Sunday, August 9, 2009

GRAPEVINE ON FIRE

Regardless of the substantiated facts, the sensationalism and propagation allowed by or pushed by the journalistic editors of all phases of the media are outrageous. It is contingent only on whether or not the subject has the means whereby to sue for liable or slander. Journalism, at its best, seems to be nothing more than permitted, glorified gossip vandalizing and wreaking havoc wherever, whatever, or on whomever the story sizzles for the moment.

As a creature of habit, I usually awakened to the sound of Mr. Coffee brewing and wonder what has happened while I slept the night away. Curiosity was reason enough for me to watch the A.M. news on a local TV station while drinking my first few cups of ‘pumped-up sky juice’. Every morning I watched the news and witnessed, in living color, the devastation wrought by mankind, brought to my silver screen by way of journalism. The eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, kind of mentality dominating the storylines was unthinkable, unimaginable; but still the ratings of the show was evidence enough that society as a whole thrived on such luridness.

Sipping my coffee, I wondered if there were any rainbows, any kind deeds, any boy scouts left to walk the old and crippled protectively across the streets. In search of better news, I walked to my driveway and retrieved the daily morning newspaper in hopes of finding good news. I eagerly scanned the pages carefully for valiant articles uplifting our golden rules. With coffee in hand, I turned the pages and found more pain and suffering, printed neatly in black and white columns.

In stunned silence, I sat and sipped my now cold coffee evaluating the price I paid for cable and papers, weighing the worthiness of these expenditures. The only concentration my feeble mind could grab onto was the fact that my subscriptions were supporting these efforts at journalism. I was a newsmonger. In facing this fact, I realized I was no better than the germs committing the murders, the rapes, the gang promoters, the liars, the thieves, or the terrorists.

Disgusted, I figured some music was what I needed to pep me up and lift this pessimism befalling me. I tuned in a local easy listening radio channel and heard; albeit, one more tale of ‘believe it or not’ newsworthy journalism. Needless to say I turned off all hopes of optimistic entertainment to start my day.

With the beeping of the microwave, signaling my coffee ready and hot, the telephone rang in harmony. I answered with high hopes of stimulating conversation. The friend on the other end of my line, excited by illicit tales about another, was calling to let me know ‘just exactly’ what was happening. Although I did not contribute to the slander, I did listen long enough for conviction of my own wrongdoing to sink into my thick skull. I willingly lent my ear to scandalous reportings; therefore, I was just as contrite. I had greatly harmed an innocent victim. My victim would not be allowed a trial, for she had been found guilty by sheer pettiness alone. Also, my victim was most likely unbeknownst of the lynching of her character. She knew nothing of the devastation in progress that was sure to force the complete destruction of her reputation. The journalism was not yet completed nor quite ready for printing. I again wondered at the validity of my telephone bill.

I wish I were stronger in character: that I had the strength to be a better person, to do the right thing always, to stop this malignment of humanity. However, I realize that cutting off the cable and paper subscriptions and disconnecting my telephone are a bit far-fetched and will undoubtedly bring on a series of ‘psychotic’ rumors about me. I can and do have the power to pray and beg God to bridle my tongue; therefore starting in my own backyard, I will clean up the thriving, viciously nasty grapevine that pricks so vehemently with its thorny and venomous barbs.

In my opinion, the definition of journalism today has been replaced by magnified gossip. And gossip, in my opinion, is an underhanded rape of the lowest form, full of deadly poison and once started, cannot be stopped nor ever righted. Rape by tongue: a destruction mankind uses with little regard and all too often, glorifies it by payment or audience. Journalism or gossip, who knows the difference?

*****

Consider, if you will, the storylines our media representatives chose as news during the confirmation of Judge Clarence Thomas in the fall of 1991. Judge Thomas’ reputation was greatly harmed by slanderous remarks that were unsubstantiated. He will never be able to wipe these accusations from our minds or the records.

Judge Thomas was confirmed to our Supreme Court on October 15, 1991.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! I hear: "If you want a conservative view, watch FOX." "If you want a liberal view, watch CNN or MSNBC." Who do we turn to when we want a simple, balanced news report. No views, just reporting. I don't think it exists anymore.

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