My opinion on Current Events.

In the news recently (and in my Facebook news feed), I have seen MANY people saying they are “outraged” by the outcome of a murder trial in Florida. The events leading to the trial were undoubtedly sad and tragic – that cannot be denied. I am unaware of the details of the case as I ignore news stories about bad things happening to children. Even if I had been following the case via the media, it is still not up to me to judge who is responsible as I was not on the jury nor am I God. What strikes me is the passion with which people are reacting to this event. They don’t know the family or anyone related to them. The entire situation does not affect their lives at all. Yet proclamations abound regarding the ineptitude of the Justice system, etc…

Why? Why is THIS what gets people riled up? Is it because a child was involved? If so – OK! Please, let’s all examine the way children are treated in this country (and the rest of the world) and fight for their rights! Let’s make sure they all live in a house full of love, have enough food to eat, and an education that ensures their success in life! While we’re at it, let’s allow gay parents to adopt children, increase social programs for impoverished children, and improve public education! Wait, what’s that you say? We don’t do those things here? Hmmm… Why all the passion then? If people are THIS passionate about a tragic event involving a child surely they would want to do these things!

Well, maybe that’s not why they are riled up.

How are folks getting the information about this murder case if they don’t know anyone related to the family? Oh, yeah – that’s right: the NEWS. The “media”. People who – back in the day – used to be (and occasionally still are) journalists and reporters. The people talking when folks turn on the “news” so they can find out what’s going on in the world without working too hard to get the information.

People are busy – I can’t blame them for wanting a convenient way to get the news. The consumers play a part in this problem, too, but those who decide what the news is know that the consumers usually are followers, not leaders. And these decision makers? What process do they use to decide what they give air time to (or not)? Are they trying to right wrongs, keep people safe, highlight good citizens? No. SHOULD they do those things? Actually, probably not exactly. BUT if they were reporting on events instead of sensationalizing them, and giving air time to more than the crime report and Sarah Palin, maybe those things would result. And it bothers me that – because of news coverage – well meaning people get caught up in things they otherwise would not. The “decision makers” know that whatever they give air time to is what everyone will be talking about. Instead of reporting the news, they are creating it. And it is a vicious circle because once a story gets sensationalized, they have to report on it to keep ratings up so people watch so they can sell advertising space to pay their bills (and make money). But that is a tangent I am not going to go off on right now…

I am pretty sure the argument can be made just as easily that the consumers are to blame, as it becomes a supply and demand issue. But the fact that the blame can be placed back and forth (and is constantly) is really what is most disconcerting to me. It’s a very immature and irresponsible point of view and reflects poorly on our culture and our nation. But mostly it is just another reason I would not be shocked at all if Sarah Palin is our next president.