These days, we’re bombarded with information. TV, Internet, radio, you name it. So much news is thrown at us it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s not. Especially when we have president who tells us certain news is fake news…which confuses things even further.

I took a class in college called “Critical Thinking.” It was a general education class – but one of the best gen ed classes I ever took.

Every class, we’d nitpick a few short articles; real articles from magazines. The professor (who was quite sharp, and looked like the singer from Midnight Oil) would literally dissect every sentence. Why did the author use this particular adjective or this particular phrasing? Why is the author mentioning something that doesn’t seem relevant to the story? Is the author, either bluntly or subtly, trying to sway you toward a particular type of thinking?

I learned a lot. (Got a B, though, because I missed too many classes due to hangovers.)

Anyway, use your head when you intake news. I used to write for a small-town newspaper, and I know how hard it can be, as a writer, to remain objective sometimes. Just be smart, think about every word and sentence you’re reading or hearing, and use your best impartial judgment.

Oh yeah – use those same standards for everything that comes out of the White House. And the president’s mouth.