BOSTON (CBS) – I was listening to “60 Minutes” last night on WBZ Radio on my way out to pick up the Won Ton soup, and continued watching their interview with Wikileaks boss Julian Assange on Channel 4.
And while I must say, old Julian doesn’t seem like he’d be a lot of laughs at a dinner party, I did appreciate the seriousness with which he views an underappreciated commodity in our culture – the truth.
Listen to Jon’s commentary
Assange says that by accepting leaks of confidential material about governments, banks, and other powerful institutions, and making that material public in a “responsible way,” Wikileaks is providing a huge public service, that people need and want to know the truth about what’s going on around them. And to some extent, I agree with him.
If our government is lying or being secretive about something important and the release of that information doesn’t jeopardize human life or our national security, I would rather know about it than be kept in the dark. If I’m going to make decisions – about who deserves or doesn’t deserve re-election, about which banks are honest and which are rip-off artists – I’d rather be fully informed than uninformed.
But if Assange believes that people want the truth as a general principle, I’m afraid he’s sadly misinformed.
We see every day in our political culture that so many partisans and ideologues just want to believe what reinforces their bias. The complaint of the day on the right or the left has its nutritional value fully ingested before any effort is made to determine if it’s true or not, if that effort is ever made.
And let’s be candid – do we really want to know the full truth of what’s going on – even in our personal lives? Are you sure you really want to know everything your teenagers are doing? Do you really want them knowing the absolute truth about your affairs?
And one thing I’m sure we can all agree on – we are definitely not interested in the full truth of what the stranger next to us is going through or thinking. Yes, buddy, you with the loud cell phone conversation going on next to me, this means you.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.