Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The President's Speech

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?


brenco1 said...

I read, I listen to various sources, I read the internet and then I prayerfully leave it all in God's hands and let him decide what or if I should do anything. God already knows where we are going and I trust him for the future.

Lori said...

I'm all about avoidance for the most part. Just because I hear it on news doesn't make it true - the major medias slant everything how they want anyway so how do we as a public really know what is fact and what is fiction? It's gotten so frustrating, that most of the time I tend to not listen to anything that is said. I pretty leave it in God's hands for He and only He knows what is best and how it's going to play out. I just trust and know all will be for good in the end.

Milah said...

I have found that the news on ALL stations is often exaggerated, and why not since THEIR jobs on the line. It's all about ratings, not truth, it's a big circus in my humble opinion. Some days I watch and some days I don't. I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you.
I do know that I have found a lot of wonderful people on the internet who have done some remarkable things like donating a truck load of wheelchairs and walkers to needy people in Mexico. (You don't hear those stories on the news.) So I guess I'll keep blogging so I can read stories about average, everyday people and their lives and the good they are doing. It's funny, I've been blogging since June and so far I haven't read about any murders, drive-by shootings, robberies, drug overdose, molestation, abortion or suicide. I've been inspired and motivated by the News I read. The point I'm trying to make is there is a lot of good news out there and I choose to read that instead of hearing all the doom and gloom. God is untimately in control so I rest assured in that.
Nice post.

Carol said...

As usual, I could have written your post. Not one of your opinions are different than mine and I don't delve past the synopsis of any particular news item. I think I am too cynical to blindly accept what is offered the public as "news coverage".

I thought with my mind a year longer than you did in college -- married in 1966. Our excuse was that Humboldt State University was so remote there was nothing else to do - morally, that is.

lani said...

I just turn the TV off...First there is nothing but crap on most of the time and give me a day with Andy Griffith Gomer or the Jetsons and Im a happy camper.....but lets not forget when all else fails us just LEAVE IT TO BEAVER...TIMES USE TO BE ALOT EASIER BUT SUCH IS CHANGE AND THE GENERATION THAT IS LISTENING DOES NOT SEEM TO MIND,...OUI'GETTING OLD IS HARD....Hey who turned the caps on????? Drat darn computer another non compliant thing.....Love U

Lelia Chealey said...

This was so good to read Marlene! Loved all that you said. We don't even get the newspaper. I've noticed the headlines are in bigger font the more dramatic the story. Seems as if the positive stories get little font and a back page.
Was thinking of you the other day...I love my handkerchief! :)

Lelia Chealey said...

This was so good to read Marlene! Loved all that you said. We don't even get the newspaper. I've noticed the headlines are in bigger font the more dramatic the story. Seems as if the positive stories get little font and a back page.
Was thinking of you the other day...I love my handkerchief! :)

Elaine Adair said...

Well said, and I totally agree. Hate that my nature is occassionally, to 'pull the quilt over my head' but there are a lot of influential people with more $ than I, who do NOT like what is happening either, and they have power, not me. I don't want to be a dumb ignorant sheep. However, I cannot function if I watch too much of that darned TV. That is partly why I've been in a terrible funk! DH LOVES to watch it, all the time, and of course, then HE repeats it to me, with HIS inflection. NOT good! - so I 'leave the building'.

I want to protest - yes, protest, get arrested, get spoken to on the news, make a statement, give my opinion, etc. In my small town, do you think anyone would care except about 90% of the other folks here? I've never been given a ticket even, but I'm ready to get jailed, just to make my opinion known publickly! Arghhhh - gotta quit talking, getting mad about it all.

Thanks for this good post.

Jacquie said...

I totally agree, Marlene. And I've pretty much taken the same route you have. I watch little news... mostly local when I do.

Besides, those grandbabies are much more entertaining!

em's scrapbag said...

I'm also taking the same rout you are. I don't need to hear all the doom and gloom. My time is precious and I don't want it waste it on what is wrong in the world when there is so much good. Don't need the worry or greif it causes. I get news of the internet and sometimes like you I just read the headline.

Karen said...

I agree with you. I think they tell more than anyone really needs to know. What really irritates me is the slant. I learned in school, back in the day, that news reporting was to be unbiased. What happened to that? I do watch the news, more local than national due to the bias nature.

Christine said...

I'm behind you 100% on this issue. I've given up the news myself. The world seems to have caught some terrible plague and I'd just as soon not be involved. And besides, I like the way my head feels when it's stuck in the sand. It tickles my ears. ;-)

Lindi said...

Applause to all of you!
Marlene, I gave up watching TV about 5 years ago. It has been relegated to the spare room at the end of the house and only gets turned on if I know there is a particularly good documentary or mini series on. And seeing as I don't check what is on, that only happens if someone tells me!
It's not just the biased and gory news items that I avoid, but all the gory programs and the mindless, brain mushing programs as well.
We much prefer to spend time with each other, with friends, blogging, reading, quilting etc.
We always end up hearing about the important things that affect us anyway. People are so ready to share, (usually their opinions that are based on one TV channel's opinion!), and we haven't suffered for not knowing "stuff".

