“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” is a famous phrase from the 1960’s classic movie, “Cool Hand Luke,” referring to a character played by the late Paul Newman, and his refusal to conform to rules set for him and his fellow work gang members at a correctional facility in the south.

Luke would have a tough time communicating in today’s world.

I’m not the best at compartmentalization. In other words, it’s difficult for me to juggle different ideas and concepts much like a circus clown, and it’s difficult for me to separate the accurate from the inaccurate, fake news from real news.

With the advent of Facebook and the internet, truth sometimes is a matter of opinion and whom you choose to believe.

Are the glaciers melting in Alaska?

My brother, a resident of Anchorage who has traveled throughout the state, assures me that they’re not melting.

Others swear up and down that they are melting. But I trust my flesh and blood in this case.

That’s the case with most news nowadays. Who you believe is who you identify with, and you have to have a healthy dose of skepticism whatever your news source.

Looking back, everyone seemed to trust “Uncle Walter,” Walter Cronkite of the CBS Evening News.

“Walter Cronkite, CBS News, good evening,” was Cronkite’s sign-off, with his audience left to contemplate the news around the world, while Cronkite fired up his pipe.

Cronkite’s later opposition to the Vietnam Conflict turned public opinion against the war, whether you agreed with him or not.

In retrospect, although I didn’t serve in Vietnam, I’m forever grateful to those who put aside their personal opinions to risk their lives for Uncle Sam, whatever the political pressure back home.

They were as faithful to their buddies lying beside them in the jungle as were the D-Day soldiers who put their lives on the line while assaulting the beaches of Normandy, and people will think what they think.

I have no control over that, but at least I have the right to consider different opinions and sources throughout the media and form my own opinion.

It’s a right we all should appreciate and defend.

Doug Ford reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.

Doug Ford covers news and sports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at dford@gazettevirginian.com.