“The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” – Malcom X
“The world is for thousands a freak show; the images flicker past and vanish; the impressions remain flat and unconnected in the soul. Thus they are easily led by the opinions of others, are content to let their impressions be shuffled and rearranged and evaluated differently.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.” – Walter Lippmann
I think I need to stop reading news stories, or at least take a break for a while. It can be so depressing. I do believe in the goodness of humanity. I believe that there are more people fighting for the rights and freedoms of all races and creeds than those that would deny the same. I just wish there was more focus on that than on the cruel, vicious, and often insane ramblings of people who would malign the right and just. Last evening, I was watching America’s Got Talent with my husband. There was a young rapper performing a song about gun violence – she is only fourteen years old. That and the response of young people in Florida after the horrific school shooting there earlier this year gives me hope. We need more positive stories.
Unfortunately, the old media adage “if it bleeds it leads” is still much in evidence on all types of media and humanity’s addiction to drama holds sway when it comes to what news is presented. Don’t get me wrong, it is important for these stories to be told. We do need to be informed, but I think we need balance. We need the “feel good” stories. We need to know that all is not lost and we need to know that good can and will prevail. The public outcry against children being torn from their parents at the U.S. border with Mexico did result in positive change. Yes, I know many children still are not reunited with their families, but at least the strong opposition to that horrendous policy forced change. We live in an imperfect world filled with flawed human beings, but as the example of that particular public outcry demonstrates, at our core human beings are decent and good.