Monday, May 29, 2006

An Aside From a Sad Blog

Molly's Page is a blog written by the mother (family) of a girl named Molly who was badly torn up by a Hummer limo at her senior prom this year. My uncle teaches at the school, and I heard about it in a round about manner from my aunt. Go to that site or a Denver news site if you want to learn more. I want to talk about this quote from that site:

"The first ammendment was created as a check and balance of the government, not a carte blanche for [news agencies] to increase your advertising revenues."

True. The media are rude sonsabitches. This got me to thinking about what would happen if the family took them to court and the Supreme Court would end up making a similar pronouncement. It seems like only good things at first. Tabloid news would be all but out of business, and we would no longer be subjected to hours of meaningless garbage in the coverage of a pretty girl who has disappeared/been kidnapped/died/... I mean, how many times and ways can people say "We don't know, and are still studying the case"? 99% of what is presented in the news today is fluff and filler. Real reporting happens, but once it does there are hundreds of junk follow ups and op-ed pieces and the real journalism is banished from our collective minds. As journalists and news outlets scratch and claw in search of audiences we lose interest and important matters go unresolved and no one is held to account. But here is a strange thing. If it weren't for tabloid reporters and personal space invaders there would be even more of this garbage reporting on real news. Moreover, if the personal lives of citizens were labled off limits then why not the personal lives of politicians? A politician has legal encounters with contributers and receives presents, then votes in favor of their legislation...can't report it. What pitifully small amount of accountability that there is now would be out the window.

So, yes, there are creeps and rude, almost inhuman people that are part of the news media. Many have no shame and don't see a problem with harassing a family who has suffered from some tragedy, but we can't stop them in a blanket statement. On an individual basis, maybe, they could be held back, but any restriction would only open the door to more in the future. It may not result in 1984 type control of the news but we would lose something. Every right that gets stripped from anyone/thing leaves a hole. Most of the time it is small and unnoticed, but sometimes even small holes can cause catastrophic failure, and often in places you wouldn't imagine.


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