maybe the real news

The following post is by MYRLN, a non-blogger who is Kalilily Time’s guest writer every Monday.
Dysfunction isn’t limited to our government. The news media — tv, radio, and print alike — share the ailment in spades. In large measure, it’s become a matter of news entities trying to match or exceed the popularity of supermarket tabloids with their sole goal of rampant sensationalism. Fiction passed off as news.
Radio and local t.v. news is practically non-existent, consisting mostly of one-sentence sound bites promising fuller, more amazing coverage later on sometime. In showmanlike segments they then give us longer bits of weather and sports info. All of it’s wrapped in extended numbers and lengths of commercials and self-promotion telling us how great they are at what they do. Meaning mostly nothing. About that, we can’t argue.
Major national t.v. news entities, both broadcast and cable, do a better job but not by a whole lot. Much of the time, they ride their particular hobby horses. MSNBC, for example, has become deeply enamored of crime stories and features of prison life. CNN moves between hopscotching the world for variety and a maddening, eternal focus on illegal immigration. CBS is hopelessly focused on Katie Couric. But at least the majors make serious noises about real news.
Still, there’s the attention by all the majors to stories and/or slants that border on the unbelievable. This past week, for example, nearly every news organization covered a story out of our drought-stricken southeastern states. Residents there gathered to offer prayers asking for rain, an event dutifully covered as real news. In the next day or two, rainy weather (some severe and damaging) did indeed arrive. Well, the news jumped all over it, relating it to the prayer sessions as if were indeed a matter of cause and effect (as those who prayed proclaimed). If it were truly cause and effect, then we’ve stumbled on the solution to humankind’s problems, all of them. Prez Dumbya can lead the nation in mass prayer sessions asking for peace in the world, for all the best for everyone — Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and every other religion. And within days, paradise would be achieved (except for atheists and agnostics for whom prayer to an Almighty likely wouldn’t work). And all of it would be covered by the news media with a straight face.
Then there’s some of the print news, like the New York Post which typifies what’s wrong with ALL of our news media. It has a daily gossip column called “Page Six” which except by occasional accident is never on page 6. And on Sundays, it’s a separately-printed, glossy page, full-scale magazine.
You see, for the news folks, reality is not so much what actually IS in the world but what they choose to CALL reality and hence news. The truth is left to fend for itself.
This is Walter Cronkite signing off. Truly. Honest.
Direct from The Horse’s Mouth news organization. (Or maybe the other end of the horse.)

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