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The Tentacle

February 19, 2018

That’s what happens……

Jason Miller

Let’s just face it. Our modern media has socially engineered our culture to be as nonjudgmental as possible on almost everything. Many Hollywood celebrities have joined in a chorus to reassure all of us in the United States that this live and let live mentality is a testimony to the grandeur of our national tolerance.


A rational actor does not rush to judgement while creating a modern progressive culture. That’s what we’re told anyway, as they pose for pictures during awards shows that only they can attend.


That’s what happens when you put celebrity over common sense.


Our brave new world must be absent of any true right or any true wrong. Judging anyone is a mark of intolerance according to these pontificates. We are now asked to be rational adults who empathize more than we judge on the latest social media cause de jour.


That’s what happens when you place tolerance over reason.


We are assured by these champions of tolerance that there are very good reasons for almost everything that anyone might have ever said or done during their life. Social justice advocates use catch phrases and chant to shame anyone who might counter their beliefs. Facebook and Twitter have even began selectively screening the types of speech that can be applied.


That’s what happens when we privatize a civil liberty in a user agreement.


Some main stream media activists eagerly collect the stories of plight offered up by all those oppressed. Condescending progressive activists and foaming-at-the-mouth conservatives are given equal time based on the ratings scale. Cable news producers arrange these ultra-right and ultra-left guests on ratings projections. Cable news elites then give their professional staff the task of arranging guests into social justice categories for optimal ratings efficiency.


That’s what happens when we place personality over substance.


It’s a modern misery index complete with a flow chart. In any given national crisis these media offer the predetermined spokesperson for an oppressed group a chance at fame on a cable news panel show. The more radical the guest, the higher the chance to drive up the cost of advertising during a program in their demographic. Fox News does it. MSNBC does it. Making money isn’t a partisan affair. They both play to their conservative and progressive market base. The panel show ends without any notable suggestion on the issue because of entrenched conservative and progressive views.


That’s what happens when we place profit over pragmatism.


It seems today that emotions of outrage toward a story drives the media coverage of it. The story itself seems of little concern. Never let the facts get in the way of good ratings. Today it’s about the television and radio ratings, the Internet click bait, and the press circulation. Crafted headlines, sordid soundbites and bias cynicism keep people watching, listening, reading, and clicking. Nothing else matters anymore. The problem is that it’s getting worse and worse with every catastrophe.


That’s what happens when we place rumors over facts.


I was startled to see this on full display as cable news talking heads began their partisan posturing immediately following the mass school shooting in south Florida last week. The Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were mobilized in a quest for ratings. The shooter, who I will not name out of principle, was suddenly the center of the media universe, and the focus of attention for millions of viewers.


That’s what happens when we place cut throat competition over principles.


It made me sick to see cable news anchors showing photos of the hospitals where unidentified child victims had been taken, while also admitting that not all the parents concerned had been notified of their children’s condition. These cable news shows played video shared by survivors of the shooter’s rampage repeatedly while switching on and off to cover breaking speculation on the numbers of how many children might have passed away.


That’s what happens when we put sensationalism over human decency.


These same anchors voiced criticism by some toward the media’s reporting as a question for their “expert” panels consisting of whomever could come to the station on a moment’s notice with a title and sit in a chair. Gun Nuts battled Gun Grabbers only to discover that they agreed on mental health concerns in our nation. That shift turned into a new panel on the national healthcare debate over who was to blame for the lack of money for mental health treatment in America.


That’s what happens when we place a 24-hour news cycle over our own personal and rational intellect.


These cable news pontification pivots about the south Florida shooting continue even though the shooter confessed to police. Blame must be ascribed to society because the shooter is a victim himself. Justice for the victims must be achieved if our nation is still a nation of laws.


That’s what happens when tolerance and intolerance collide.


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