BALTIMORE, Maryland, April 29, 2015 − “What we have here is a failure to communicate…” If you have been following the mainstream media, and social media, over the course of the Baltimore riots, you will undoubtedly have seen violence, looting, burning, and mayhem.
We have witnessed images of young teenagers throwing rocks at police, of looters ransacking liquor stores. But we have also seen videos of Baltimore residents standing up amidst the violence and yelling “Enough!”
CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC have been showing little else than the violence on Baltimore’s streets and interviews with grieving individuals, community leaders, and politicians. The media focus has been almost entirely on the anguish and the turmoil, transforming these so-called news networks into something more closely resembling disaster porn dispensaries.
Sex and violence sell. They attract viewers, and increase ratings. Sadly, it benefits the news agencies to show a city tearing itself apart, and when they can pluck on people’s heartstrings by telling stories of burned businesses, burned Churches, and torched senior centers. Playing to the emotions of their viewers historically tends to draw them in.
What does not pay, what does not benefit news agencies is to show peaceful protesters assembling in areas all around Baltimore to address more seriously the issue of police brutality along with what many believe to be the neglect of the city’s less fortunate citizens. The issue, the purpose, and the heart of the current protests have been lost, eclipsed by those images of burning buildings and police in riot gear.
But this is what the media believes the people want to see: the blood, the violence, and the mayhem. According to the media, accustomed to featuring stories that will garner the highest ratings, we the people want to see chaos on the streets of Baltimore and Ferguson.
How many of these media outlets are covering the fact that in February, disgusted with the rise in police brutality, the citizens of Baltimore demonstrated peacefully in front of city hall? Instead, the mainstream media defines the narrative they wish to advance. Since American politics sails by the winds of popular opinion, the result is that the media shapes the outcome.
So far, unfortunately, that outcome has been anger, racism, frustration, lies, and negligent hyperbole.
How do we fix this?
Since the media believes all we want to see is the violence, they believe they are best served by showing us what they assume we want to see. Perhaps we should consider asking for the truth instead. This country is all about supply and demand. It’s what our economy is based on.
The media believes that we demand blood, and violence, and so they gladly supply it. So what happens if we start demanding the truth? Will they supply it to us?
The truth is the solution to this problem. The Baltimore protests have been hijacked by thugs of all races and colors, and the external effect is what the media has decided to cover. The peaceful protest and the purpose it served to promote a genuinely worthy cause has been delegitimized by those who would exploit this crisis to spread wonton chaos and fire, and the media has helped spread that fire every step of the way.
Write your news stations, call, email, head down to the streets and demand interviews. Make your voices heard. Even now as we all sit and watch minute after minute of televised footage depicting terror and destruction, there are individuals amassed in front of government buildings all over Baltimore who are exercising their natural born right to protest and to petition their government for grievances, while at the same time asking “where are all the cameras?”
All of the cameras are out filming rioters, not protesters, because they believe that is what Americans want to see. It is up to you, the consumer, to prove to the sellers of this narrative that they are wrong.
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