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Media Myopia

Posted on September 10, 2010 by

By now, there have been hundreds of media reportings and opinions expressed regarding the nut-case pastor in Florida who plans to burn the Quran this weekend.  I don’t recall his name.  It isn’t worth knowing.  Everybody from the local police chief to the President of the United States has given their version of a pleading for this man to put a halt to his plans and he, like any extreme, narcissistic person is soaking it up and playing it and us for all it’s worth.

On MSNBC-TV’s “Morning Joe” show today, former Newsweek editor, Jon Meacham softly told the Florida terrorist (and that’s what he has become) about the teachings of the new testament, advertising mogul, Donny Deutsch called him names and ranted while Pat Buchanan mused about Nixon being right to withhold the tapes and that Presidents sometimes have to violate the constitution.  It all made me nauseous.

If a man was standing on the top of the Empire State Building threatening to jump off, would these same well-known pundits jump into the fray?  Would it get the attention of the President and members of his cabinet?  Of course not.  Medical professionals would hopefully talk him down, see that he gets care and have him institutionalized if needed.  It’s no different here.  This man is ill and he needs help, not media attention.  He’s also very smart for he has used the media and the government to get his 15 minutes of global infamy and all those who are paying attention to him are rubes in his game.

Of course, there’s Fox News and their wing-nut associates in the media whose end-game is to bring down our current government.  How it’s done and who is hurt is hardly their concern.  Their ends justify their means.  So they take a non-event and put it in lights.  Their pundits express stern opinions and then their “journalists” report those opinions as news.  The sheep are enraptured by the urgency expressed and they respond with rage just as they’re told to do.

Both the main-stream and left-leaning media see the eyeballs that Fox and their friends are attracting, so they rush to give their side of the story too. They don’t want to lose viewers which they’re sure will cost them advertising revenues.  And the story quickly gets ratcheted up until the world is aflame with anger.

It’s just one sick man and a few dozen loser-followers who started this.  Who’s responsible?  It’s not the crazies in Florida.  They can’t help themselves.  If we had larger psychiatric hospitals, they’d be living there.

The media has a responsibility that it has been avoiding for years.  Journalists, both good and bad, are reporting opinion as fact, small events as big, crazy people as if they’re statesmen.  It’s all for the gain of more viewers and readers or to carry out their own bizarre political agendas.  It’s time for them to see the big picture and to recognize what they already know but have refused to acknowledge and act out – that we live in a world that is more closely connected than ever and that needs journalists and leaders to consider the common good for us all.  It’s not a case of someone is going to get hurt.  We already have and they need to bear some responsibility.

If they had acted responsibly, this guy would have burned his Qurans and nobody would have noticed.  We can only dream.


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