Denzel Washington schools the media on ‘truth’ (VIDEO)

Denzel Washington totally nails it.

Denzel Washington at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Taking of Pelham 123', 2009. S_bukley | Shutterstock

We are loving Denzel Washington lately (but really, when don’t we love him?) During a recent red-carpet interview promoting his new movie Fences, Washington was asked for his reaction to having been the subject of a fake news story about his political affiliation—that he had switched his support from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. His response was a strikingly accurate breakdown of today’s “dog-eat-dog” media, its motives, and how it functions. “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed,” he told a reporter, referring to the too-often untrue stories fed to us by the media.

A devout Christian who reads from the Bible on a daily basis, Washington is not afraid to criticize components of the culture that he finds corrupt. He declared, “We live in a society now where it’s just [about being] first. ‘Who cares? Get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true. Just say it. Sell it.’” The 61-year-old also acknowledged the substantial duty of the reporters surrounding him: “What a responsibility you all have to tell the truth, not just to be first.”

MORE TO READ: Denzel Washington’s magnificent outlook: ‘Acting is not life to me’

Washington, who’s been married to the same woman for more than 33 years, grew up the son of a preacher so he’s no stranger to the significance of morals like telling the truth. The actor even considered becoming a preacher himself at one point in his life. In 1999, he revealed in an interview that he still thought about it, saying, “A part of me still says, ‘Maybe, Denzel, you’re supposed to preach. Maybe you’re still compromising.’”

Sadly, the majority of us are quicker to speak and act than we are to listen and contemplate.

Whether or not we’ll ever see Washington behind a pulpit, his words declaring truth more valuable than rapidity should be taken into consideration not just by reporters, but by everyone. Sadly, the majority of us are quicker to speak and act than we are to listen and contemplate. The age-old notion of seeking first to understand and then to be understood has become meaningless in our society. As a result, we’re too busy expressing our own opinions and venting about our own problems to be influenced by higher opinions or discover worthwhile solutions.

The instant availability of information in areas like politics and celebrity news offers endless occasions for us to form firm opinions of other people and circumstances. How often, however, do we question the motive or limited viewpoint of the source of such information before hastily deciding how we feel?

Washington’s insightful critique of the media and its focus on speed over accuracy should be kept in mind by all of us. Before we snatch opportunities to speak or express ourselves definitively, we ought to consider our motives and bear in mind how reliable our understanding of a topic actually is.

Elizabeth Pardi
Elizabeth Pardi
Elizabeth Pardi is a New York-born, Virginia-raised, Ohio-dwelling freelancer. She spends her days laughing, learning and running her way through life with her superstar spouse and their charmingly passionate one-year-old.

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