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Letter: Instant communication not always beneficial

Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

Being an amateur history buff, I find the programs on the History Channel fascinating.

If only we could have had coverage of major events back then like we do now. I watched the story unfold in Japan when the devastating earthquake struck two years ago, and the amazing live footage of the miraculous recovery of the Chilean miners.

If we could have watched history as it happened like we do today, Paul Revere would be known to no one except as a silversmith. No midnight ride, and his mother would have been happy knowing he was in bed where he belonged.

Newsmen in trench coats would have been waiting for the British on windswept beaches and anywhere else they might spot them. 

Picture Columbus back in 1492 as he arrived at what he thought was the East.

Seeking a route to the Far East, he thought he had arrived in India, and named the natives he encountered “Indians.” 

Some talking heads would probably have had a field day with that nomenclature. They might have referred to Columbus as a “knucklehead” who did not know where he was when he got here. 

Never mind that he was on the high seas for months. Instead of praising him for his efforts, they would ridicule him for his mistake. Maybe it’s just as well no one was there and spared him embarrassment.

The Declaration of Independence would be covered much like the tea party is now. Bunch of troublemakers who want to break away from the mother country. Are they nuts?

Then a ragtag army of farmers, calling themselves Minutemen, would be given little chance of succeeding against the mighty British Army. We all know how that turned out.

Lincoln’s two-minute Gettysburg address would get short shrift. No teleprompter. Just some scribbles on the back of an envelope.  What was he thinking?

But I guess it’s just as well that we did not have the instant coverage. There are those who will never believe anyway. Unless they themselves could stroll on the moon and plant the flag, some people still think it’s all a giant hoax.

You can spot them … they are the skeptics who always ignore the sign and stick their finger in the wet paint.

Mil Misic

DeKalb

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