Of Lies and Tragedy
Please forgive me for the language I may (or may not) use and the possible disconnected thoughts. I find myself…frustrated with the condition of the world today. Perhaps it is only the United States but, since I have lived only here, it seems very much the world to me.
Can no one be honest anymore? Is no one even the least bit concerned with having an honest reputation that is not built upon stomping on the reputation of others? I’ll be honest, I created this blog tonight purely on a whim because I was finally driven over the edge and couldn’t NOT say something anymore. Admittedly, I’ve been considering the idea for months, but tonight the smallest thing set me off to the point that I instantly typed in “www.wordpress.com” to my web browser and created this blog.
What was this small thing you ask? As I alluded to, it is the lack of honesty in the world today, especially in the area where there should be the most of it. I’m referring, of course, to the News world. And to their insistence that we should all care about sensationalist nonsense that they throw at us minutely. I would say hourly but, with most major news Anchors now for some reason having an “official” Twitter feed, it’s approaching the highly-improbable sounding word, secondly. In fact, I’m sure the only reason that my Auto Correct didn’t tell me that was wrong was because it has other meanings.
But I digress. With the evolution of the 24-hour news network, the ever-increasing divide between the political Left and Right, and the advent of the internet, the word News has come to mean nothing more honest than the term “flame war.” In fact, to watch some “news” programs you would be hard pressed to find a difference between the two. Both sides fling insults and insinuate about the other’s intelligence. I think my favorite one, is that they both insist that the other “stop drinking the kool-aid.”
The far Right follow News Corp’s Fox like it’s Gospel (and Christian Gospel like it’s absolute truth). The far Left follows MSNBC (who’s parent company I’m not completely sure of.) the exact same way (treating religion in general as if it were evil by default of course). The scary part about this? Far Left and far Right are becoming more and more “normal” as more and more news outlets choose to write every story with some sort of spin on it that benefits their chosen side of the spectrum.
The same story will be reported differently between several different outlets. I’ll stick to my Fox and MSNBC examples to avoid confusion. Now, say for example that there is a story about the state of the economy over the last several years. In Fox’s report it would portray George W. Bush and his father as the heroes, H.W. for supposedly continuing a prosperous era that began under Reagan, and W. For supposedly bringing us back from Big Government spending under Bill Clinton while still leading our country during war. On the other side of the aisle, MSNBC would blame the 1980s recession on some failed economic policies of George H.W., then praise Clinton for bringing us out of it, and demonize George W. for ruining the upturned economy that Clinton presided over. Of course, I’m not saying that either version of this story is true. I am, however pointing out that they would be using the same data to come to these completely opposite conclusions. MSNBC would be incorrect in assuming that economic policies had an immediate effect on an economy, and Fox would be incorrect in assuming that the economic policies would take a decade or two to show any effect. So, in both situations we get non-news that only tells us how the economy has been doing the last several years and attempts to convince us that either the left or the right is responsible.
Now, speaking of non-news. I direct your attention to the other love-child of the 24 hour news channel and the internet. A resurgence of Yellow Journalism. I suppose you COULD argue that I was just talking about that in the previous section. However I’m talking more specifically about the Tabloid type news that is reported almost exclusively by many news organisations anymore. For example, Yahoo News (which, yes, I know only reprints other organisation’s news) currently has in it’s “Top News” section: “Report: Former teacher, student back together again” and “Obama targets Oil Speculators: Another Election Ploy?” ABC meanwhile has in the “Must Reads” section at the top: “Secret Service Scandal” while their “Latest Headlines” include: “Obama as a Boy Ate Dog Meat” (the article directly above it seems to be the same story but on the other side of the “argument”) and “Vanessa Williams Reveals Secrets.”
Do I really need to say more? Is there some reason we can’t return to only serious news companies, who are TRULY “fair and balanced” (as Fox laughably claims to be) being allowed to have “News” in their name while the rest of them are forced to pick some silly name and be labeled as a Tabloid?
Speaking of Tabloids (I promise I’ll make this short.) Do we really need 500 tabloid magazines in every grocery store to tell us that celebrities are (prepare for a shock) human beings? And that they maybe have personal troubles and maybe even…LIVES? (dramatic gasp…It’s ok, this is text. I promise I can wait for you to catch your breath after that huge shock)
Alright…I think ranting for over 900 words is enough. (no, seriously, the word count thing tells me I’ve been ranting for over 900 words) So I’m going to wrap this up by simply saying:
GROW THE FUCK UP! (had to justify my language warning somehow)