Monday, February 13, 2012
A Rant Against the Media
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!