Perhaps you remember the radio version of “Dragnet” written by and starring Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday. That was before my time. But I do remember the show vividly as it was adapted for television. The show was well-received by American audiences because Webb insisted on authenticity and spent a great deal of time with the LAPD in order to make sure he was writing material that was accurate.
Inevitably Sgt. Friday would interview a witness to a crime who wanted to be helpful. And just as inevitably that witness would begin rambling on about things that had little or nothing to do with the crime that the good Sergeant was investigating. That led to one of Webb’s signature lines, “Just the facts. Only the facts.”
I thought about the show because over the weekend I was reviewing the booklet which the Board of Election Commissioners provides Nevada residents for use in our upcoming primary election. Wouldn’t it be an achievement if the political ads that are being crafted for viewing prior to our general election this November adhered to that same principle? “Just the facts.”
I am sure that each candidate for public office has achieved certain things in their careers which would commend them to us as suitable individuals for the post they are seeking. I want to hear those stories and learn about their records.
What I do not want to hear is why their opponent is bad and why we should not vote for him or her. Character assassination doesn’t speak well to me about the person who is it’s target. But it speaks even more poorly to the character of the individual committing it.
So before I take advantage of the opportunity to cast my ballot in early voting, I am devoting my time to read each candidate’s bio and determine which ones deserve my support. Hopefully I can sort through it all and make my decision based on, “Just the facts.”