Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Greatest Story ever Sold

Jessica woke up this morning looking like a pirate missing her eye patch. Her right eye is swollen, red and spewing green goo....thanks preschool!!! Needless to say with her pink eye she stayed home from school and hung out with the rest of us. I'm sure we'll all have pink eye by Friday. One thing I did today while just hanging around was watch some of the Oprah shows I have Tevo'd. One show imparticular got me thinking a bit. It was the episode with Frank Rich the author of The Greatest Story ever Sold. During the show someone posed the question wether or not people in the US are demanding that we receive the truth through our media sources. It seems as though we have become so comsumed with celebrities and materialistic bullshit, that no one really cares what story is being told regarding to the war. It's like we could careless if the reporters are feeding us dogshit, as we're not really paying attention anyways. I'll admit I too have payed more attention to the rediculousness of Hollywood. Never in High School did I pay as much attention to "who" got what boob job, or "who" was dating "who." I feel that now as an adult with two children and a husband, for some reason I am actually buying those gossip magazines. And it's not just me, it's almost all of us. For me personally, I've become numb. The nightly news is almost the same, and it's been this way for years. Another roadside bomb....another suicide bomber. It makes me sad that I even think of it this way. But week after week, when you're looking at rubble and debris left from bombs, sitting on last weeks rubble and debris, sitting on last month's rubble and debris...you become numb to it. For me, it's so easy to look at a celebrity magazine and not have to put much effort into it. Not to have to figure out politics, war, hate and destruction. What makes me sad is the lives being lost and so many times it's just a new (higher) number on the TV. I really try not to have those lives be "just another number on the news" and try to think of the families left behind.

A few times I have heard about all the wonderful things "we" are doing in Iraq. "We're" building schools, hospitals, water systems, roads and bridges. So where the hell are the pictures and stories ?? Why hasn't the media shown me this? Some people suspect that the coverage of the war is slighted by the fact that it's such a dangerous war. You're not ever really sure who is fighting who and you can't simply carry your camera around videotaping what you like. But if we can show pictures of rubble and destruction, where it is obviously very danagerous, how hard would it be to show a peaceful school being built? The whole thing is hard to wrap your mind around. I'd really like to think that we're not a nation full of assholes that really only care about purses, Hollywood and materialistic crap. Are we not asking enough of our media or are they keeping up with our demands for "just another entertainment show"?

6 Comments:

At 10:03 PM, Blogger Jen said...

I saw that episode too and thought it was great that Oprah covered it. I, like you, feel desensitized to all that's going on around us. I think people's lives are stressful and adding the things going on around the world is even tougher. We've stopped asking the tough questions because we're all so inundated with our daily lives. We take for granted that the news is correct, which it often is not. There is more bias now in the media than I think there has been for some time. Add to that the request/policy put in place by the Bush administration that NO photos of soldiers' caskets will be shown on TV. I know it sounds awful but I think if we saw that reality we WOULD take more notice. It worked in the Vietnam War. So, meanwhile, we grow numb. It's highly depressing. Something needs to be shaken up. Maybe just us....

 
At 4:27 AM, Blogger Meg said...

It was a great show.....should be required viewing for college students! I think it is the media's need to keep up with the demand of celebrity news.....we don't demand "real" news....and we buy crap- there you have it.....I for one, have put a stop to all gossipy magazine purchases- I'm trying to watch more reputable news programs (hard with two monkeys- I don't want them watching/hearing some of the news on tv) and trying to read the paper more......not sure what else I can do- but that is my small part for now. I also liked the comment the one soldier made about not everyone over there supports the war that they are fighting....we never hear about that.- but I support every single one of them- whether or not I support the war- they are supported!

 
At 5:50 AM, Blogger Connie said...

Very well-stated post.

I'm not sure I can say I'm any better off. I never watch TV and don't care to know what the celebs are up to. I haven't watched the news enough to get numb to the hideous stuff...which is why I don't watch the news. I can't stand seeing the awful side of humanity night after night after night.

Yes, our focus is often WAY off the mark. But, be it numb or purposely unaware, the result is the same. Admittedly pretty sad. I'm with Jen - we need a collective kick in the pants.

 
At 5:55 AM, Blogger Susan said...

No one can agree with what is shown on the news more than a military family whose loved one has been to Iraq. So far Will has only served one tour - there may be at least one more before all is said and done, though. Military families don't necessarily support war but we do support those who are there, as do a lot of people. I've seen some of the pictures - mostly the "before" pics b/c of the area and time he and his troops were there. I've heard first hand accounts of what happens and it's sobering and enlightening at the same time, if that makes sense. But the fact that school children will go crazier over pencils and crayons vs. candy doesn't make good news. Sensationalism and bad news is what sells along with boobs, purses et al.

Hope pink eye and goo pass quickly. Not fun for any of you.

 
At 7:09 AM, Blogger tracy said...

I saw that episode and thought there were some thought provoking questions asked. I am curious why our once "reliable" news media decided that ratings was better than truth.

I really thought the soldier that stood up to say that he would like the news to spend more time on the good being done in Iraq was rather eye opeing. You'd think the Bush administration would focus on that also, if for nothing else...he should to help his current poll ratings. Amazing how it's all so mixed up.

 
At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that the Bush Administration does try to focus on the good that is happening in Iraq, but the media chooses not to report on that . . they'd rather keep everyone inflamed. I have done several interviews with the media and it is amazing to me how many facts get misstated or left out. It really doesn't matter whether you watch the news or read the paper ... the sources are basically the same and most, not all, reporters will report an issue with bias to their personal opion on the subject. I've stopped watching the local news because I got tired of having to watch highspeed chases for minute after minute!

 

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