“Speaking Out”

This is one of the great media clichés of our time.  Whenever a news outlet reports on an event, if they favor what someone’s saying, or if they want to make it appear artificially dramatic, they refer to it as “speaking out.”

Only good people “speak out.”  People speak out about curing cancer, improving education, helping the poor, and promoting peace.  Nobody speaks out about insignificant issues, or political causes the media doesn’t like.  People certainly do talk about these things publicly, but they can’t be given the media’s honored sanction of “speaking out.”

Look for this in the news, especially local news, and you’ll see what I mean.

 

“Rude Woman Selfishly Dies At Inconvenient Place”

That’s what I thought when I saw this cringe-worthy headline this morning:

Woman’s death shuts down Lake Mead Parkway

Local news: always focusing on the important stuff!

New Lows in Media Exploitation

 

A big story this week is the brutal beating of a girl in Florida by a group of other girls, which the attackers recorded to post on YouTube. 

I think an even bigger story should be what it says about the rest of us that news outlets are gratuitously displaying such graphic images.  It was linked on Drudge Report.  I saw it on the news at the gym this morning.  Media outlets are showing clips of the video, news web sites are offering still shots from the video, and all the while we sanctimoniously make tsk, tsk noises as we stay riveted to the whole sordid mess. 

How shameful.  We do not need to see this video aired ad nauseum to understand the violence involved.  From now on, when the media panders to such base impulses, let’s protest.  Let’s boycot sponsors.  Let’s at least change the channel! 

This is nothing new.  Just a couple weeks ago, a poor teenage girl, also in Florida, died during a cosmetic surgery on her breasts.  The media instantly made this a nationwide story.  Pictures of the girl cheerleading with her friends were sent around the globe.  Reporters hid their voyeuristic intentions under the cloak of pontificating about society’s obsession with physical perfection via plastic surgery, never mind that that just wasn’t the case here.  This poor girl had legitimate physical ailments that caused pain and needed to be corrected.

One can be sure that if the girl hadn’t been pretty, or if she had passed away during an operation on, say, her kidneys, this story wouldn’t have been such a sensation. 

Again, we need to stop encouraging this kind of tabloid “journalism.”  It’s bad enough when the local news stations get lazy and trot out yet another “Day in the life of a hooker/stripper/starlet” stories, but I’d hope the nation as a whole would be more mature.  Don’t use the suffering of young girls as an excuse to watch graphic videos of their pain and dare to call it news.  Ever.

For starters, going against the already well-established grain of this blog, you’ll notice that I’m not dignifying any of the articles I referenced with links.  Let the exploitation suffocate, as it deserves to.