Cutting through the bad media
I love my job. I love the type of work I do, I love my coworkers, and I love the county that I cover. In fact, where my job is concerned, I can think of nothing negative. Most of the time, people I interview are thrilled with the process. Those that aren't usually feel that way because they've had bad past experiences or feel their story isn't "big enough." Which leads me to the point I am slowly working toward: Considering members of the press on the grand scale, I'm ashamed to be associated with them. Sometimes I feel the media looks diligently for the negative, the bad, the ugly, and uses it as their focal point. They make mountains out of mole hills. I had this feeling twice recently.
The first incident was when Vice President Dick Cheney shot his hunting buddy. Oops - I mean the VP accidentally shot his hunting buddy. See how one word changes the context? The shooting was an unfortunate accident. I can't imagine having to accept the responsibility of having shot anyone, much less a close friend. So, I'm sure he was a little shook up. Of course, the late night comedians had a ball, and I hate to admit I laughed at their jokes until I had tears in my eyes. But when I turned to the news channels, it was no joking matter to see how many twists there were on the one incident. Was it that slow of a news week? Did they honestly believe the public cared that much? The only detail I wanted to know was how Whittington, the shot companion, was faring.
The second blown-down-the-wrong-track incident was when the United States won a silver medal in the Women's Snowboard Cross. Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis was well on her way to crossing the finish line first, when she celebrated a little prematurely, causing herself to fall. The fact that Jacobellis immediately got back up and crossed the finish line seemed oblivious to the Olympic commentators that night. Within two minutes of her finish, there was a recap spot, saying Jacobellis would "forever be remembered" as the first woman snowboarder to lose the gold. Hello? She will only be remembered that way because the media won't let us forget. I, for one, held the same opinion Jacobellis herself expressed, even before she expressed it: "A silver medal at the Olympics is still a silver medal." Jacobellis made a mistake, and I'm sure she has learned from it. There's no need to rub her nose in it.
I have found the remedy, though. It's called the power button on the remote.
And if that fails, read The Mirror. You'll like what you see in The Mirror.
Web posted on Thursday, February 23, 2006