The Real Media
A commentary of the the media and what is considered "news"
It is apparent to me that the world has gone nuts. In recent times, as in times long since past and to come, society has taken a turn for the junk new worst. One turns on the television (or the "boob tube" as it is more appropriately labeled) and finds all types of news that is of no real value as far as substance is concerned, or is of nothing more than fleeting shock value at best. It has become apparent to me that this is the driving force of talk shows and news shows alike. Even the characteristic of fiction is not exempt from these situations for mere entertainment's sake.
It is of no real secret that the news is sometimes nothing more than a gossip show. I would put forth (again, as my opinion) that this is the reason that gossip television shows have dropped in the ratings. It is because the newspapers and broadcast eyewitness news stories are taking over. Let us look at a few examples from the news (or what is considered news presently…)
First we have Monica Lewinsky and her lovely trial of the month. So many "important" questions arose from the sordid situation that apparently occured between her and President Clinton. We have here an issue that is three years old if at all true concerning a man and his fleeting affair with an alleged over-zealous intern. From this we have heard the questions: Did the President lie under oath and to the American public when he stated that he did not have sexual relations with young Monica Lewinsky? What does the President consider to be sex? Why is it that the only woman that Clinton has not hit on is Hillary?! Is the job for Head Intern still open? If so, what will come up that the intern will have to deal with? Did Lewinsky save the dress on which the President allegedly left his "Presidue" for lack of a better term? What other positions did Monica Lewinsky occupy under the President? All these questions and more have plagued our television screens in the news and the media. It even interrupted a broadcasting of the Pope's history-making visit to Cuba, a communist nation. Moreover, it shared front-page news with the AFC winning the Superbowl for the first time in 13 years! I think we can all agree that the President has flirted or had sex within the last 13years - maybe even the last 13 days!
Granted, if the country is supposed to be based on family values, it is presumed that the argument can be put forth that the President's alleged behavior is irreproachable. However, if anyone believes that this country is based on family values - and one of those values is honesty - then I have got a bridge in Brooklyn up for sale real cheap! It is preposterous to state that the President is incapable for doing his job because he is furtive, clandestine, a cheat and a liar. It would be easier to say that in this county, that makes him - dare I say it - normal! Hell, one could say with an even straighter face that these aspects of one's character would even increase one's ability to run this country. It is not on the "up and up" either. Furthermore, it is definitely not grounds for the President to lose his job. If every man who ever cheated on his wife, or was ever caught cheating, or had an affair with an employee, or lied were to lose his job, the unemployment rate would be at such a level as to make those who have jobs out casts and abnormal. By the way, has anyone wondered that maybe that is not an important issue for the news? That maybe this is a private issue to be addressed by Clinton and his family as a private issue? Maybe the pending Iraq situation is of more importance as Yeltzin of Russia states that it may be a mistaken initiation by the U.S. into a third world war. Or maybe it is the Thirty six year old teacher who is going back to jail for consorting with a fourteen year old boy for whom she had a child a year earlier, an action for which she served time.
No one ever heard again of the Cuba visit by the Pope. Not much mention has been given to the pending war of international significance that is breathing down the neck of our future. No one cares about the woman who is to be executed in a few months. No, people would rather hear about new irrelevant details in the Jon Bennett-Ramsey story. The kid's dead. Get over it. Children die every day in this country over more heinous situations that the Ramsey story has ever reported; but that does not make front-page news.
We cannot leave out the talk show circuit. There was a time where these talk shows supplemented the news by making major issues into a debate via a televised forum. The only name associated with shock television used to be Geraldo Rivera and Morton Downey Jr. Oprah, Sally Jesse Raphael, and all the rest used to discuss real issues such as child abuse, KKK rallies, and divorce rates. Now we have Jerry Springer wherein a fight can almost be guaranteed every episode. Now we have Ricki Lake with her highly skilled team of scouts out there set to find the absolute dumbest African Americans on the world and televise them as common. We now have makeover shows and stories about fat people that cannot be moved from out of their houses without the use of a crane and a cupcake. Or we have shows concerning the benefits of black gay men over white gay men, or transvestites that reveal to their boyfriends that they in fact are really men. Even Oprah, the most popular television host in history, has left the serious noteworthy topics to interview the caste of Batman Forever, or to discuss hot new ways to cook valentine foods, and shirking any sense of blackness in the process.
It seems to this viewer therefore, that the "information circuit" has turned into an information circus, and nothing can be done to halt this because it brings a lot of money into a lot of greedy capitalistic hands. Hey, it's the American way. Thank God for the Internet where you can find out anything (yeah, right. The most common hits on the Internet are pornographic websites filled with smut, sex, and total disregard for ethics. If I want that, I'll apply for a position at the White House this summer and get paid to see it for free!)
But that's just my mind, ladies and gentlemen. Something to think about!