Labor Day TV TurnOff

by francine Hardaway on September 4, 2009

I have a great idea. At least I think it’s a great idea. Shut off debate and discussion in the media, at least for a while. Abandon hearing from both sides of issues. Stick to facts, insofar as they are known. Spend the day presenting numbers and information. Be C-Span for a while.

And here’s why this apparent choking off of the First Amendment seems necessary.For much of the past year, I’ve watched all the cable news channels on a daily basis. This means I’ve become familiar with their points of view, their usual talking heads, and even the talking heads they use when their usual talking heads are on vacation.

From “Fair and Balanced” to “The Place for Politics,” I’ve seen the tone become increasingly strident, and I’ve seen poll numbers for issues and people go up and down, zigging and zagging. And consumer confidence goes with them.

From all this I conclude that we’ve devolved into a totally adversarial system. On a daily basis, the entire population has become a nation of criminal lawyers arguing for their clients in front of a jury. Issues have been distorted (death panels), exaggerated (bringing socialism into our schools), and occasionally falsified.

The result of pumping up the volume has been an entirely new problem: the increased perception of ordinary citizens that they need to carry guns to defend themselves.

Against whom? Against their fellow citizens at a Town Hall meeting? Against their neighbor who might be pro-life or pro-choice? Against the supermarket checker who voted for Obama?

America is getting worse, and not better, at living by the social contract. Politics, in the grand scheme of things, are just not important

Great swaths of the population used to live for years without encountering the government or forming an opinion about it one way or the other. You went to the post office and bought stamps without thinking about Washington. You walked the streets unarmed without thinking about the Second Amendment. Indeed, you went go to the doctor without thinking about socialized medicine.

Let’s go back to that a while, at least until we call cool off. We’ve now made it impossible for government to solve problems, if it ever could, by paralyzing it. Government is scared of the people it governs. Eeek, if I do this will they vote me out? If I don’t do this will they vote me out? Our elected “representatives” are in operational neurosis like rats on a charged grid. They don’t know which way to run (bad pun).

Let’s take the charge off the grid for a while. Chill out, MSNBC, CNN and FOX. Let’s have six months of instructions on how to bake a cake or bathe a dog or even prepare for retirement. Or just shut up.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Gingerken September 4, 2009 at 9:40 am

Ah Francine, if only. It is incredible to me to listen to the viciousness emanating from my fellow citizens. It has no place in a civil society. I have a feeling it is not a majority at all but it is a vocal minority that shouts down any opposing views.

Mike September 4, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I spent the past week at Whistler. I purposely left the TV and radio off. No Rush or CNN or MSNBC or Fox. After a week, I feel SO MUCH BETTER, and the world did not come to an end. My new resolution, civility, or turn it off.

Francine September 4, 2009 at 11:33 am

I used to think that, but it is amplified so much by media that I can’t tell where true public opinion is anymore.

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