Thursday, March 13, 2014

Newspapers, television news and us.

Denise was upset the other night. My first indication was her voice drifted in from her room, incredulously asking:
“Why are they doing that?”  Then in even more of an annoyed tone:  “WHAT are they doing?”
She appeared by my dresser, whispering urgently
 “Are you awake?”
I nodded, and she told me what had upset her so much.

It seems, a police officer stopped a seventy-six year old man and told him to stay in the car. The elderly man, hard of hearing, proceeded to get out of the car and reach in for something.
The officer in his panic ordered the man to stop, and then shot him. It turned out the man was pulling out a cane, most likely so he did not fall on his face: instead, he ended up on his back on a South Carolina highway.

What upset Denise, however, was the fact the entire shooting and altercation was televised on the local news program, unedited.
When, she asked me, did the news become so insensitive and disrespectful to a person’s privacy?

When indeed.

I saw the video the next morning, and what surprised me was; it did not have any effect on me at all.

When had I become so desensitized?

Any newspaper reporter or television personality will tell you they only write or show what the public wants to see.
If the public did not want it, they would not do it.

In addition, I thought, watching the dashboard cam of two officers losing control of their car and rolling over into the woods hitting a tree:  who would want to see this?

Apparently we do, because stations keep showing these videos. Whole shows are devoted to this sort of media.

Tasha watches America Home Videos. She laughs and laughs, it was not until very recently I noticed every person in these videos, falls, gets hit, throws up or some other form of human activity we should be feeling compassionate towards, yet we laugh.
What do you think? Is society becoming less sensitive and more, well, hardened?

I wonder.

The officers and the elderly man were both ok. I told Denise that possibly had they not been it would not have been shown on the news.

However, I am not sure. Every days we see car accidents, murders, avalanches, wars, and rebellions such is happening in the Ukraine.
Moreover, I think violence is everywhere.

 At one time, they would not show it, they would shield us from the horrors. Nevertheless, we are past that, reality is the keyword. Therefore, the population becomes used to seeing these things, and we are not shocked any longer.

I am glad Denise still was.

I hope a great many of us still are.

If we are not, what will become of us?




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