my mom moved into the house that Dad had grown up in.  Mom became pregnant right away, so my grandmother, who was still living in the house, left so my parents could raise their family.

Dad was blue collar, working at the power plant for the electric company. With his limited schooling, he studied the newspaper every day from front to back and that provided his education. In those days, the local newspaper was a common point of reference. In fact, my parents subscribed to two newspapers, the Times Democrat (later to be called the Quad City Times) and the Des Moines Register. In those days, it seemed that the newspaper was trying to print factual and unbiased information. Opinions were saved for the editorials.

There is so much noise in the world today coming at you from every direction, not only giving you the information but also telling you what to think about it.  The media has done a great disservice by intentionally slanting the story in one direction or another, by centering their production around a particular political view instead of focusing on as unbiased a presentation as they can make.   Oh, that they would return to their roots.