We should have trademarked the word "divisive" before the election cycle began. Given how frequently that adjective has been used to describe our country and culture over the past few months, we would have been raking in cash from media outlets left and right. We'd have so much money that we could build a swimming pool, fill it with cash and dive into it Scrooge McDuck-style.
All joking aside, headlines regarding the political race would lead anyone to believe that our nation is as divided as ever before. For the past couple of months, we've heard more voices in the marketplace of ideas offer their thoughts on the recent presidential election. Whether you lean right or left, support a third party or still believe that a dead gorilla would be the best option for the Oval Office, there has been no shortage of commentary on the current state of affairs of our political system.
The problem with the conversations we see so frequently reaching the top of the Trending page on Twitter is that they are very polarized and so often tinged with anger. Anyone with a laptop, a blog, a Twitter account and a beating heart can fill the marketplace of ideas with their opinions at a moments notice. Traditional, experienced journalists have to swim upstream through a river of slanted writing to reach our phone screens.
Enter Pat Nolan, senior vice president of DVL Seigenthaler Public Relations and political analyst for the local CBS affiliate, NewsChannel5, in Nashville. Mr. Nolan is a journeyman in the commentariat, spending over 40 years in the industry. He has found much success making that upstream swim. Just this year, he was named to the Vanderbilt University Student Media Hall of Fame for his long and successful tenure in media.
In October, Mr. Nolan spoke at a monthly seminar for the Catholic Business League, a Burgundy Group client, hoping to answer the league members' questions regarding what he called "the most unusual presidential race in our nation's history."
When Mr. Nolan talked about the then-upcoming election, there was no hateful rhetoric. There was no bias toward one party or errant statements that would generate likes and retweets. Instead, and refreshingly, he expressed only factual commentary on the race, backed by poll results and educated links to the system's history. Even when asked how Catholics should responsibly choose a candidate, Mr. Nolan did not give opinion, but instead quoted statements from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and other sources of authority within the Church to guide the league members.
If you think you might also enjoy Mr. Nolan's refreshingly straightforward political takes, become a disciple of his weekly report, Capitol View Commentary, which looks closely at the national, state and local landscape. Seeking reporters like Mr. Nolan and promoting the brand of journalism that he promulgates is just one way to deflate the value of the word "divisive" in our culture.
Find his Capitol View Commentary column on NewsChannel5.com and watch him on Inside Politics each week on NewsChannel5 PLUS in Nashville.