Michelle said...

I have never been a news watcher. For one thing, my mind won't grasp a lot of what is going on, and I have to have it explained to me, (and usually I still don't 'get it'.) To me, the news just gets people wound up. My husband says our economy would be a whole lot better if people would just quit watching the news because all they do it talk gloom and doom and scare everyone.

I also agree with what you said about copycats. I can see some pervert, or criminal watching the news thinking, 'Oh yay! Now, THAT's a good idea!'. Some of the movies and tv you watch give ideas too. I am so naive about things, I can't believe what I see most of the time. I wonder, 'now HOW did they think of THAT?' Most of what I watch is on HGTV, where I see how someone is redecorating their home, or comedies. Laughter is what I want in my soul.

Work has slowed way down, and we have had layoffs. We fear there may be more, or shortened hours. Many of us who are left wonder about what will happen. Some are filled with worry and are cranky. I refuse to be that way. I don't know what God has up His sleeve for me, but I am trusting in Him. What does worry do? Worry fixes nothing.

Excellent post, Marlene. I think we are all in agreement with you.
Be blessed!

Phyllis said...

Hey Marlene,

I missed President Obama's speech; I was in bed asleep exhausted. I like to watch him though, as I think he's such a good speaker.

As far as the news reporting goes, you are absolutely right. "They" report the stories that grab attention and ratings, and it's always negative stuff. The economic crisis is a perfect example of this. They fan the fires of panic and make all of us afraid to spend a penny lest we not have money to buy our next meal. Things are bad, but constantly screaming about it is making the matter worse. I wish the media would report more of the positive things that are going on. Balance would be nice.

Paula said...

Hi, found you through my buddy Megan, from "She Put Her Feet Up". Great post. The media is just a forum for so called reporters to commentate on their personal agenda nowdays...not real news...what a shame. I used to be a talk radio junkie til I realized they had an agenda tired of agenda's. Like you, I listen enough to know what's going on but what a waste of a life to stew in it all day.

Lindah said...

Good post, Marlene! News programs are more about entertainment than news today. I rarely watch TV of any kind anymore; stopped the paper; am even reading less and less of the local paper online. Seems like most of their news stories are just the local blood and thunder, of which there are a lot in this little town. I'll let the police and courts handle that. As another commenter said, my time is precious. Life is short. I want to use it constructively. It's not that I don't want to be informed, but I can't be a blessing to people if I am all wrought up over an inaccurate news report. I can't change any of it, but I know Who can and I'll leave it to Him.

Grammy Staffy said...

I agree with you. I get so upset at the media. They are so biased and unfair in my mind. I hardly ever watch regular media news any more.... however I do watch Glen Beck

Have a good week. Hugs, Lura

Calamity Jane's Cottage, Bonnie said...

Hi Marlene, I'm with the other and you. The news only tells us what they think we want to hear and take one statement and pick it apart. I let it get to me so I don't hardly watch it. I may read a headline on the internet, but the who said, she said, he said, is something that doesn't interest me.
Like you said, God has the answers we need. We just need to listen.

Marie said...

I very rarely watch the news. I Know, pretty sad! But then again, I already know the end of the story, and as for me, that's all I need to know.

Linda / Behind My Red Door said...

I am doing pretty much the same these days Marlene. I personally think the more the news outlets predict gloom and doom, the more we have it. Each reporter or so called expert is biased by their own life situation and experiences and as one other blogger said, their job is not on the line anyway.

And you are right about who wins in the end. Nuff said! :-)

Memaw's memories said...

And a big AMEN to that. There's no point in listening to the speech since you will be hearing it re-told for days and days.

Janet, said...

I don't listen to the news much, either, except for the local news. I think reporters give people ideas that they never would have thought to do in the first place. I don't listen much to the president's speeches, either. I don't know why people think he is such a great speaker, the way he speaks, with the strong emphasis he puts on the last words of phrases and sentences, it takes my mind off of what he is saying.

Rose Mary said...

I listen off and on to all of it. I'm not sure I could believe anyone who has a really 'positive' spin about what's going on right now, but there are days that I get tired of all of it and turn it off. I know that it's all in God's hands and He knows what's going to happen.

Angie said...

You may know that here in England we don't have so many news sations or TV stations to choose from, nor so many newspapers. HOWEVER....I do watch the news on TV but I have to say the political stuff goes straight over my head. On the rare occasion I do try to listen to what a politician is saying it seems to be just a load of unconnected words joined together. They just are incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question. And Heaven forbid that one of them should ever confess "I don't know". My ears do tend to prick up if someone's discussing the facial expressions of the Prime Minister when he's talking!

I do think Pres. Obama has a lovely speaking voice and I don't care if he is gramatically correct or not.

love, Angie, xx