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How do you feel when you hear good news? When you hear the good guy winning? When you see a light of hope in a dark place? You probably feel uplifted, inspired, energized, empowered even. In the midst of this surreal pandemic, unbelievable number of shutdowns, and increasing numbers of cases and deaths from COVID-19, I’m here to give you some good news.
It seems we should be able to turn on any news station or read the many online articles to get these feel good stories, but for some strange reason those stories are very few and very far between. Why? Why aren’t we hearing all the stories of recovery from the virus and the anecdotes of people helping people? And what exactly does it feel like to have the coronavirus anyway? Does anyone know?
As curious as reporters naturally are and as long as this virus has been plaguing the world, you would think all angles would have been covered by now. Why am I still scouring the internet and flipping channels to find this type of information? Meanwhile, nearly everywhere I see the word coronavirus or COVID-19, it is followed by death tolls and the number of cases.
I know deadly headlines spouting doom and gloom sell “papers” and get clicks, but I assert that the media’s job is to report all the information, from all angles, in a balanced and factual way. But, for some reason, they are absolutely NOT doing that. What’s the deal? What is their point? What are they up to? Is it Sensationalism-101 purely for ratings; is it to cause a panic in the country so we will put the media up on a pedestal of superimportance; is it political to make the Administration look bad (they despise Trump, after all)? Whatever the reason, it’s just not right. And with such a terrible adversary, our country needs good news, too!
Here’s an example. During a daily press briefing on the progress being made toward defeating COVID-19, reporters heard about massive restructuring, manufacturing, and innovative relationships forged to tackle the low supply of medical equipment. The virus was spreading and we were going to need more supplies … many more supplies. To solve the problem, companies like Hanes, 3M, Ford, GE, Tesla, Anheuser-Busch and other distilleries are re-fitting their factories and/or products to produce needed medical supplies while dozens of companies – both profit and nonprofit – are donating much needed equipment. The President and Vice President pulled together industries to make it happen. Super impressive!
This should be good news, right? We should be hearing about all this goodwill, sacrifice and fast acting ingenuity in the face of this pandemic. But no, instead we get questions like these: “Yes, but EXACTLY how many do you have and will that be enough?”; and “how many deaths is acceptable, Sir?”.
Whaaat? What is wrong with these people?
Mr. and Mrs.Out of Touch Reporter, why don’t you get on the phone and start calling the governors of each state, their health department heads, the mayors of each city, and the heads of all hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, and private practices? And don’t forget to call the Army Corps of Engineers, local churches, and non-profit organizations. Oh yeah, and companies and other industries that may have stored surplus of the needed medical supplies. They just told you the solution was in progress. Unless you have some magic time extender or a spell to shift the laws of physics, even with around the clock production, it will take some time! It’s all I can do not to yell through the screen at them … but that would put me alongside them in their stupidity wouldn’t it? Nevermind.
Do they realize the magnitude of what they are asking? The United States isn’t a corporation with one headquarters and one warehouse that can be counted with a simple phone call to Human Resources! The kind of coordinated effort, fact finding, material-gathering, and supply-chain distribution, while deliberately instituting mitigating behaviors to slow the spread of this horrible virus, is no small feat. I am appalled at the smug line of questioning that undermines the very spirit of each and every American looking on from their obediently quarantined locations.
How dare they not report the amazing generosity of everyday Americans to help their fellow man; the private sector’s willing leap into action; the amazing desire of health care workers to push forward tirelessly; the scientific brilliance, data analysis and attention to detail of our top medical minds; and the leadership of our government officials to bravely tackle this virus with difficult decisions that save American lives.
Perhaps the backseat driving reporter should put up or shut up. Or at the very least give their country some much needed perspective and hope through balanced reporting of this virus from the nonsymptomatic to the fatally contracted. There is more than one side to this virus. In fact, the recovery side sits factually around 98% of all cases. This is good news, even as we mourn losses with heavy hearts. By the way, lives lost to COVID-19 are no more tragic than those lost to flu … or any other illness or accident. Media, you are missing a grand opportunity to play a role in uplifting America and the world through your reporting. Use your powers for good, not evil.
When I sit back and think about it, I am stuck with the notion that our media, generally speaking, is no longer the objective, news giving source it was meant to be and once was. There are only 5 or 6 major companies that control around 90% of the news we hear on a daily basis. Did you know that? Unbelievably, they have shown us that they have a very specific agenda for America that includes some very liberal, socialist-leaning, and big-government power grabbing policies. Their disdain for the average American, his rights, and her ideals spills out in their story choices and angles; in their lack of pure factual reporting in favor of opinion; in their suppression of or outright ignoring of big news stories that paint their cohorts in a poor light; and in their non stop attacks on Donald Trump, his Administration, his ideas, and his supporters.
Is this not obvious to most people? If it wasn’t before, perhaps in light of this war on Coronavirus, we will all zoom in on what we see and hear. Kinda like when you get a new car, you suddenly notice them all over the place. Maybe now we’ll be more in-tuned with what balanced, factual reporting looks like versus opinion laden, skewed innuendo.
Stay healthy America. This too shall pass. But in the meantime, hold the media accountable, trust your instincts about fairness, and look on the bright side whenever possible.
#NotAfraidToThink #MediaBias #CovidDoesn’tWin
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