It has been observed before but I’ll say it again – the media is out of control! They will take a news story or a kernel of news and stretch it out ad nauseam. Some recent examples:
The Suleman Octuplets – The mother,Nadya Suleman, has mental health issues, heck, I’ll just call it like I see it – she’s crazy and narcissistic. She needs help not media attention. Her fertility doctor made an unethical choice in giving her fertility treatments (especially with but perhaps not limited to the octuplets.) I have no need to see her face or hear her explanations. Now that they are born, our society has to take care of them and it looks like that will mean finding the children a better home(s).
The US Airways Hudson River Landing – What a life-affirming event this. Pilot C.B. Sullenberger used all of his 40 years of flying experience to land the plane safely. It was a heroic act and a miraculous landing. His colleagues and flight crew worked in harmony and without panic. Do we really need to hear the cockpit recording of the event as it unfolded? I vote No. Do we really need to hear from every passenger and see their reunions? No. (In fact, I don’t have a need to hear cockpit recordings or 911 calls – ever.) How many times does a story have to be retold?
Chris Brown & Rihanna – They didn’t make the Grammy Awards Ceremony. Looks like they had a fight and there may have been violence from him to her. This story hasn’t fully come out yet. Do we really need the domestic violence analysis and the suppositions? No. Do they need to be tried in the media? I think not. Is it scary that there are such crisp photos of them at a service station on the way to the ceremony? Yes, it is. (Enemy of the State time anyone?)
The Exclusive Story…NOT! – As far as I can tell, none of the news channels really has an exclusive story any more, although some get a particular story first. Within minutes of news breaking, they all have the same story and they repeat it ad nauseam whether it’s on the local news, national news , entertainment news, comedy news, public television or on-line (I enjoy Public TV but, except for Now with David Brancaccio, which goes into stories in depth, each of the Friday evening news programs covers the same stories in mostly the same way. One set of talking heads can be substituted for another, although the McLaughlin group yells the most.)
Second-guessing – President Obama can’t make a statement without someone saying he didn’t go far enough or that he’s gone too far; his proposal will work or it won’t work at all. Each pundit and “expert” has another opinion on what should be done. What happened to waiting until the passing of the first 100 days of the presidency being evaluated? President Obama has barely gotten 100 hours.*
Bad News Glee – The media seems downright gleeful to share the bad, the gloomy, the depressing and the wacky. Most, like the ABC nightly news, leave their “happy news” for the last minutes of the broadcast after they’ve beaten us over the head with the negative.
Yes, it’s BAD – as in the economy and the societal fall-out/impact. In fact, it’s terrible. We should be concerned but can’t stay afraid. Rather than being completely honest, the news media keeps throwing salvos that aren’t completely honest. They suggest how one might keep a job by working harder and being indispensable when in reality that’s not what will help anyone keep their job. Working harder does not make one bit of difference in whether you can keep a job you’ve had for 25 years or two months. The reality is that all of us have to prepare life plans, right-now plans for how we will deal when we do find ourselves laid-off, down-sized, forced-out, right-sized, etc.
Time to Wean – I’ve had enough. I’m determined to wean myself from a full diet of “the news” in all its forms. I’m going to have to limit my intake because the news has grown insane. Besides, with heart disease being the #1 killer of women and stress being a huge factor in the disease, I’m sure that eliminating most of the news will only help me feel and be better.
(*I borrowed this observation from my husband. Thank you.)
As Charles Gibbson says, “I hope you had a good day”.
Now that Obama’s in the White House I don’t feel the need to read and watch the news all of the time. It would be much better if we could go back to having newspapers with articles to read that go beyond the cable news version of news that encompasses a headline, a byline, and a subtitle.
I say that we really should each be given 15 minutes of fame; take off the pundits that repeat the same thing over and over and go house to house and interview people. It would be far more interesting and insightful.