Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fact Checking

This beautiful meme caught my eye on Facebook this morning. I'm a huge Ansel Adams fan...he's my photographic hero. But, I thought, did he really say this? In a time when television news, the internet and Facebook are full of 'alternative facts,' fake news and click-bait stories, I wanted to be sure my hero actually said these prophetic words. I'm happy to report, YES, this is a quote from an interview Ansel Adams did with Playboy magazine in 1983. He is correctly quoted in the context of a discussion about environmental issues during the Reagan administration and Secretary of the Interior James Watt. Reading the article brought back powerful memories of that time! I'm happy to say that I signed a Sierra Club petition calling for the removal of James Watt from his position. Which, BTW, happened.

I feel that it is the responsibility of everyone who posts or shares things on Facebook to check their sources for accuracy. Even memes like this which support your position should be vetted before sharing. The up side of taking the time to do this is that you may discover, as I did, an interesting story. Although the interview with Ansel Adams is very long (the quote here comes towards the very end of it), it was a fascinating glimpse into Adams' creativity and his politics. You can read it here.

Here's a short video that prompted this exploration posted on FB by my friend, Jane. Take a moment to watch it as well...

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