Monday, March 29, 2010

Memo to the Media: Hate matters.

I. Want. My. Country. Back.

And implicit in such a statement is the follow up . . .

I. Will. Take. My. Country. Back.

By force? Well, that’s been the threat for months now.

The rhetoric is as clear as day, yet the media continues to ignore the very real impact behind the very real death threats we’ve seen in the past week.

The media has been irresponsible in its coverage of this hate. It has been negligent in giving such hate a platform on the national cable news networks. And this constant search for some false moral equivalency between Left and Right ignores the very real threat at hand. The media’s foremost concern at a time like this shouldn’t be the politics of the matter. No, instead the media should be concerned with calling out the next domestic terrorist before he or she tries something stupid.

This is not a game. This is not a civics lesson or some poli sci 101 course in undergrad. This is real. And, if it continues to ignore the obvious signs, the media’s shameful ploy for evenhandedness might overlook the makings of another tragedy . . . a tragedy that perhaps might still be avoided if the media were to simply wake up and do its job.

I will say this ahead of time. . .

Memo to the Media: Please spare your audience the fake outrage and crocodile tears if these threats turn into action. Spare us the stupid questions of How did this happen? and Who could have seen this coming? if these threats turn into action.

Spare us the phony documentaries and town hall discussions. Spare us your self-aggrandizing coverage of memorial services . . . your half-hearted commentaries . . . your disingenuous interviews with grieving friends and family members.

Media, if these threats should turn into action, please spare us any efforts to make us believe that you actually care. Spare any efforts to fool us into believing that you’ll actually listen.

Because you have not listened thus far. You have subjected real concerns of hate to the same, tired, selfish, ratings-grabbing back and forth of political gamesmanship and infotainment that you try to pass off as news every single day. You have ignored the culpability of elected officials and their irresponsible use of hyperbolic rhetoric.

What is the answer? Well, the media can start by acknowledging its role as an enabler. Politicians who align themselves with this rhetoric are inciting violence. . . Politicians who ignore this danger are not credible. . . Sarah Palin’s rhetoric isn’t cute or “folksy”. . . and “concern” over the size of government is no excuse for blatant and unapologetic threats of violence.

Hate is hate. Stop giving it cover. Call them out for what they are.