Don't let that title scare you...this post isn't really about the President's speech. I'm not here to comment on what grade a speech teacher might have given him for either content or presentation. I'm not a speech teacher. I'm not here to comment on whether or not he repeated the "same old same old" that he's said since he began his campaign or whether he was reassuring a nation that needed reassuring in the face of difficult economic times. I can't know his heart. And besides, I'll leave all that to the news commentators who will analyze every if, and, but and or. That's what I'm here to comment on. The media.
When I was a senior in high school in 1964 and had begun to look ahead at college and what I wanted to be "when I grew up" I decided I wanted to be a newspaper reporter. I had visions of the real Clark Kent writing human interest stories about real people who were going through either good times or hard times. I wanted to be on the scene when a bank robber was caught and be able to tell the world the real facts. The facts ma'am, just the facts. That first attempt at college didn't last long because I was way too in love to think of anything but him, and besides I'm sure I probably wasn't thinking with my brain. (My face is red after that statement!) At least he has lasted nearly 45 years! My next entry in college was very different since I had a husband and three kids at home - I knew the education field was where I really wanted to be and that's what I did. Thank goodness. I wouldn't want to be a part of news reporting today.
My sister won't watch one particular station on television because they're too Democrat. A friend won't watch another station because they're too Republican. Now maybe I'm wrong but if we can tell which party a news program is leaning toward, isn't there something wrong with that picture? My husband loves to watch one of the news channels but I cringe whenever I get in ear shot. There are two people sitting there talking ever louder and both at the same time arguing over where the President said "and" or "plus" in sentence number 47. Or there's someone telling me what the President said, only it doesn't sound like what I heard when I listened to it. And if it's not that, then it's a horrible story about people doing wrong. I keep thinking that when my children were small I didn't want them to know that the kid down the street climbed to the top of the sycamore tree and couldn't get down, lest they decide to try it themselves. You know what I mean....copycat stuff that they would never have thought of on their own. And on television they're giving us all the gory details which some sick person goes out and repeats now that you've told him about it.
I know that news is a business and that these reporters are trying to get and keep jobs. They do that by keeping us mesmerized with the bloody, the horrible, the tragedies. And to compete with other reporters they have to be more bloody, more horrible, more tragic. I lay a lot of blame at our own doors. They know who's watching and who isn't. They know what boosts their ratings and what doesn't. I am waging my own personal war against this kind of news. I've quit watching. I've found one station that I think is better than the others in trying to be positive and to report just the facts and when I watch, which isn't often any more, that's the one I watch. I know that some of you are cringing at that and thinking "what? how can you do that - you won't know what's gong on!" I watch enough to get the sense of the direction we're going, and I read bits of the newspaper (sometimes just the headlines are enough!). And my husband answers any questions I have about the facts. That's enough for me. The only thing I feel like I have to know is that in the end God wins. Avoidance works for me. How are you handling this issue? And what works for you?