Wednesday, August 23, 2006

They SHOULD be ashamed...but I doubt they are

Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!

Let's see...terrorists are trying to kill us, both abroad and at home. Israel/Hezbollah. The absolute nutjob presiding in Iran.'s give them another four hours tonight of JonBenet and this Karr guy. They'll eat it up.

Jon Friedman writes an excellent column that I wish his colleagues in the media would take to heart. Of course, that means I'm hoping they even have one...I suspect it's a little lump of coal in their chest cavity.

Like little kids who continually put their hands in a flame and get burned every time, my profession just never learns from its mistakes. We have an unfortunate habit of hyping the wrong stories. Over and over. And when it comes to assessing the effect that our foolishness has on our craft's reputation, it's practically a fatal flaw.
The most recent shining, hideous example of our collective disgraceful judgment is the coverage of the flake who claims he killed JonBenet Ramsey a decade ago. When the young Colorado girl was found dead 10 years ago during the notoriously slow Christmas news season, the saga had all the ingredients of a great pulp-nonfiction media sensation: a little (white) girl's mysterious death, suspicion centering on her parents and the utter inability of law enforcement figures to solve the case. (I suspect that there wouldn't have been a comparable media storm, if a little girl of color had been found dead.)
Here we go all over again. Yes, I'm sorry to say it: the circus is back in town.
No wonder people hate the media. I do, too, sometimes. We drop the ball again and again and yet we act baffled and indignant when those polls come out saying that in the public's view, journalists are one cut above, say, sanitation workers. We feel hurt when the public tells us that it hates and distrusts our profession.


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