Sunday, October 31, 2010

In Search of...a day after the rally blog

If it wasn't enough of a slap in the face to mainstream media that a comedian was named "the most trusted name in news," then it really must say something that the same guy could get hundreds of thousands of people to show up in Washington, D.C. to take a stand for sanity and civility.

Yes, it was a love fest, complete with Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, and Tony Bennett. There were comedy skits, sing alongs, and a soul-stirring speech at the end by Jon Stewart in praise of compromise and working together. Also, because it shouldn't be a total loss, there was a wee bit of deserved bitch-slapping of the media's incessant need to create animosity even when there can just be honest disagreement without it.

I have to say, speaking as Suzie Citizen, if I were both politicians and the media, I'd be afraid, I'd be very afraid. Oh, not because Jon Stewart wields some special power, but because he is speaking for the vast majority of Americans when he says that it's time for sanity to be restored, and that most people with polar opposite beliefs manage to peacefully co-exist and get on with their lives while living next door to each other each and every day. It seems so obvious when he points it out, but the 24 hour news cycle would have us believe it isn't so.

So I was curious to see how the media was going to cover this event, and what would be said. Since today is Sunday, I made it a point to watch This Week just to see how it would be presented. The usual array of round table participants tried to make light of it and downplay it, except for Arianna Huffington, of course. But amid their snickers and their squirming seemed an unsettling fear, from my perspective, that maybe their emphasis on leveraging the extremes had been exposed for the overt manipulation that it really is. And maybe, just maybe people have had enough of it. So I, for one, enjoyed watching Cokie Roberts squirm as much as George Will, who remained rather quiet about the whole thing. I think it is a sad day we've come to when the agenda of the media trumps the reporting of actual news. And good for Jon Stewart for shining a light on it.

I could go on and on, but tomorrow is a new day, which will undoubtedly bring with it new challenges and chances to forge a different path to holding both our representatives as well as those that report on them accountable. So please vote on Tuesday, and think twice before believing what you hear on TV. Ask yourself if the choice of news story isn't just to be sensational enough to get you to tune in. And if it is, change the channel. Personally, I'd rather watch a Seinfeld rerun.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends. And have a Happy Halloween!

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