Thursday, July 14, 2011

How the News Media Caters to Dummies

Three stories yesterday got me aroused about the media. The first was the story that the guy who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit was gong to have to pay taxes on what he had received in exchange for the ball. MSNBC acted like this was an outrage, and invited comment, in an obvious attempt to stir up controversy where no real controversy existed.

Since when is it news that we have an income tax in this country? The 16th amendment has been around almost 100 years, and surely is no longer news! And any dummy surely knows that you cannot legally avoid income tax by taking payment in goods and services rather than in money. Shame on MSNBC, specifically Tamron Hall on Newsnation, for stirring up this non-issue.

No sooner had I got back from going to the library to respond to this issue, then I saw Cafferty on CNN bring up a news item about a restaurant banning kids under 6. Again, he asked for comment and seemed to be stirring up an issue where no real issue existed. CNN could have taken the opportunity to educate viewers about the difference between legal and non-legal discrimination, but instead they took the low road. Any restaurant has an absolute right to do this, there is no issue here.

On the third issue the media did better. There was a news item yesterday about obese children being taken away from their parents. On the face of it this sounds like it might be worthy of discussion, but the news report I saw did a commendable job in enlightening viewers that it was only extremely obese children whose lives were in danger that were involved, and the foster care was temporary, with no permanent severance of parental rights taking place.

But with millions of dollars being paid these high-priced anchors, many of whom have law degrees, one out of three is not good enough!

No comments: