Monday, February 13, 2012

A Rant Against the Media

The dust up over Mitt Romney's supposed lack of care for the poor is but one more example of the tyranny of the media.  I am frankly sick of the whole dang mess.  Let me say first of all I am no Romney supporter yet what has happened to him is but one more example of how shallow the media presume us to be and how inflated their egos.  To be fair, it was not the most eloquent of statements but it stands up okay.  Romney mentioned simply that the poor have a safety net and, if it needs repair, he will attend to that, but his primary concern was the shrinking middle class for whom there was neither safety net nor financial cushion to fall back on.

As a member of the shrinking middle class (which also makes up almost the entirety of the parish I serve), I can attest to the truthfulness of his statement.  But that is beside the point.  Everyone from Fox to MSNBC has jumped upon this supposed gaff to suggest that Romney has no heart for the poor.  To make matters worse, those would be Presidents who are campaigning against him have said promulgated the same lie and half truth.  Now I heard J.C. Watts chime in about this. We all know that is not what Romney actually said or meant. But apparently those running will do or say anything to get elected and those reporting upon the political process will lie or speak half truths in order to sensationalize the foibles and failings of those running.

I am weary of a media which does not understand religion or the religious at all and which fosters the opinion that we in the electorate are so stupid we cannot sort out with common sense what someone means when they have spoken less than eloquently to get a point across.  And then the media presumes to be that fourth leg on which our whole republic stands (with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government).  I do not have a clue for whom I will vote when the day comes but I know that I will pay less and less attention to the media in making my determination.

Finally, the media are also at least partially responsible for the dust up over the Komen Foundation and its decision to withdraw and then restore funding to Planned Parenthood.  Everyone knows there were good reasons for withdrawing the funding (Planned Parenthood does not do the cancer screening that Komen seeks but merely refers, it was a small grant anyway and the foundation felt money would be better spent elsewhere, and there was a concern about the Komen Foundation being in the cross hairs of the pro-life debate).  Only a fool would think that they withdrew funding because of principled objections to abortion.  But enter the media and the hype to the point where candidates and politicians and political figures exploited this -- feeding on each other like piranha with blood in the water -- and now everyone has lost.  The Komen Foundation has lost its sparkle as the premier charity for women's cancer causes, the politicos look cheap and shallow, and the media has gorged itself on the buffet of its own self-importance.  And again, the presumption is made that we in the electorate are too stupid to know any better.

I hardly even speak to political things and this is not about a candidate or politics.  It is about the way we are being played by those who would be our elected officials and the media reporting on that process.  Now I might be stupid.  Some folks think so.  But it irritates the dickens out of me when the media presume my stupidity and pander to it.  Like Popeye used to say, I can't take it anymore.  We need to elevate the whole level of social and political discourse.  ASAP!


Anonymous said...

The answer in the political camp is the same as in the ecclesiastical: Don't believe everything you're told; take the time and effort to educate yourself. Because society is rife with apathy, we continually find ourselves in messes from which most seek to transfer blame from the real culprite: oneself. The Old Adam lives!

Norman Teigen said...

I am not buying into the media thing, Pastor. Wiith all due respect...Norman

Anonymous said...

A link of interest on the problems with the media that will hopefully help people recognize the truth:

The Daily Caller has a multipart expos√© on David Brock and Media Matters which will surprise … well, probably no one...

Warm regards,

Dixie said...

Pastor Peters, this was exceptional. I have the same frustrations. In fact a couple of weeks ago I put up a comment on my FB page indicating that we cannot trust the media. (In my case it had to do with the intentional silence about Ron Paul in a case where twitter user responses gave him numbers which were the highest of all candidates...and no, I am not necessarily a Ron Paul supporter.)

I am from an era where we were taught that the media was to report "objectively"...the facts and nothing but the facts. But the reality is that we get spin. My son, however, reminded me what is really in control...dollars. The media puts out that which will get them advertising dollars. It not about noble objectivity but rather it is about business and bringing in revenue.

If Americans really understood this point they might be a little more skeptical.

I don't know what can be done but my word verification word is "angst" which is appropriate for me and this subject!

Anonymous said...

The media puts out that which will get them advertising dollars. It not about noble objectivity but rather it is about business and bringing in revenue.

I agree, Dixie. When I was a kid the nightly news was served objectively, dispassionately and without all the hype, hoopla and agendas we seem to get today.


Carl Vehse said...

This is why the fourth estate for a long time has been known as the fifth column.