I didn’t read The New York Times piece titled “Ritalin Gone Wrong” when it came out in the paper. I don’t get the Times, or any other paper anymore. Luckily, Dr. Ned Hallowell caught it and gave it the attention that it deserved.
Or maybe it didn’t deserve any attention from Dr’ Hallowell. I’m always torn between thinking garbage like the Times piece should either not be dignified with an answer or the author of such drivel should be verbally pilloried and then beaten senseless with a copy or twelve of their unscrupulous work
My local paper, published here in my home town, used to come to my door everyday, but it piled up and I realized that someone other than myself could be recycling these copies, and they might actually read them first. So it hasn’t enraged me in years, it rarely did even when people drew my attention to stories within its homey, folksy pages.
I did see the piece in the Toronto Sun, the one I wrote about here, but that was by accident. I was at a book launch for a book written by a friend, the soiree was at a book store and so was the paper. The headline grabbed my eye. I picked it up and was floored. At least the Times’ piece was prefaced by the word “Opinion.”
My observation about all of this is that it seems the press is starting their own reality shows. You know, “Lets take a group of people, our own reporters for instance, and tell them they need to come up with a sensational story. The winner won’t get a million dollars, but maybe we’ll fire the loser. Oh, and since this is like a reality show, the story has to contain the occasional fact, but opinions reported as facts and statements that assume facts not in evidence are all fine. We’re no longer concerned with educating the masses, this is now an all out competition with big media, television, the internet …”
As a journalist, I have a question. My question is this: Do you, my good readers, want me and my colleagues to start writing sensationalist takes on the medical community and the current treatments available for those of us with health issues?
If that’s what you would like, I’ll be quitting, I think. I spend much time looking for resources and verifying info, and still errors slip through on occasion. But I’m proud of my reputation of being fair minded to the full extent of my ability. I know full well that I have certain opinions, but I’m open minded enough to change if I’m shown to be wrong.
And I wanted to be a blogger, I wanted to make ADHD Awareness a year long, annual, ongoing project. I wanted to tell those with ADHD that it isn’t all right, but it isn’t all wrong either. I wanted to say it isn’t alright to be joked about or discriminated against. But I also wanted to say it is alright that there are lots of us. I wanted to tell them that they needn’t suffer alone or in silence, they can at least talk to me, I can talk to them, we can talk amongst ourselves.
But I also wanted to tell those without ADHD that this is not fake. And whether you think of it as a valid illness or a passing fad, have the decency to be open minded. If you don’t know, find out, educate yourself, form opinions from facts and not fantasy. And apparently, you can no longer go to the newspapers for your facts, I won’t say that all papers are now involved in sensationalism, but with the NY Times and the TO Star seeming to be unconcerned about whether their content is factual, it will be hard to figure out which among those left is worthy of your reliance.
It’s ADHD Awareness Week. If you don’t have ADHD, please take a minute or two to read the material available. And maybe share it, with just one other person, if you can manage the time. It’s important.
You see, we’re not asking for your help right now, so much as we’re asking for your understanding.
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Last reviewed: 21 Oct 2012