Monday, July 31, 2006

All You Need to Know?

Last night on the CBS evening news more time was given to Mel Gibson’s DUI ticket than was given to the war in Iraq and the story about the hidden cost of the Iraq war.

What does that say about the news and what does that say about the American news viewer?

36 Comments:

Blogger Sothis said...

Pan et circuses. Without the pan, I think. The average American wants to be entertained, they don't want to have to think. A mindless story about an idiot suits them just fine. Being told that dozens of people were just murdered in Lebanon with US supplied rockets is too depressing (but they are just terrorists so their lives don't matter anyway).

July 31, 2006 3:32 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

Send Mel Gibson to Iraq. He supports the war and the President, so let him.

July 31, 2006 4:32 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

The whole Israeli/Lebanese news has pushed Iraq comepletely off the news despite the fact that more people died in Iraq over the same time period than in Israel and Lebanon combined.

You can't help but wonder if the real reason Bush doesn't want a cease fire is to keep people's attention away from the debacle in Iraq.

July 31, 2006 5:31 AM  
Blogger Sue Woo said...

I think that the reporters are getting tired of talking about it.

July 31, 2006 5:33 AM  
Blogger spadoman said...

So, what ever did happen to the runaway bride?

July 31, 2006 5:39 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Good one Peacechick. Perfect idea.

July 31, 2006 6:15 AM  
Blogger fallenmonk said...

Sothis is correct. Even though 66% of America feels we are going in the wrong direction they are so overwhelmed by the gravity of what is happening that they are in denial. They grab at anything to distract them from the reality of the world. The attacks on Hizbollah and Lebanon are using American weapons and are executing American policy. If the U.S. wanted Israel to stop they would just close the checkbook that reliably spreads 2 - 3 billion dollars in aid to Israel every year. It is an American war.

July 31, 2006 6:55 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

This is a topic that transcends politicfal affiliation. When a society casts more votes for "American Idol" than in the presidential election, there is a problem. (Not that most of the dolts need to vote, but that is another issue)

I don't think it has as much to do with the "depressing news" than it has to do with political engagement. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, I think we all agree that Americans seem to resist participation in things that require real thought and participation.

I deal with this with my children all the time. They want to be entertained, whether it be television, music videos, or myspace. I guess it is normal for teenagers, but I really want them to pay more attention to the world. I think most adults never make the transition to adult topics.

July 31, 2006 7:08 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

I agree PeaceChickMary, Send Mel over to Iraq and let him play Braveheart there.

July 31, 2006 7:25 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

I think alot of the non-voters think that their vote won't do anything to change anything in the world. Further, it's really hard to have to think about [and try to solve] the problems of the world after you get home from working your second job because your primary one won't pay the mortgage. If we could get to one person, one vote; and get rid of the electoral college [which is an insult to the intelligence of the common person] we'd have alot more participation.

We also need honest politicians who elucidate our ideals and our values and translate that into action.

Sadly, all we have are hollow shells filled to the eyeballs with their donators' $ $

July 31, 2006 7:27 AM  
Blogger An Angry Old Broad said...

I was lucky enough to attend a really good high school in the '70s.Before all the pushing for lots of standardized testing in schools(we still had testing,but it was only at the transition times from elementary to secondary schools),stuff like civics and history were emphasized(along with science,math,and tons of writing/English).I had to have a credit in Federal Government and a credit in State and Local Government to graduate high school.I also had to do some sort of community service,and no one bitched about it,I recall it being fun.We got to pick from a huge list of possibilities,and then we had to make presentations at school about what we chose and why.I had great teachers too,they worked hard to engage us and keep our attention.

My younger siblings attended the same schools behind me and by the time they graduated,none of this stuff was being taught in depth anymore,if it was taught at all.The school board even lowered the number of credits needed to graduate.My siblings are not politically engaged or aware,and they don't get why I am either.That leads me to believe part of this collective apathy seen today has to do with a simple lack of basic education early and often.

The rest of it comes from a culture of spoiled,self important and entitled brattiness.America is also wasteful and rather gluttonous as a whole.We're only about 5% of the world's population,but we use about a quarter of the planet's resources.That doesn't even account for how much we waste and throw away as trash.Other people do go without so America can have,but you can't say that without being accused of hating the country(our industry and economic practices are not just,nor do they care to be).Or you get accused of being some treehugging whacko who thinks it's all kumbayah and teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony.

I love my country,and pure pacifists annoy me.I love my country enough to criticise it for being wrong sometimes.Just like I love my kids enough not to overindulge them or to dismiss and excuse when they act like a horse's behind.

Sacrifice is not having your cell phone crap out on you,it's not having to sit in traffic or wait in line,or being pissed when the cable goes out.It means giving up something in exchange for something else.Sacrifice is FELT,going without something important,even to the point of life itself for the greater good of your country and it's citizens.We have a couple of recent generations who have no clue about that really.Or what was involved in allowing them to have their freedoms today.Lots of people put lives and careers and family on the line in the search for justice and freedom.

It's good that parents want their kids to have more and do more than they did,but there's a point where it stops being loving and actually cripples people's ability to make good judgements and be self sufficient.You can have too much,and it's very easy to get tricked into defining success as nothing but affluence.I'd rather be sucessful as a parent,as a wife,as a good neighbor and a friend in my community than be wealthy any day.Sadly I think this is not the case for far too many of my fellow citizens.

I think the whole country could use some Civics 101 and basic manners classes.

July 31, 2006 8:09 AM  
Blogger Elayne said...

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing for the news to focus on the racist and sexist rantings of a lifetime alcoholic who's fairly influential among a lot of Bush's "base" and who has displayed anti-Semitic and sexist tendencies before. Like you, of course, I wish it weren't necessarily their PRIMARY focus.

