The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease!

Perhaps it’s a sign of old age, the cycles become apparent.  The profound thought becomes a quote, then a platitude, and then a cliché. (How about that: TheOldGuy found the “é” symbol in Word!)

I find the current tone of public discourse irritating at best, possibly disgusting.  It does seem that “The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease”!  I did appreciate the comment by Newt Gingrich, in response to hecklers, “Noise does not necessarily equate to intelligence!”  Bless you, Newt.  He knew that using 4 and 5 syllable words would cause the hecklers to hesitate, while they ask each other, “What did he say?”

A friend posted on Facebook, a concern about the lack of common decency in today’s world.  I hear a lot about the “double standard” of treatment by the media, regarding the news of the liberals and the news of the conservatives.  Rush makes a bad statement and several organizations call for his firing and cause 17 sponors to pull their ads.  A Kennedy calls a Senator by the same appellation and most people don’t even hear about it.  I remember Trent Lott was called upon to make some remarks at another Senator’s 100th birthday.  In trying to find something nice to say about that person, the loudmouthed, disrespectful left managed to get Lott to give up his important political position for one remark that was an attempt to be kind!

So now we have another cycle: the spokesman, excuse me –the spokesperson—the voice, the mouth, the demonstrators, the protestors.  How is “Public Opinion” created and controlled in America today?  Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend in American discourse: dissenting opinions are shouted down or denied access to a public forum.  On the other hand, authorities are demanding increasing access to private information.  For example, colleges and employers are now demanding passwords and access to social media sites.

We should not take lightly the impact of the TV talking heads who promote split screens and bait their guests to yell and scream, to interrupt, to talk without giving the other person a chance to respond and then close with, “Gotta go to a break!. Great Debate, folks.”  I wonder if some TV anchors even know what a real debate is.  The scary thing is that some of them are actually lawyers, even judges!

So where do we start a change?  It sounds sad, but I think it starts with the money.  The media makes its money from advertising.  Hollywood makes its money from movie tickets.  Celebrities make their money from endorsements.  Why did states vie so adamantly for early primaries?  It certainly wasn’t to improve the election process; it was to bring in the “big bucks” from the hospitality services provided for the media crews and the visiting politicians.  The media exacerbated the least fabric of dissension to encourage the sale of advertising time.  A Presidential visit generally costs a community something in excess of $100,000.  Much of that cost is actually charged to taxpayers, but politicians and media see it as bringing money into their coffers.

Why has this happened?  I’ll continue with that answer in my next blog. –FinePickens

In the meantime: squeak! squeak!


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