Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all social media outlets that were explicitly designed to help people express their opinions. The news, on the other hand is a completely neutral information source that in no way shape or form takes any one side. In fact, it is unethical for news outlets such as Fox News, Time Magazine or even The Houstonian to print anything that might convey a personal opinion, take any one side or even endorse an individual, corporation or entity.
Many newspapers and their online counterparts publish a viewpoints or opinion section where individuals are allowed to express their personal opinions on a host of subjects, with some even being controversial. But no matter how much a particular subject pushes the envelope, the writer never teeters on both sides of the fence and continually balances the sword’s edge in order to stay neutral and refrain from taking a side.
A newspaper such as The Houstonian has a certain responsibility to the general public comparable to doctors and the Hippocratic Oath, where writers are intensely screened and must undergo a grueling elimination process involving lying, waterboarding and manipulating opponents into giving up their dreams of becoming a journalist.
If they happen to sleep their way to the top and receive a coveted spot as a staff or contributing reporter, then they have to uphold to these high ideals and vow to never offend their loyal followers.
In fact, the viewpoint section should never do what its name suggests and actually communicate an original idea. These writers must please every reader and never stray too far to the left or to the right.
The reason I bring up this particular topic, as controversial as it might be, is because the Houstonian has recently come under fire for venturing down the rabbit hole and sailing in uncharted territories towards the island of unethical morals. I might as well grow a hump and gather a fleet of flying monkeys as I seek to single handedly destroy journalism.
The articles of which I speak have been berated, ridiculed and destroyed on social media and people have taken it upon themselves to rant about their unwarranted opinions. That is right. As a writer, we are not allowed to explore the rainbow of colors when painting a picture for the reader but must limit ourselves to using just a basic shade of grey.
However, as a reader, you have absolute free range and an entire palette of endless hues to mix and match to your take on a subject. And I say this with the utmost respect for you and your opinion because you matter.
So please by any means necessary, sign into any one of the countless social media platforms and rant, rave and shout on the mountaintops to let people know how you feel. The world is your oyster, and I personally will be waiting on the edge of my seat praying that you never stop posting.
I cannot stress how important it is that you remember that you matter. You should even consider going to the support group that meets every Tuesday by the statue of Sam Houston’s wife, Margaret Lea Houston, behind Bowers Stadium. (Either the statue nor the support group actually exists so please do not complain on your Twitter).
In actuality, and quiet sadly, I must now take the time to explain that this entire article is meant to be a satire, a farce, a dryly humored way for me to explain that the viewpoint section of this and any paper is specially created to share the viewpoint of the writer.
Many of you have forgotten that everyone has a unique and individual outlook on life and the situations and subjects that arise as we navigate through this crazy world. Fortunately it is not “1984” and we do not have to live in a dystopian society where opinions are not encouraged let alone allowed.
I know that many people will simply read the headline of this article and formulate their official response to be shared with their tens of followers. They will not even make it this far and realize that in actuality their opinions do matter, all jokes aside. I, along with the rest of The Houstonian staff, welcome your comments and opinions and even invite you to visit our office and encourage you to write something yourself. We are located inside the Dan Rather Communications Building room 210.
Who knows, maybe you may even fall down the rabbit hole.