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Blame The Media?
Yes, I blame the media for the current state that our nation has found itself. Now, when I say media, mind you I am talking everything from television, radio and all the way back when you got your news from a thing called a newspaper.
Don't get me wrong, I believe we need to be informed, but the problem has always been not about information, but about sensationalism, entertainment and making money. Author Mitchell Stevens claims that through sensationalism a lower-class audience is able to understand accurately the issues of the day, educating them and getting them to take more interest in the news. I disagree.
I think what it has done is dumbed down society. Instead of presenting just the facts and necessary details of a particular news item, the media chooses to add flair and sordid details to entice, rather than inform, a person into thinking a particular story is actually news worthy. Add on top of that the constant barrage of a particular story over time along with other equally otherwise mundane stories and you have dulled the senses of an individual to the point they no longer can differentiate the truth from the fluff.
How many days in a row does one need to read a story in a newspaper to understand that it happened, the basics of what happened, who was involved and what ramifications it has on society as a whole? Then you have television and radio, bombarding us 24/7 with the latest grabbing headline. The shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, shootings in Columbine Colorado, the bombings in Oklahoma City, are a few prime examples of how we now know and remember the names of the perpetrators because of media overload. Forget the victims; the sordid past in detail, ad-nauseum of a is more entertaining than the story of one of the little kids who were killed when he blew up the Federal building in Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh
But that alone isn't what has caused Americans to drop numbers in their IQ. Now we have entertainers, sports figures and musicians chiming in on what they think, and people listen, because, well, they are famous so what they say must hold some weight. Really? You will change your mind on a fundamental, Constitutional right to bear arms to protect you and your family because some famous name says they'll deport themselves because America's gun laws are asinine? Or if so-and so wins this Presidential election I'm moving to Canada or Europe? Who cares?? Deport yourself, move to another country, it has zero effect on me and my family.
Then there is the blatantly biased media. It runs both ways. Instead of news being impartial, both liberals and Conservatives require a media outlet that they claim is balanced but in reality is just a sounding board for their beliefs and those like them. Their job - to indoctrinate people into a belief system and point fingers at the other side telling them they are biased and wrong. Whatever happened to just reporting the news? I don't need a Chris Matthews spewing his liberal agenda or a Bill O'Reilly spewing his. I should get the news and be done with it. But no, now we not only have our own views but those of the Medias vigorously thrust on us, bombarding us day and night, telling us what is right and what isn't. And people wonder why this country is so divided? We are allowing the media to divide us.
Television programming has just enhanced the rate in which we are succumbing to idiocy. Values are gone. Morals are gone. Replaced with things that are edgy, taboo and sordid. That sells. The words and images that appear on television today would have no place 30 years ago. It has permeated every aspect of television. During hours when kids watch TV it's perfectly acceptable now to see ads for contraceptives, female hygiene, sexual disorders and commercials showing people engaged in stuff that shouldn't be on television. Our children see this. Little eyes and ears are paying attention. And if we believe it does not influence them, we are in for a rude awakening.
What is the solution? I don't have an answer. As for me personally, I made the decision to stop watching network television over 10 years ago. I think that we are honestly too far gone to roll back. The media has tasted the honey pot, and like a hungry bear will not quit until they have eaten the honey dry, and then move on to the next nest.
It is a sad state of affairs our children find themselves in. They are already burdened with a corrupt society and have nothing left to work with. They have a skewed view of what heroes are because of the media monster. They have a warped view of what is decent and right because of the media monster. They no longer have to think for themselves, the media monster TELLS them what to think. So, we advance technologically at a breakneck pace but the cost is our ability to grasp reality and think for ourselves.
Yes, I blame the media, for most everything that has led this country on its current path. But unfortunately, I think that it has won and we are the losers, whether we know it or not.