I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about media and social media and the huge reaction to Paula Deen, what she had said or done in the past. The powers-that-be in my arena, namely editors, failed to see what I was trying to say about the negative
blitzes waged by a few uninformed individuals who thought they were all-knowing on the topic, but in reality they knew “Jack Squat”. The editors thought my post was too political.
A week later, there was another media and social media rampage and Paula was all but forgotten. The following week, the media and the comment brigades picked on something else and Paula had virtually become a mouse dropping in cyberspace. By the time a judge finally ruled that Paula was not at fault and the case against her was tossed out, she had lost way more than she deserved to lose in my opinion. Families and individuals working for Paula were unemployed. And the media was out looking for new stories to sensationalize.
Whatever happened to news? What has become of national news? Do we really need to know that a state governor was locked out of her home in her bathrobe while she saw her child off to school? Do we need to know that Justin Bieber has grown a mustache? Do we have to watch Miley Cyrus twerking over and over and over again? Oh the drama of it all! I had to curl up in a corner and eat a whole chocolate chip cookie to console myself.
My point, as Sergeant Joe Friday always said on Dragnet, is this: “Just the facts, ma’am.” The facts matter. This brings me back to what I started weeks ago. The news media and the social media must get their facts straight and then report or comment about them. If you don’t have your facts straight, does it really mean anything to the rest of us except to be suspicious and question the validity of anything we read or hear?
You may think that what you have to report, blog, tweet, post on Facebook or comment about is so important it will stop the world. I have news for you. It won’t! Life will go on. Like Paula Deen, those of us in the Boomer generation have said or done something that may have been derogatory, embarrassing or hurtful. At some point later, we wished we could take it back; but we couldn’t.
Do you think all this means that if you’re the idiot driving in front of me eating a Burrito Supreme and talking on the speakerphone with your mouth full, going 30 mph in a 65 mph zone, that I won’t have a few derogatory words and gestures for you? At least I won’t be tweeting a photo of your license plate or putting a video of your antics on YouTube, that’s for sure! My editors wouldn’t allow it anyway.
When the war between the media and reality settles, I predict the dust will win.