July 31, 2006 8:40 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Hi PoP,

Woo Woo. :-}

The press goes with the shiny new thing - it sells papers, gets viewers,etc. I think the press plays to its perception of what the public is interested in rather than what's important, relatively speaking.

As tylenol pointed out over at Craig's place:

more American soldiers killed in Iraq last week than Israeli soldiers, more Iraqi civilians killed than Lebanese civilians. Wouldn't know that by our media.

And how much time and space in the media has been devoted to little Suri, and before that the Brangelina kid? How in the world does this stuff make the news, or inform us about anything that matters to anyone when it does?

Good Grief.

Chuck

July 31, 2006 9:06 AM  
Blogger Blueberry said...

I don't like to see important things pushed aside, but I'm glad he's getting some press for this. He's got himself a following of "values-based" sheeple since The Passion (especially with all those special church viewings). He's a bigot with a substance abuse problem, not a new prophet. Maybe a couple of people will lose interest in him.

July 31, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger DivaJood said...

Ah, Mel. He owns Malibu. Just ask him.

Bill O'Reilly said that people don't want to talk about Iraq, it's depressing. Besides, it's summer. I swear to god.

I agree with Jaimie, I think Bushco doesn't want a cease fire in Lebanon because it deflects attention from Iraq, where the death toll exceeds 100 per DAY. And he considers this to be a Proxy War against Iran. How do you spell Evil? Bush, Rove, Rice, Cheney, Rumsfeld.

July 31, 2006 10:58 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

I'm with a couple of the other commenters.

He shouldn't take precedence. On the other hand, showing him up for the racist, sexist, person that he's always been can only be a good thing.

July 31, 2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

I'm one who really doesn't care what celebrities are up to, criminally or politically. Some day I may watch it all on Biography, but I can wait till then.

July 31, 2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger The Beltway B@stard said...

I would like to believe that the media is out of touch with the American viewer.

The truth seems to be a little more distressing.

July 31, 2006 12:12 PM  
Anonymous Knox Rover said...

I have to admit, I get some satisfaction when the holier-than-thou take a fall. Guess Mel's days of walking on whiskey, er, water are over.

July 31, 2006 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Knox Rover said...

As Pogo said, "How in the world does this stuff make the news, or inform us about anything that matters to anyone when it does?"

I kept asking myself that when the news recently was focused on Lindsey Lohan getting a reprimand from a director for partying too much. (a)Like, that's news? No one knew she's a party girl? and (b)who gives a flying *%$# and why is this important?

July 31, 2006 1:00 PM  
Blogger windspike said...

Pop, sorry to be out of the loop for a bit. Been visiting family. Back into the fray shortly.

Mel - and the media - starved for more scandle rather than deal with real issues...much like the American public. The media reflects us and we reflect the media.

July 31, 2006 1:25 PM  
Blogger glenda said...

typical!

July 31, 2006 2:58 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

You think that's bad,Iraq, Lebanon and Mel Gibson have completely wiped Afghanistan from the news. Because we're still fighting there.

July 31, 2006 4:20 PM  
Blogger Zelda Parker said...

Sheep just aimlessy following along....Thanks what prompted me to challenge that we turn off the tv's. What do you think?

July 31, 2006 5:37 PM  
Blogger Ernest Oliver said...

I quit watching most all TV. I get my news from the website of my choosing so I don't have to see Mel blowing drunk tirades over Jews.

July 31, 2006 5:43 PM  
Blogger bluegrrrrl said...

What a slimeball...glad I was happily rocking with CSNY last night...didn't even hear about this until tonight (actually till I checked in on your blog)...

It's interesting to see all these overexposed conservative icons self-destruct. It's also interesting (maybe sickening is a better word) to see how readily their followers forgive (rationalize, justify) their nasty behaviors. I guess it's all good, as long as you repent publicly and pray to Jesus afterwards.

July 31, 2006 6:31 PM  
Blogger Omnipotent Poobah said...

It says the news chases the audience and the audience is unbelievably stupid.

Now if it was news about Lindsey Lohan's newest diet, that would be a whole other thing.

July 31, 2006 7:04 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

Americans are a diversified lot...some think, some don't. This has been happening since the Indians were divested of their land with trinkets. At least they got to sit down and have a turkey dinner with all the trimmings before they were shafted.

July 31, 2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I see you haven't lost your touch in my absence.:) What does it say? It says the "news" will report on my washer draining if that will sell the sponsor's products. And American's? They couldn't find the remote in time?:)

July 31, 2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger PTCruiser said...

It says Americans love to suck on the teat of mind-numbing useless information and the corporate-driven media is more than happy to pop that tit out so that we keep on coming back for more. You have to keep your babies fed, you know.

August 01, 2006 3:02 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

Okay this is a disturbing little fact....But here's the thing- I can't figure it out WHICH happened first- the news was DUMBED DOWN...or the-sittin'-on the-wornout-couch-waiting-to-be-spoonfed people were so friggin stupid???
I don't honestly know the answer.
I wish I did.
Because I think it is part of a Much Bigger Problem....
Brain Damage is one issue, But I fear that Brain Vacancy might be closer to the Real Problem....

August 01, 2006 2:57 PM  
Blogger JBlue said...

What Sothis said....

August 01, 2006 5:13 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

I didn't read any of the prior comments. Let's see how I do. . .

We're a country full of blithering idiots who are easily distracted by shiny objects, and the media knows and caters to this because nothing matters more than market-share. How'd I do?

August 01, 2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger Turtle Guy said...

I wonder if the public is just plain worn out? Something a little lighter is a stress relief? I, for one, am not pro-war by any means, and it's depressing to me to think of the hatred and violence. Pointing out that a celeb. is just as human as the rest of us is in a weird way... kinda comforting.

August 01, 2006 9:32 PM  
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