Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2012 1:18:57 PM
Generally I like to give commentary on the things that are reported in the news, things such as the recently reported sales of Greta Garbo's estate (Which grabbed top dollar. At one point, 7400% more for one piece then they had actually estimated its value to be.)
But today's tyraid is about the media sharks themselves.
As a former food columnist, I have seen the media at its finest. I have been a part of that group of people that have been given the task of bringing news to the forefront in a manner that is unique, readable, and honest.
Something changed recently, however, and the media has become the enemy.
As the recent events unfolded after the Connecticut school shooting, it seems as if the feeding frenzy was on with very little regard to human emotion or truthful reporting, and viewers are angry.
Instead of reporting the facts as facts, they reported distraught victims views with little regard to the truth or empathy. They became Carnies, if you will, sleazy untrustworthy humans that work for a traveling show, incapable of being honest in any capacity. As Carnies do, they took whatever they could get and splashed it all over the news just to gain the spot as best "Town Crier."
I agree that people deserve to know the news right away, but to what degree should this be taken? Report the news with no fact, just speculation, or be honest and say "This tragedy has taken place. We have no facts that we can verify at this time but we plan to continue our coverage and bring you updates as we get them from a reliable source." I am certain most people would agree on this.
Then, after successfully conjuring up a good theory, they reported false information, which has led to a secondary feeding frenzy among the American people. Lets report that the shooter is "mentally ill" (and I use that term loosely considering there has not been an actual substantiation of this information and mentally ill is not the same as developmentally challenged which has also been reported) and blame the government for not caring for the American people and not taking care of the mentally ill.
But wait...that was not the only fire started. It also caused the "Gun Control Demon" to rear its ugly head. Naturally the great divide which was already there, became the forefront of the news. It became a camouflage to the real problem here, the fact that the media simply did not do their jobs in reporting honest news facts with very little opinion. They used this school shooting as a platform, much like a lobbyist, to do their dirty work politically.
Had the media sharks not been so hungry and devoured this up, they actually could have used this story for good.
After reporting the truth and focusing on the victims families and their privacy, they could easily have spun this into a platform that opens up good dialogue for legislators and the American people. Dialogue regarding better health care for those that are mentally ill, campaigning for health care reform that can actually take care of people, and bringing to the table legitimate ideas on how to better safeguard people from this type of senseless tragedy, AND cover the gun control topic by educating people on safety, ownership rights, and lawful use and ownership of a deadly weapon.
I will openly admit that I was even caught up in it.
I hope that somewhere along the road someone in the media wakes up and sees this as a good journalistic opportunity. The chance to educate people on mental illness and its effects on everyone, developmental illness (autism has been at the core of a heated discussion for years), and the difference between gun control laws and the right to gun ownership (because they are two completely different topics all together. One addresses the actual right to own and carry while the other addresses ways to safely own and carry.)
All the media has done with this tragedy is used it as a means to feed shamelessly on the blood shed by innocent victims. The carnage left behind is unimaginable and cleanup is to far off to even see. Maybe its time we stop feeding the sharks and start focusing on the truth.