After years of going to ridiculous lengths to make others look foolish, after deriving huge amounts of profit from humiliating celebrities and average joes alike, the media finally tripped over its own feet and made a complete fool of itself. And they are not going to stand for it.
A silver, disc-shaped balloon appeared on our TV screens this week with reporters breathlessly spinning the story of a boy trapped inside thousands of feet above Colorado. They had caught wind of the story and pursued it heedlessly, recklessly, with no concern for actually checking their facts. A co-worker and I commented on the possibility that the boy wasn’t even in the balloon or that his eight-year-old brother may have been imagining things when he saw the child climb in. A couple of internet marketers had the good sense to question the situation but not the entire army of media goons that followed the balloon for three hours.
Sure enough, the balloon set down in a field and- surprise- it was empty. The child had been hiding out in the basement, afraid of getting in trouble for untying the tether that kept the balloon in his family’s yard. The media looked like incompetent, non-journalistic buffoons. But, let’s face it, they always do, but they do a heck of a job dolling it up to look like the real thing. Not his time. The virtues of live TV had turned against them.
So how did they seek to cover up their buffoonery? They started spinning the story as a hoax, an attempt by the family to get some attention. Embarrassed by their own foolhardiness, they sought to destroy the balloon boy’s family. And they have no problem tearing down families.
Look at what they did to Octomom. A mother of octuplets is minding her own business. The media sees the ability to exploit her unique situation for rating and they turn her into another freak show character in the media circus. A week later, it’s not enough for them to get a week of mileage out of her. So they dig into her personal life and turn her into some kind of attention-hungry reality-show contestant. The implied message of course was that women have babies- in this case, eight babies- for attention. It was no less than an attack on motherhood by a media that is increasingly cynical and jeering.
Was it anything less with Sarah Palin’s daughter or continued coverage of her boyfriend? Since when is bitter spewings of the ex-boyfriend of the daughter of a former vice-presidential candidate considered newsworthy? This is what we’ve come to, people.
Make no mistake, families of America. This is an attempt by the media to hold onto their power. And they’re willing to drag families through the mud to keep it. Don’t let the media tell you how families should be. We already know.