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April 17, 2013

Hey, American Media!

I am disgusted with the American media right now. Over the years I have quit watching nightly news and have begun to get my news almost exclusively from the BBC. The BBC has no agenda in America. They don’t care how the stories make American’s look; they aren't politically motivated when reporting. They report the facts, plain and simple. However, when something tragic happens as it did on Monday in Boston, or in December at Sandy Hook, or even in 1995 in Oklahoma City, it’s hard to avoid more mainstream media coverage. Especially in this age when we have news alerts sent to our phones and the something can be posted on the internet seemingly seconds after it’s happened.

The media over sensationalizes EVERYTHING! When I finally turned on the TV on Monday night, all I heard was “three people killed and several people lost their limbs”. It was repeated again and again, “several people lost their limbs”. The coverage was so see through! Blood and guts sell a story, so why not camp outside the hospital and hope that a doctor will slip-up and say something juicy? This bombing was heartbreaking and I’m certainly not trying to minimize the impact it had and will have on the city and country going forward. However, there is no reason for the media to go to the extremes that they do. A picture I saw yesterday showed a woman sitting dazed in a literal pool of blood. There was no warning that the picture I was about to see would be graphic, but there it was, front page of Can’t we respect the victims a little more? I wonder how that woman’s parents felt seeing her sitting there.  I wonder how the friends and family members of loved ones hurt felt hearing over and over again “several people lost their limbs”. We are not stupid humans. We can surmise from the general details that this was a terrible incident and that many people were hurt, is it really necessary to make blood, lost limbs and shrapnel fillers for entertainment?

As we've developed into a world of more advanced technology we have been granted access to information quicker, because of this the media markets fight to be the first one to “break a story” or find some detail that no one else has heard before. It seems in several incidences of late, they aren't even checking the facts. While the December school shootings occurred I heard that a gunman had killed his mother, a teacher in the school. I heard that there was an individual found hiding in the woods outside the school. I heard that the shooter’s brother was also involved. None of these turned out to be true. There was a school closure here recently. Initial reports were that a child had a gun in the school. That report quickly turned into someone being shot in the school. Parents of children panicked to try to rush to their kids. Turns out there wasn't even a gun involved. I should also note that in the minutes I have been writing this post CNN has reported “Suspect arrested in bombing!” followed several minutes later by “Conflicting reports on arrest in Boston”, now finally, “No Arrest”. Does anyone else find this totally inappropriate?! How long before the media over dramatizes everything so much, that we no longer believe what they’re reporting?

When the media falsely report “facts” it creates unnecessary chaos. People already have a tendency to think the worst, to have misleading information told to you by a source we SHOULD be able to trust only leads to more confusion, and for what? To get viewers to turn on their televisions and increase that stations’ ratings? Americans are freaking out right now thinking every backpack they see is a bomb and every foreign person on a plane is a terrorist. The country is in a panic wondering who is next. No good comes out of this. We racial profile innocent people, we shut down buildings and events that have been perfectly safe. We look like a foolish nation of pandemonium not a nation well prepared. Will we be questioning everyone buying a pressure cooker now?

I and I’m sure plenty of other Americans understand that this event in Boston was horrific but we don’t need 24/7 news coverage to figure that out. I don’t need pictures of bloody streets; I don’t need graphic details of injuries sustained. I need the facts. I need to know that instead of running around with their heads up their asses, the media is doing their best to bring me news NOT gossip!

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