The Television Media Has Joined the Dark Side
As if anyone hadn’t noticed. Well, at least anyone who reads and attempts to keep up with actual current events. I have quit watching television as of about a year now. I used to have the nightly news on a few nights a week and listen to it from the other room, but I argued with the crap that they were reporting on so often that I threw in the towel and gave up on the whole thing. I was one of those people who was actually comforted and lulled into a sense of safety by hearing the same kind anchorman’s voice every evening.
I saw a blip from one of the news channels yesterday, where a reporter actually cut off a politician in the middle of an interview with the breaking “news” that Justin Bieber had been arrested. I was not surprised. There are not enough words in the English language for me to express my deep and utter loathing for the television news. It is way up there on my list.
I grew up in the first generation that had television in the classroom. We spent fifteen minutes in my social studies class watching a specially designed news program to teach us the importance of keeping up on current events. We were trained and molded like pet monkeys and we didn’t even know that it was happening. I don’t enjoy being critical and I try not to do it often, but I suppose that my deep criticism about the state of the media comes from the intense personal betrayal that I feel. I honestly believe that the press has a responsibility to protect the public. I hold the press to high standards, and feel that the purpose of its existence is to provide factual and unbiased information. I am despondent over how we have allowed it to become a self-serving, mind-numbing, mass-leading machine.
Ironically, it took a comment on a published blog of mine to get me to understand that I am also the media myself at this point. Of course, I am not news media, I write commentary and opinion and I share information and ideas. Still, I need to be careful to be very conscious of my beliefs about just what my responsibilities are to my readers. Integrity has abandoned the television…it cannot be found there. When I think of television news, the very first image that comes to mind for me is Kathy Lee Gifford with a large glass of wine in her hand, ranting on about how Robert Downey Jr. isn’t remorseful enough about his prior drug addiction. I’m not positive if she did have a glass of wine in hand when she said that, but it’s better for her if she did. At least she can use drunkenness as an excuse for what escaped her mouth.
So, what can be done about all of this? We are doing it. Here, now, I am actively writing about something that I feel it is important for me to express and I am putting it out there. It is as simple as that. I see more and more interesting articles scroll across my computer screen every day. They are hand picked by people that I know because the subjects are of interest to them. No one has to accept being spoon fed the crap information that television has to offer. I am thrilled every time that one of my friends tells me they have an interest in writing about what they know. Today we not only have an opportunity through technology to share relevant information, I believe that we have a responsibility to do so. We need to fight against the streams of fluffed up garbage that newscasters are spewing for the singular purpose of furthering their careers. They are not trying to protect the public or make the world a better place. Those duties have fallen to us, the people, because the television media has joined the dark side.