Let’s Agree to Agree

The media should stop framing every issue as left vs. right.

March 02, 2011
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

People from different political spectrums can occupy some common ground. It’s the media that views the world in black and white—or in terms of its political coverage, left and right.

So said progressive Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor of The Huffington Post, and Republican strategist Mary Matalin during Tuesday’s General Session.

Despite fundamental differences in opinion about the Obama administration, the economy, and other issues, the two agree it’s time for the media to stop framing every issue as left vs. right.

“The crazier you are, the more TV time you get,” noted Matalin, referring to television’s plethora of political pundits.

Subscribe to Credit Union MagazineHuffington and Matalin co-host “Both Sides Now,” a radio show that examines both liberal and conservative viewpoints. Their biggest common bond: A belief that Americans must rediscover the virtues of the nation’s founding fathers.

“I see overwhelming evidence that things aren’t working,” Huffington said. “The attitude of ‘too big to fail’ still exists and unemployment is still over 9%. We can’t afford to pay for Head Start, but we’re spending $2.8 billion a week to fight a war in Afghanistan.”

Plus, young adults are at risk of “downward mobility,” she said. “My daughters and their friends have graduated from college and have done everything right, but they still can’t find jobs. We saved Wall Street—we need to create the same sense of urgency about jobs.”

“Many Americans have reached a tipping point where they believe the future for their children won’t be as bright as it was for them,” Matalin added. “To win the future, there’s a moral imperative for us to return to our founders’ virtues.”

This means relying less on the government for assistance and solving problems locally. Matalin, a New Orleans resident, cites the Big Easy’s resurgence following Hurricane Katrina—fostered largely by a recently elected Democratic mayor, for whom Matalin voted.

The construction of new schools, implementation of jobs programs, and other measures are transforming the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“The solution will be the accumulated efforts of everyone in the community,” Matalin said. “Local communities will bring America back. I’ve seen it.”

• View more GAC coverage here.

Post a comment to this story


What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive