Friday, March 12, 2010

Is the "Fourth Estate" a Landfill?

Is the "fourth estate" a land fill?

Patrick Kennedy in speaking on the floor of the House about legislation to end the war in Afghanistan by bringing home all troops in thirty days, angrily shouted his frustration and anger at the news media for its complete disregard of what is important to focus on such side-show events as the Eric Massa meltdown. He decried the fact that there were only two journalists in the House gallery because the fact that we are in two major wars that have bankrupted the government over a period of nine years and cost the lives of one thousand Americans, does not interest the news media. The number of reporters pursuing serial scandals i.e: John Edwards, Tiger Woods, and now Eric Massa as opposed to those who actually cover news is not even comparable. While this was a hysterical rant by Kennedy, possibly partly induced by too many drinks at lunch, it brings to our attention the actual disappearance of news regardless of the medium. Newspapers, magazines, network news or cable news they are all complicit in the dumbing down of their content, and their reader and watchers. Without the internet we would all be without any credible source of information, and sadly, many remain misinformed or under-informed by only accessing such social networking sites as My Space, Facebook, and worst of all Twitter. What that is worth reading can be expressed in 140 characters: not words; characters? I was listening to the Bob and Elvis radio show, on internet radio, and one of them said "elections are won by bumper stickers". Bumper stickers that put forth a message that we are trapped into reading merely by our need to follow other cars in traffic back-ups. The media has now become a bumper sticker, relating the latest tabloid story in sound bites. News at eleven has become a recap of the top insipid stories of the day, and the real stories, the ones that will really impact our lives are left for us to uncover by ourselves, by whatever means available. The average American consumer of mainstream news sources is as ignorant of what is really going on in the world as a citizen of a real oligarchy where news is censored. Our news is censored by the desire of corporate media to titillate and thus gain more "share" in the undending pursuit of wealth. Managed news, that obscures the real decline of our freedom of speech and access is exactly what they promote.

No comments: