Back in the 60’s and 70’s, sports figures, politicians etc. were revered and protected by the media. They traveled with them and wrote about how people were “doing their job” not their personal lives. They all knew about the personal challenges, the indiscretions, the failures, the bad decisions, their families, the late nights and all of their imperfections. They were people, just like the writers and the writers respected their privacy.
Those days are long gone.
Today the media and our society is constantly searching for any nugget of information they can find to identify any and all flaws in a person, pass judgement without all of the facts and then work 24/7 to pull on every thread of a persons life to validate their perspective and point of view. We see this everyday in political reporting and we most certainly see this in sports reporting. Reporting and news is no longer about truth, it is about humiliating, degrading and tearing down people and publicly sharing that in as many ways, as many times and through as many media channels as possible. When did our society lose respect for the rest of society?
We are bombarded by shows that call themselves “news shows”, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all other forms of social media that have enabled every person on the planet to become “reporters.” For real breaking news, these media channels are a godsend as action can be taken faster and in many cases lives can be saved. For this we can be grateful.
But more than 90% of the “news” reported is not news at all. It is about sharing a person’s mistake or error for entertainment purposes, regardless of the embarrassment and personal suffering that the person will have to go through after it all goes public. The collective society that I am referring to uses no discretion or common sense, nor do they treat others as they would want to be treated; the “golden rule.” Apparently the golden rule is dead.
Why does our society delight in the misery of others? Why is it OK for the media to put aside any discretion and insist on reporting everything about a person’s life? Why do “news” stories such as Deflategate consume us to the point where we are now questioning everything ever accomplished by the quarterback? Because it is unfortunately what our society has become – one that basks in the glow of others failures for their own personal or business benefit.
It is no longer about the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. It is about tearing down people’s lives whenever possible because this is now how we define the “news”. Well here is a headline for you – treat people with the respect and dignity that you expect. Listen don’t judge. Help don’t hurt. Maybe we can make the world just a little better today.
We will close today with a tribute to the great BB King, because now the Thrill is Gone 😦