Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thoughts On the News

Am I suffering from selective thinking when I believe that the news used to be about real issues that affected our lives? Years ago did the news industry dwell endlessly about a governor of one state who sinned? Perhaps it did and I was not paying attention.

I admit that Mark
Sanford's dereliction of duty should be covered thoroughly in South Carolina where their governor was found wanting. However, in any other area of the U. S. that news is only of interest because it exposes they hypocrisy of the conservative right who lay claim to having a lock on morality.

Mark Sanford was one of those Congressmen who piously ranted against the terrible crime by President Clinton and voted for his impeachment. Both men, in their way, lied about sex. I always felt that it was entrapment when Clinton was subpoenaed and asked about Monica Lewinsky. The 'moral posse' knew about the incriminating dress and assumed, correctly, that Clinton would protect himself by lying about his affair. Aha! They had the goods on him:
they believed that lying under oath was an impeachable offense. They knew that having sex in the Oval Office would be shocking, but not enough to get him out of office, which was their goal. Without the semen smeared dress, it would simply have been a "he said, she said" story.

Now it is full circle and they have had three Republicans in a row outed for scandals. This is what happens when you throw mud; some of it sticks to you.

Sanford may be relieved that the news about his affair in Argentina has been overshadowed by three prominent deaths. Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

In the case of Michael Jackson the news media are excessively covering his untimely death. While I know he was an icon and an extremely talented man I was not a fan. I am one generation ahead of him and "Thriller" was not my kind of music.

It is sad that Michael's talent and popularity contributed to his downfall. I believe that his obsessive weirdness was the result of a tortured soul. I am sorry, but when I think of him at all I see him holding his baby over that balcony and I am appalled by the adulation showered on him.

Hours have been spent covering the Sanford and Jackson stories while real news is not heard of. You really have to dig to find out what is important to our lives. The situations in Iran and North Korea are dire and could plunge our country into another war if not handled carefully. Below are two links to a couple of stories you may have missed about the North Korean and Russian ships. The first link is found on the BBC news site.

The second story is about that North Korean ship on the high seas. Do we have the legal authority to board her?

I may be an old curmudgeon, but I think that these stories are more important than a sex scandal in another state. I don't intend to demean the importance of covering the scandal or the prominent deaths; I just don't think they should dominate the news for days on end.


20th Century Woman said...

I am so with you on this. I have always thought that the sex lives of politicians were irrelevant except when they themselves make issues of morality. Then you have the hypocrisy factor: Sanford. And I always thought Michael Jackson was creepy, even when he was a little kid.

Well, now some ad-man has died because of getting a suitcase dropped on his head, and we will hear about that ad nauseum, instead of the coup in Honduras or the situation in Iran. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Pakistan

Ugich Konitari said...

I just love the word "curmudgeon" that you used. And if keeping your feet on the ground and worrying about serious issues that affect us , (instead of worrying about MJ's weight and nose, Oprah's hypothyroidism, and Sanfords mistress) , makes me one , that I am honored to be one. A very timely post.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I am so with you! I am amazed that a pedophile (however tortured his own childhood was) can be the focal point of so much media attention and adulation. I really think now if the time to get real and focus of more important aspects such as where the health care plan is going and international events which will shape US foreign policy

Darlene said...

*20th Century Woman - We are certainly in sync on this. Thanks for confirmation.

*Ugich Konitari - Glad you have joined the curmudgeon bunch. We are a testy group. ;-)

*Roshni - It is disgusting, isn't it? Thank you for your URL - you are now on my blog list.

Rain said...

That's funny because I felt exactly the opposite about it. I feel like the stories, like say Honduras being taken over by a military junta matter to us but actually human interest stories about life and love, they matter the most. I also don't think Jackson was a pedophile. I think he was gay and liked to be around kids but it was never proven he did anything sexual with any child. It is very likely he hid his sexuality and his mental disorders to keep his career. I agree the coverage about him was excessive and it led to my not having on the news much for awhile but the lessons from his life, from Farrah's death, from Sanford's marriage, those are things that actually do impact our daily lives. :)

Darlene said...

*Rain - Thank you for your thoughts on this. I see your point to a degree, but I fail to see how the Sanford scandal or Michael's life, or death, impacted my life. If our country gets embroiled in another war that will surely do so in many ways.

I didn't say Michael was a pedophile, and I don't think he was ever proven to be gay. He fathered children. (Which really isn't proof one way or the other.) I think he obviously had a problem with wanting to be someone he wasn't. The whitening, plastic surgeries, child-like behavior, etc. were just plain weird.

kenju said...

Darlene, they ARE more important, but sex sells nowadays. The unwashed masses prefer scandal and anything that titillates!

Rain said...

Well, it might not impact your life, Darlene but it might other people's. For instance exploring the concept of marriage, expectations, something I have written about and coincidentally had one scheduled for tomorrow, those things can be important for us to talk about as a people. I feel like the Jackson coverage was excessive but the hypocrisy of the right on marriage when they block gays from having it while they don't live it themselves, that seems to me it is important. The Jackson story is so complex that I don't really know what to think about it yet. Now maybe this is all more interesting to me because I write fiction stories about characters and a lot of this last week has been about things that in fiction might seem unbelievable. The celebrity world is a weird one for the perks it brings along with the tragic ends. Anyway I think your blog was a good discussion of it.

Darlene said...

*Kenju - Sad but true.

*Rain - I agree with you 100% about the hypocrites that want to block marriage for gays, but don't live it themselves. I am paraphrasing here because I am no longer sure of Jesus quote; "Before you cast doubt on the splinter in your brother's eye, look at the log in your own." (You good church going Christians can correct the quote, but you get the idea.)

Tabor said...

Americans like 'reality' Tv where people do unimportant things such as dance and sing and argue and cheat. We like the drive-bys on celebrity accidents that reveal their weak immoralities. We are shallow and have no patience for real issues.

Darlene said...

*Tabor - You have we Americans pegged right. As Kenju says, "Sex sells."

Looking to the Stars said...

Loved your post! All the scandals and the deaths over shadow the news they don't want us to pay attention to. This is what they do to us because they still think we are sheep and will only pay attention to the headlines. I've got news for Washington, the times they are a changing and people are not sheep anymore.

Darlene said...

*Looking to the Stars - I hope you are right. I still hear a lot of bleating going on though.