America, do you see yourself?October 30, 2010 | 5:59 pm
I guess if anyone was going to get me out of my blog-post-freeze, it would be Jon Stewart. LOL. I just finished watching the Rally to Restore Sanity. And as we do on The Daily Show, here we watched Jon Stewart “play” the democrat, while Stephen Colbert caricatured the conservative voice.
But I wonder, do people realize there was more criticism of the media in Jon Stewart’s message than there was of republicans? This was not a democrat vs. republican rally. The goal of THIS rally (restoring sanity) is a reference to the craziness that is the fear-mongering by the 24 hour news cycle, amplified by the millions of bloggers chiming in to reinforce, prying on the insecurities of the average human being and exploiting it.
Look, i’ve lived in the US. and what I’ve seen is a people, like in every other country, working hard, loving their families, their church and their communities and just generally being responsible citizens. What Jon Stewart said is true “We work together to get things done every damn day! […]”. Good things happen in this country every single day. Except that THAT doesn’t make for interesting news. Telling people that ANY economy has natural cycles of recession and boom does not make for interesting news. Telling them that a Republican president wouldn’t have ended this recession any faster doesn’t make for interesting news.
Look, the goal of a media channel is to make money, it’s not to inform the public of the news in the world. Covering the news, ALL THE NEWS, in a neutral manner, no longer makes money. The only way a news channel makes news is by picking 2-5 of the most sensitive issues, that hit the average person where it hurts the most, and keep playing it. Everything is about sensationalism. EVERYTHING. Even the choice of focusing weeks of programming on the Haiti earthquake but non on the floods in Pakistan that affected TWENTY MILLION PEOPLE (more than the Haiti earthaquake, the 2004 Indonesia tsunami and Katrina combined)! I’m not saying the Haiti coverage was wrong, I’m saying that not giving the floods in Pakistan the same coverage was wrong.
The problem is the news media that is exploiting people’s fears and insecurities. Yes, ok, these days it SEEMS like republicans are quicker to use the fear-mongering tactic than democrats, but who could blame them? IT WORKS! This may be the first time ever i agree with Nixon, but Colbert quoting him today was dead on “People react to fear, not love”.
So no wonder politicians take advantage of the media’s way of covering the real issues. Honestly, it’s not the average american that I blame, left or right. People will always disagree, that’s why we have political parties. People are convinced that their way of seeing it is THE ONLY WAY, the truth above all truths. That’s the nature of humanity. If you’ve lost your job recently, you might blame it on Obama, if you medical coverage will soon improve, you might love him. If you’ve lived most of your life in rural america working on a farm and your livelihood is affected by even subtle changes in taxes and economy, you’ll distrust overly-educated federal politicians sitting in Washington thinking they know it all, if you have a Masters or a PhD, you’ll think the tea party is a bunch of simple hunting folk who don’t understand the complexities of life.
Back to Jon Stewart. All he’s saying is “stop shouting and play nice” already! The nation is NOT actually as polarized as you make it sound, but news media, and therefore politicians make it that way to add oil to the fire and get reactions.
And if America, for one second, cares about what it looks like from the outside, I thought i’d mention that the world is mocking you. We’re watching what was once a super-power continue to think it is, continue to think that it’s got a God-given right to superiority, and not realize it’s sinking. China is stealing your jobs and manufacturing your products not because it’s evil! But because they’ve figured it out, and instead of crying, America, instead of giving in to your fears, wake up already! India is stealing your intellectual property because they’re investing in education, not charging an arm and a leg making it inaccessible like it is in America. You’re not in a recession because Obama’s a communist muslim America! You’re in a recession because the economy is global, and YOU, America, are no longer competitive.
To end this [very long] post on a positive note, here are the best lines from Jon Stewart’s closing monologue:
- “This was a not a rally to ridicule people’s faith or people’s activism … or suggest that times are not difficult or that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.”
- “Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey.”
- “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing!”