Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On the level

I am not one to blog about current affairs. In this age of information overload, it seems senseless. What can I add to the world knowledge base by linking to some news article or a video of today's top story? But I have to say I have been more than overly disgusted lately with the state of journalism and how we are force fed sensationalism.

First the whole debate about whether the radio shock jock Imus should have been fired or not for insulting the Rutger's women's basketball game was a travesty. I had never even really heard of the guy much less given a hoot in hell about anything he had to say. His racist crap would have drifted away into oblivion if the press hadn't reinforced it at every turn and made sure everyone got to hear in graphic detail what idiotic mumblings he had uttered for the sake of shocking his audience. The real question was not whether he should be fired, but why he had a show in the first place.

And now the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech. How many times did each reporter have to point out the body count and how this was the new record for mass shootings in our history? It's just this kind of sensational garbage reporting that inspires other lunatics to try to beat such records. This was a tragedy. Why does the press insist on making it worse by conducting their scab picking form of journalism and obsessing about minutia. I don't need to hear interviews with local alumni who lived in the same dorm at Virginia Tech where some of the shootings took place. What purpose does that serve?

And don't get me started about Anna Nicole Smith.

It is getting so I am ashamed any more to have a degree in Journalism. It used to mean you were someone who had a thirst for presenting the truth in an objective and informative manner. It has mutated into this circus where the reporters scurry around turning over rocks to feed the masses' voyeuristic hunger for dirt and degradation.

I for one am mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.

Sorry, I had to go put my head out the window and scream. Hayden asked what am I going to do. Well, I'm going to boycott the stinking news programs that exploit these stories. I'm not watching Dateline or 20/20 and definitely nothing on the Fox Network. And maybe, just maybe I'll start writing letters to the networks and complain. Then I'm going to start writing the sponsors and tell them I'm not going to buy their products if they support sensationalism and sensationalistic programs.

So there.

PS: I did begin writing e-mails today. I've started with MSNBC. I asked them if they had any shame for the way they are reporting. Then I told them I won't watch any network that keeps reporting this way. I'm sure they will file it with the rest of the cranks out there. But at least I said something.


Harmony said...

You go get em tiger..... Hi Tim, let me say first of all that I am so happy that you are back and blogging.

I agree with everything you say about sensationalism. Quite a few years ago now we had a mass shooting in Tasmania by a lone psycho gunman named Martin Bryant. It was pissing me off that they kept informing the public how it was the biggest mass shooting in OUR history. I couldn't help wondering if Martin Bryant was puffing his chest out with pride that he had accomplished such a feat and we were somehow perpetuating the achievement by listening to it.

Some journos are like vultures and pick every carcass clean.

Btw, thanks for your comments on my blog, I hope to be back soon.

Hayden said...

I have to say that the public appetite seems unquenchable. I'm shocked by the number of people who read /watch the news to learn the details and then DISCUSS it over lunch! As if it COULD be "discussed".. here are the tragic facts, end of subject. Today I bought a newspaper and the clerk wanted to talk about the shooting - again: What is there to talk about?

delighted to hear you're not going to take it any longer, but mostly dying to hear what you will do?

Time said...

Thanks Angel,
They do glorify these sick people don't they? And they inspire more sick people. Hope you feel up to blogging again yourself.

I'm going try not to be sucked in by it anymore. I realize I'm just one person, but hey, who knows, maybe if enough of us say enough is enough we could make them raise their standards and stop the exploitation.

Anonymous said...

Well put at every level.

I know it is a little thing, but in a feeble attempt to not give those people who do these things the recognition they crave, I have refused to say any of their names.

For example, in conversation I simply call them the Columbine murderers.

Steve said...

You seem a tad peeved my dear man!

What ya gonna do when they come for you?

It truly does get annoying but what can one do? Just ignore the silly persons who bring you such pain.

Can i say the word Nigger here?

R. said...

I read the Christian Science Monitor for real news. for everything else.

Lights in the wake said...

When I first heard about it I immediately went to Yahoo to read what was happening. At that point they thought 22 had died. What struck me most was the tone of the article. The Writer used the term "bloodbath" no less than four times. Not only were the details as they were then known relayed but a rundown of previous school shootings was included. It was as if the reporter was disappointed that this one did not surpass the other ones. Later in the day when I heard that the body count was up to 33 all I could think was how happy that must have made the reporter.

Andy said...

What is very sad about all of this it that they put out ther what people want to read and watch. What is that saying about us as people.

Great blog btw.

Kindness said...

One of the local Arizona news shows sent a local reporter to Virginia to "cover" the story. I can't for the life of me begin to wonder why they just can't use a reporter from an affiliate. Also... it was mentioned on the local news that a young lady who lived here five years ago but moved to North Carolina and now attends V.T. was on campus that day! Whoopty shit... they even showed her MySpace page... sheesh...

Where is the news Tim? The real news...

Time said...

Thanks Iridethe bus, You are right. We shouldn't dignify any of them with recognition. And wouldn't it be appropriate if some of the families of the victims from other shootings since Columbine filed a class action suit against the various "news" networks for inspiring murderers.

Steve, I can tell you are as mad as hell, too. :)

R. Mom would be proud of you.

Lights, It is sad, isn't it that the reporters lust for this stuff. But none of them are talented and ethical enough to figure out a way to report this stuff without exploiting it.

Andy, Exactly. They report this way because we as a nation eat it up and demand more. This is all the more reason why we need to turn our backs on this kind of reporting and boycott their sponsors. Economics is the only thing they will eventually understand.

Kindness, It is mindnumbing. They trip over themselves trying to find some angle that they can relate to their local audiences. They interviewed a representative of the Korean students at the University of Washington just because the murderer was Korean. That is more than offensive to me. It's idiotic and borderline racist. Real news? The Daily Show.

R. said...

I'm not sure if Grandma would appreciate Fark. She does watch Dateline though, so who can tell?