At thefiresidepost.com we write opinion – occasionally adding some news. I have written around 1500 articles and it seems that anger is much more fun than the boring facts. Anger is much more fun than fairness. The media went to town for a drink on Saturday night, joined the lynch mob, and never came home. Anger is pretty cool when mixed with a little toxic sarcasm. The article may not be useful or informative – but it is sure fun.
A couple of folks stayed back at the homestead to care for the cows and the garden. Jim Lehrer comes to mind. Bill Moyers continues to add intellect to public debates. But few listen to rational minds. The public is angry and in the tradition of lynching mobs, we are not interested in truth and justice.
How about that Rush Limbaugh, he leads the lynch mob on the south side of town. He has certainly found his calling. He is having a great time – as with most bullies he craves the center of attention. But mobs look so goofy from the outside – his counterparts (like me) on the north side of town point down the road at Limbaugh. We use his antics to justify our own. We have to inject some personal insults to add flavor to the soup of our angry soul – “not only is he wrong, but he is fat too!” Our mob roars with approval – then we feel pretty good, satisfied with our wittiness. There is real satisfaction in leadership – but some of us can only get the job with a bunch of loony angry people. We have to take what we can get.
You know, this is all OK with simple rednecks and hillbillies, with working class folks who had a hard day at the packing house. But it is not OK with professional journalists. The lynch mobs of our national media are much like church congregations. Some have leaders who shout and scream and point fingers, generally blaming the folks at the other church for the world problems. The crowd rises with the gusto of irrational exuberance. At the other church the folks sit calmly while a reserved and proper minister gives an academic appraisal of the inequities of the other church. The congregation sits quietly, nodding to each other their approval.
It is sort of ironic that the people who are the most angry are the same people who feel most justified in their belief. I would never call another person a PIG, unless I really believed they were a PIG – then the PIG deserves it. Because we so believe in our cause, we have no reason to question the truth of the matter. The problem here is that sometimes media types confuse ratings with being right. The more people who tune in to Bill O’Reilly the more he feels justified and correct. The same thing applies to Rush Limbaugh – if he has 20,000,000 listeners then it stands to reason that he must be saying something right. Right?
Wrong. We the people are somewhat responsible for this degradation of our media. The media types really are trying to satisfy their followers. Perhaps we should just quit pretending that these 24/78 talking heads are real journalists. Perhaps we should all just acknowledge that we tune in for entertainment.
I gotta go for now, the mixed martial arts cage fighting is beginning on ESPN2.