Evolving Peace

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Faux News

The corporate news media continues its showcasing of meaningless stories to captivate the American public in nonsense. I do not watch television at all and every time I get random glimpses of the vile that is reported my stomach churns in disgust.

Recently, I joined a gym and in one of the rooms there is a television turned onto CNN’s Headline News. Strenuously while I keep my health to par, I can get filled in all the news in just a half-hour. Great idea, if there were actually news broadcasted. Yesterday, a story was repeatedly aired showing a man breaking into a store and then upon exiting slamming his head on the wrong window pane. I saw the clip three times and many others like that, while stories about Iraq and the dismal status of the economy of today were ignored. Hot news, the FDA approved a new diet pill, more money to waste on pharmaceutical products while the real answers of Americans over-indulgence and lack of exercise is dismissed.

The other week I watched a news reporter repetitively inform viewers that there were frigid winter conditions throughout the country and that New Yorkers were suffering with 20 degree temperatures. I found it odd because I just walked in from temperatures that were below zero and to most of us in the area we were not suffering. Twenty degrees at this point is balmy weather conditions. No wonder, why so many people complain about the weather, it’s ingrained in their heads from the media. My favorite comment about the weather is from American Humorist Kin Hubbard, “Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while.”

So the big news for the corporate news media today is that Anna Nicole Smith died. I just ask who the f… cares. Television, Newspapers and internet media is dominated with coverage of her death. Yahoo’s news headlines “Why We Cared About Anna.” Is it that the populace really cares about Anna or is it a purposeful attempt to distract the public from the truth of the day? I wonder, if the public is that shallow and that their priorities are to worry about the everyday lives of a sex symbol. Was her life that important to me or you?

I am not sure of how it happened that the media has become so sensational. I was taught in my history classes the importance of a “free media,” and that it was part of the greatness of America. A free media is supposed to check on the government, but those days are long gone with the emergence of Media Conglomerates owned and operated by the same minions of corporate America. Yellow dog journalism and the muckrakers diligently worked hard to find the latest stories of importance. Unfortunately, the days of Edward R. Murrow tackling the fear of McCarthyism or even the past triumph of Bob Woodward’s attack of President Nixon has gone through the wayside.

News is no longer news. I remember as a teenager my father used to watch the news and then a new hit format on FOX arrived, “A Current Affair” with Maury Povich. Instead of news, stories of topless carwashes and celebrity profiles were the norm. A transformation in the news media had begun and they realized sex and gossip sells. Then out of the blue O.J. Simpson was charged with murdering his ex-wife. Mainstream media followed every nook and cranny of the case. Just yesterday I saw a story on CNN Headline News on OJ’s latest predicament. Following the OJ case, as if the media networks waited to see how gullible the public could be, formats and coverage dominated celebrity affairs such as the death of Princess Diana or abduction of a young debutante in Aruba.

Whether it has been a purposefully attempt to distract the masses with false news or just an honest attempt to make money, it is not right that the media is failing to report the realities of modern life. Society is becoming more alienated from the visions propagated by the media and it is not just the Faux News channel, it is the NBC’s, the CNN’s, the New York Times and the hundreds of media outlets owned by large corporations. As well we are to blame, if they did not have an audience to absorb their mindless rhetoric, who would listen. Boycott the big news and support your local community news organizations that have not sold out to the sensationalism.

Robb Kidd

“To a philosopher all news, as it is called is gossip, and they who edit and read it are old women over their tea.” Henry David Thoreau in Walden.


At February 10, 2007 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN to everything you have said

Hopefully blogs will help to awaken a mind dead public to real issues, but again, the same problem, as they drift to blogs that also are devoted to "faux news"
I recently reported on the AIDS pandemic, which one hardly hears about anymore. The disease is constantly on the rise, HIV/AIDS now infects 40 million people as opposed to 8 million in 1991, with 59% of them being in Sub-Sahara Africa, but of course, who cares about those people, anyway? Certainly not those vegging out in front of "reality TV"
I also find that when celebrities try to use their position to put a light on the poverty, disease, and rampant genocide in Africa, most people accuss them of looking for photo ops and publicity, as if these people need them? It never struck them that those who have been successful may want to give back to the world and try to do some good? This also reflects a mentality that it is frightening to contemplate, and lends to a world going to "hell in a hand basket" as one would say.
Kudos for speaking up


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