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Media Hysteria

While it was nice having electricity and air conditioning, I couldn’t help but thinking on Monday that we might have been better off without all of the crazy media hysteria concerning Hurricane Gustav and the dastardly cesspool media of the internet throwing a 17 year old girl under the bus.

I was so incensed with Shepard Smith’s scandalous behavior in the French Quarter that I actually emailed him at Fox.  I have yet to hear about my email of protest:

Mr. Smith,

I find it appalling and a slap in the face to all Louisianaians to appear on national TV from the French Quarter broadcasting about the danger to residents, etc., adorned in an OLE MISS HAT.  Sir, you should be ashamed.

As if this wasn’t enough, Geraldo Riveria was desparately seeking drama, going batshit crazy about a man “stranded in the water”.  After a few anxious seconds, he realizes that the dude was actually on a life line, in a life jacket and trying to secure a propane tank that had come loose from high water.

See both atrocities here, for yourself:

Throughout the day, family in Louisiana and family staying here with us, all laughed about the “drama” unfolding and how the media was trying so hard to “make” a story.  Billboards were obliterated (paper flying in the wind), mass flooding had begun (a storm drain was clogged), dangerous debris was littering the roadways (two leaves in the middle of the street were shown — I am not kidding), and Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel basically cried on TV because some fishermen were electing to ride out the storm on their boat — a 42′ foot boat build for survival in high seas and tethered in port.

EVERYTHING in the media is so overblown, so taken out of context and so exploitive.  While these storms ARE killers and ARE bad and ARE destructive, the media tries to sensationalize and dramatize every single drop they can, to garner your undivided attention for as long as they possibly can.

Just remember, people, when you are watching this….temper it down about 70%.  I think the media, as a whole, is totally irresponsible.  It reminds me of Pravda in the now-defunct Soviet Union, except that the messages are controlled by capitalists who are bent on trying to sensationalize the news to scare and intimidate you.  The news media has created a generation of cynical and jaded adults who basically have no hope.  Everything is dire and drastic.  And they wonder why their ratings have plummeted and people run for the stupidity of reality shows.

I always loved the line in John Mayer’s song Waiting on the World to Change:

When you trust your television, what you get is what you got….when they own the information, well, they can bend it all they want. 

And, bend they do.  When blogging first came into being, it was a refreshing honest assessment of issues and feelings by responsible people.  Now, as I’ve seen over the last two years, people and organizations use blogs to manipulate messages, smear people from all walks of life and generally try to make untruths reality.  What happened to obeying the commandment against “bearing false witness”.  Oh, I forgot, religon has no place in the public discourse.

Well, I may be on a soapbox today, but belief is a beautiful armor…as the song goes.  It’s time for people everywhere to realize that there are radical beliefs on all sides of every issue, but most reasonable people (I like to think that’s 80% of the population) are somewhere in the middle.  I urge people to consider that there is no equivocally “right” answer.  The best progress to solving problems comes when good people compromise for the good of the whole.  It’s time for this country to hold the irresponsible main media and “blogging media” accountable for inappropriately using their “voice” to create fury and maelstorm to get your eyes on their channel to sell advertising.  That’s right folks, it all comes down to money.

  Belief, John Mayer

Is there anyone who ever remembers
changing their mind from the paint on a sign?,
is there anyone who really recalls
ever breaking rank at all
for something someone yelled real loud one time?
oh, everyone believes
in how they think it oughta be
oh, everyone believes
and they’re not going easily

belief is a beautiful armor
but makes for the heaviest sword
like punching underwater
you never can hit who you’re trying for
some lead the exhibition
and some have to know they tried
it’s the chemical weapon
for the war that’s raging on inside
oh, everyone believes
from emptiness to everything
oh, everyone believes
and no one’s going quietly

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

is there anyone you can remember
ever surrender with their life on the line?

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

what puts a hundred thousand children in the sand?
belief can, belief can
what puts a folded flag inside his mother’s hand?
belief can, belief can

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2008 in hurricane, John Mayer, Louisiana

 

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