Friday, April 20, 2007

The News

Our children pull on our heartstrings like no other force known to man. The feelings that well up in our hearts when we see them defy all logic. The protectiveness that we have towards them is inexplicable. The love we feel for them is over the moon.

But as any parent knows, there comes a time when they will break your heart.

They will grab the pulsing, beating organ that made it possible for them to even be alive and they will rip it to shreds. You will be reduced to nil, on the inside. You will wonder how this happened. How can my baby be so mean?

For me, the day my oldest looked at me point blank and said, “Because I can” was the bleakest on my parental resume to date. I wanted to run, to hide, and to crawl under the covers until I’d convinced myself that I hadn’t just heard what I did.

I also wanted to scream at him.

I was so hurt by his words. I was more hurt by the fact that he said them to me, his mom. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t cry. I had to deal with him. I had to be rational, or I knew my words would flow in and out without ever being heard.

While I don’t agree with or condone what Alec Baldwin was saying on his daughter’s voicemail, I completely understand it. And I cannot believe that it has been deemed newsworthy by our media.

This is none of our business.

This is not news. This is distraction, at best.

Okay, celebrities have to watch what they say. Public figures have to watch what they say. But why do we hold them to higher standards than we hold ourselves? All the while, idolizing and emulating them. It drives me nuts.

With all the Anna Nicole Smith, Don Imus, Rosie O’Donnell and now Alec Baldwin news “stories” credible journalists are losing ground with me. Not that I held them on a high pedestal before, but I did at one time, expect a certain amount of integrity and professionalism from a major news network. That has all been lost.

While reporting isn’t always a glamorous job, it is necessary in our society. It is necessary to keep us informed and to do so in an unslanted way, however unglamorous that may be.

People nationwide expressed disgust with the news networks that aired any and all of the footage from the Virginia Tech shooter. They were outraged that it was “inappropriate” so soon after the tragedy. I disagree.

To censor real life events in an attempt to be “appropriate” is ridiculous. Life is not a movie, with ratings and reviews. Yes, we should warn (when we are able) viewers that what they are about to see may be disturbing and give them the choice to view it or not (I would rather not). We should allow them to protect their children from seeing graphic images that they are too young to understand. But we should not censor the news.

News isn’t pretty. Tragedy isn’t pretty. That’s a fact.

If you want watered down, glamorous and distracting news, keep watching those celebrities. Read People magazine (there is a time and a place for good "entertainment" news and these types of magazines are the perfect vehicle). Keep your head in the ground and get all wrapped up in the Baldwin/Bassinger custody case. Follow the Danielynns and the Britney Spears drama.

But do not give me a softer version of the news because you think I cannot handle it.


mom said...

Like Letham said, ( Jonatham, not Jonathon)

"insteadness". (see previous comment)

We like to be distracted so we don't HAVE to handle it...
"The truth? You can't handle the truth!"

I am glad that YOU can!

carrie said...

Of course, that doesn't mean that I have to like it.

I have People mag for that.


Queen of the Mayhem said...

I completely agree with you. Here's a crazy idea people, don't let your young kids watch the news!

I will say that I thought they should have given much more time to the stories of the victims, and MUCH less time to the pictures and video of this sick, pathetic man.

By the way, I am dreading that moment with my children. I seriouly doubt it will ever happen with my daughter, but my son....YEAH, it's coming!

Groovy Lady said...

I agree that news should not be censored. I don't have a problem with the reporting of tragic events provided they don't turn it into a feeding frenzy for ratings and it seems that a lot of them do. Obviously, a bit of that goes with the industry's territory, but I would much rather see a story being reported with appropriate compassion opposed to the gleam of a possible award in the reporter's eyes.

Regarding children.. my days are numbered until that happens to me. I'm dreading it with a passion because I really don't want to have to cause one of them bodily harm and I'm sure that will be my first reaction. :P

Kristin said...

Let me tell you... I have had my moments where I have heard myself running off at the mouth... so frustrated and yes, so angry.

While Alec Baldwin went waayyy too far, it was also quite shitty of (I am just guessing) Kim Bassinger to release such a thing.

Poor Ireland. Such a little pawn.

jen said...

Amen. But just give me the news, not your opinion or interpretation of the news.

oh, and just give it to me once, not fifty million times in one hour.

i'm just saying..