See No Evil

“He can’t see his hand in front of his face” isn’t a compliment. That much is obvious. The reality, though, is usually not that someone can’t see a hand, it’s that they don’t want to.

My dad has had the unpleasant task of attending to gruesome scenes over his career in law enforcement. Over time the kind of brutality that would horrify most of us becomes manageable to some extent. I guess the same is true in journalism or any field. Things that cause us fear or some other form of distaste become something we may still not like doing, but we find ourselves able to do it without much trauma.

During this week’s podcast I tell two stories about my dad’s interactions with tough scenes to illustrate how we sometimes blind ourselves to reality. In the face of all evidence to the contrary we will go on believing things that to an outsider make no sense. It’s often because we have a vested interest in believing otherwise. In one case during this episode it may be trauma causing the blindness.

blindness 071111

Sponsorships for individual episodes of The Field of Steve podcast are available for $35. In exchange what you get time on the podcast. Contact me by e-mail me at to discuss specifics. Or, if you’re feeling lucky or trusting, or just click on the tip jar at the bottom, leave a $35 donation and then contact me.

Feel free, of course, to contribute however much you want by clicking on the tip jar. Small donations ($1, $5) are welcomed, even encouraged. The tip jar will take you to PayPal, where you can use your own account or a credit card to donate to this work.

The Field of Steve podcast is a production of Narrative Arts, a company dedicated to the art of the story. You can find each episode of the podcast at Field of Steve dot com or by subscribing on iTunes.

This week’s music was from and The Basement and Sim Band.

Some material from this week’s podcast comes from Margaret Heffernan’s book Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril. More information about the situation in Libby, Montana can be found on NPR and via Associated Press.

If you have story ideas for the podcast, e-mail me at

Thanks for listening.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *