Watch or listen to any newscast and you are bound to get traffic and weather reports within every 10 minutes. You will get a human-interest story, an animal story, issue of the week story, sports, and the winning lotto numbers.
The irony is we get so little news in a world of 24-hour news channels. Rather than get objective news reporting on issues that affect our daily lives, we get slanted news coverage of issues that promotes a media outlet’s agenda.
We heard about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin ad nauseum but very little on the plight of other African Americans killed during that same time period. In the same state that gave us Zimmerman and Martin comes another episode. This time three black youths beat up a 13 year-old white boy on a bus. Thankfully, no one was killed but was this not a racial crime?
Where is Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson? Since President Obama is half-white why didn’t he state: “If I had a son he would have looked like this white boy”? Why didn’t the Department of Justice send member of its community relations department to organize rallies?
The fact is media outlets broadcasts or prints whatever someone in its employ deems newsworthy. We consume the information, call it news, and accept it as fact. It shapes our attitudes and beliefs. Growing up, I thought the Fourth Estate was there to monitor the other three, not help perpetuate a crisis of the week culture.
Most of us are too busy navigating our lives to spend time fact checking the media. The media is supposed to do that for us. Instead, we must first determine whether a media outlet has a liberal or conservative bias and then filter the news within that prism.
Politicians love this national cone of silence and feel immune to any repercussions. A well-informed populace is a politician’s worst nightmare. I suggest we give the politicians’ nightmares.