Marshall in the Middle

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Media Enable Conflict


By Charles E. "Chuck" Marshall


As much as I like to bash our political parties, I often think it's important to remember that there is an enabler in our midst that fuels the fire of contempt that both parties have for each other.  The media.  Specifically, the television media.  As I watched the Ferguson, Mo. fiasco last  month, I was sincerely disgusted by the media as they prowled around Ferguson, their faces quivering with anticipation over the coming fury.  I watched after the Grand Jury's decision as they paced like caged lions.  "What's going to happen, because this isn't good?" they all lamented very nearly unable to contain their glee.  It was obvious that if nothing did happen they would be very disappointed.

This behavior is one of the reasons nothing gets done in Washington.  The media is most interested in the conflict, not the problems to be solved.   In a nutshell, I believe the media is lazy and greedy and "dumbing" down the topic at hand is in their best interest..... unfortunately for us.

I recently had one of my letters published in the opinion page of the Orlando Sentinel regarding this very issue.  In response to a letter writer that referred to the Republicans as uncaring and void of any new ideas.  I essentially agreed with his entire letter, but I kept thinking about Ferguson, Mo. and I realized that just because the media doesn't report any ideas doesn't mean that there aren't any new ideas.  Since the focus is on the fight, nothing of substance is discussed... only the fight.  So, in a way the entire disgusting partisan politics we see in our government can be equally blamed on the media as it is on the lame-brained political parties and their idiot "leaders".  

Here is the letter printed in the Orlando Sentinel on Dec. 5, 2104.

Media enable conflict
   Letter-writer David Cruise on Thursday criticized the Republicans for not having ideas or compassion. I couldn’t agree more with his assessment as it looks on the surface. I do wonder, however, if this isn’t more a failing of their public-relations tactics than a lack of ideas or compassion.
   The Republicans do have ideas and are not heartless, soulless creatures, but their ideas tend to get marginalized by the “fight” story. The media are selling the fight. As much as the two parties have failed us, the media (particularly television) are the ringmasters for this circus and tend toward simple solutions that are easier for the public to digest rather than the more-complex solutions that would probably be more effective.
   TV tends to stir the pot and provoke (witness Ferguson, Mo). The media gain eyeballs from partisan politics, and we all suffer for our fascination with conflict.
   Charles E. “Chuck” Marshall Clermont

In my humble opinion...........

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