Media saturation tainting public’s views

Blaine Moyle

With a week now gone by, I’ve been able to take the time and really look at the events of the past week. With nearly every television channel and radio station covering the events of Tuesday, within 10 minutes there were very few who didn’t know by the afternoon.

And then the bombardment began.

This wasn’t an attack like the first; this one came from our own media, in the form of a 72 hour assault. It was near impossible to change the channel without seeing an amateur video taken from a different angle.

It didn’t take much longer for the networks and even cable channels to find former White House staff to give their own unique and over-reactionary responses to what should or would be done.

The problem didn’t come from the media coverage at first. For the first day there were many details to sort out and be released to the public. The second day was followed with more details, though somewhat less important.

By the third day however, most of the coverage was little more than a rehash of the previous events as well as wild speculation as to what was going to happen.

The days following have been little better with each station giving it’s “unique” perspective, which ended up only to rile up the public, and this is the true problem.

The bombardment of the public with such a large amount of information for such an extended period of time without any sort of break was something most Americans just couldn’t handle. This resulted in people looking for targets of blame and their rage they felt, which resulted in minorities across the nation fearing for their lives.

There were many of people, though, who had the right idea, by trying to set up blood drives, or carpools to go donate blood to help the people who were still alive but injured.

The information overload also caused almost anyone with a television to assume that suddenly they were an authority on the subject of the Middle East, and what the United States’ foreign policy should be.

It was impossible to go out this past week without hearing someone mention what they had just heard, or how we should be bombing this or that country, or how we should be locking up, “certain people” just because of the color of their skin.

While some people claim the American public is now ready to respond to anything so that such a thing can never happen again, one has to wonder about all the other events that Americans were never supposed to forget.

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are going to be forever remembered, just like the Korean War, Vietnam, Iran-Contra, the Gulf War, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Columbine High School and Oklahoma City.

We have a history of strong feelings when a big event happens here at home, and yet once a year goes by, no one seems to remember and then America “loses it’s innocence” once again. It’s time for America to wake up to the fact that bad things can and will happen here, and we have to remember.

So what does America need now? What America really needs is “Must See TV.” While the media and certain moral crusaders will insist that we need up-to-the-second updates to tell us that nothing has been found out about the situation, I believe what we need now is entertainment.

The information overload put a lot of people on edge because they didn’t have the chance to think about anything else when they turned on the boob tube to relieve the stress of school, or work and they were hit with worry and concern.

I’m not saying we should forget what just happened, but we do need time to recuperate from these events, and if that means watching real people fight for a million dollars, or mindless slapstick humor, then so be it.

People need to realize there’s a difference between obsessing, and feeling bad. We shouldn’t feel bad about feeling good, or even wanting to feel good. We need to get past the bad, but still remember what happened, and not forget.

Blaine Moyle is a junior in English from Des Moines.